Inside JCPRD: Approach of spring brings out the golfers!

By David Markham

It’s the second week of March, and some undeniable signs of spring are already starting to show themselves.

The days are getting longer, warmer, and sunnier. The crocuses are blooming, some leaves are starting to bud on the trees, and with the recent rains, the grass will soon be greening up. And, most telling, the golfers are emerging from their winter rest to roam the fairways, greens, and driving ranges of the Tomahawk Hills and Heritage Park golf courses.

“In the golf world, we say the season starts at the Master’s Tournament on the first weekend in April, but this has been a great week, and patrons are coming out of the woodwork to hit the range and the courses,” said Heritage Park Golf Course PGA Pro Rob Wilkin.

Another sure harbinger of spring is the start of golf leagues, and JCPRD has four leagues beginning in late March and early April.

The Tomahawk Hills Senior Men’s Golf League is open to ages 55 and older and will golf every other Tuesday morning beginning March 31. A spring meeting for this league will take place on March 24, at 9 a.m. To register or to request more information, call (913) 631-8000.

The Tomahawk Hills Women’s Golf Association will hold its annual organizational meeting on Wednesday, April 8 at 8:30 a.m. The group is open to women of all levels of play. Both nine- and 18-hole leagues play every Wednesday morning from April through October. For more information, call Pat Kalicki at (913) 599-6922 or the Tomahawk Hills Golf Course Pro Shop at (913) 631-8000, or register online at jcprd.com/445/Tomahawk-Hills-Womens-Golf-Association.

The Tomahawk Hills Working Ladies Golf League will conduct an informational meeting at the course beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 26. This league is designed for intermediate golfers. Play begins April 2 and ends in August. Tee-off times are between 4 and 6 p.m. For more information, call Michelle Textor at (816) 898-4613 or Kathy Bexton at (913) 645-1904.

For the Heritage Park Ladies Golf League, an organizational meeting will take place at the HPGC Clubhouse beginning at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, and play will begin on Thursday, April 23. This nine-hole league is also for ladies 18 and older and is designed for golfers of all ability levels with tee times between 4:15 and 6 p.m. with a different format each week. For more information about the HPGC league, call League President Kerry Bruce (913) 530-0408.

Leagues not only provide mid-week opportunities for camaraderie while players practice their golf skills over about 20 weeks, it helps assure golf isn’t just a weekend game.

For those who want to learn to golf or work on their game with more intensity, JCPRD has three PGA professionals who offer group and private lessons. In addition to Wilkin at HPGC, there’s THGC PGA Pro Jay Lispi, and former JCPRD Golf Operations Manager and current Teaching Pro Wayne Montgomery, who teaches at HPGC.

In addition to traditional lessons, Montgomery will be offering the PGA’s Get Golf Ready program, which helps get golfers ready to play in just five lessons.

For lesson scheduling and fees, visit JCPRD.com/golf, or call HPGC at (913) 829-4653 or THGC at (913) 631-8000.

It’s still a few months away, but both JCPRD courses will once again be offering their Kids Play Free program this summer. During the months of June through August, youth ages six to 16 are being offered a free round of golf after 5:30 p.m. if they play with an adult who pays the regular price at either course, and up to two kids can play with each paying adult.

With the outdoor world and golfers still waking up after the winter, there’s still plenty of time to consider purchasing golf patron cards or annual tickets, both of which are good at both courses.