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From left to right: Gary Farrant, vice president of Great Life Golf & Fitness, Rick Farrant, president, and Aubrey McBride, general manager of Deer Lake Golf Course. Officials spoke at a press conference April 22.SBJ Photo by BRIAN BROWN
From left to right: Gary Farrant, vice president of Great Life Golf & Fitness, Rick Farrant, president, and Aubrey McBride, general manager of Deer Lake Golf Course. Officials spoke at a press conference April 22.

SBJ Photo by BRIAN BROWN

Deer Lake Golf Course to open

Posted online
Topeka, Kan.-based Great Life Golf & Fitness announced today that it agreed to terms with Deer Lake Partners LLC April 15 to lease Deer Lake Golf Course for five years for an undisclosed amount. Great Life plans to open the west Springfield course April 25.

Rick Farrant, president of Great Life, a golf and fitness management company, said it had been preparing the course for the opening after a three-day negotiation with the owners, who are based in Tulsa.

“It was a deal we couldn’t pass up,” Farrant said.

Farrant said this is Great Lakes' 18th location; its nearest course is in Lebanon. The company plans to use one of the buildings on the property as a fitness center.

Farrant said one of his members told him that he ought to take a look at the Deer Lake course after he had already heard that it was available. That led Farrant to contact the owners and visit the course for examination. He said there had been some concern that it would be in bad shape because the previous tenants, general manager Noel Spering and partners, left in December at the end of their lease.

“Usually in that situation, you’re kind of expecting to find a disaster because we had been told that the course was closed, but we got down here and were pleasantly surprised with the quality of the golf course and the quality of the facilities,” Farrant said.  

Farrant said the company plans to open Monday morning and will sell fitness and golf packages together, noting that membership fees would be $59 per month or $39 per month for a Monday through Thursday membership.

In the April 4 issue of the Springfield Business Journal, it was reported that the course faced an uncertain future after Deer Lake Partners LLC let the former tenant’s lease expire and had not contracted with a new management company.

Deer Lake Partners purchased the 18-hole course along with its 80-acre subdivision and the adjacent 107 acres of undeveloped land for $3.5 million in March 2010 – enticed by a 1,600 foot well on that property. It has rezoned that undeveloped land to be used as an industrial park and announced last summer tentative plans to build a water-bottling facility there.

Robert Phillips, a developer and owner of P&H Properties and partner in Deer Lake Partners, did not return a call for comment as of press time.[[In-content Ad]]

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