Great Life Malaska Golf & Fitness, Sioux Falls, SD, recently announced the purchase of the Worthington, MN, Country Club, about 60 miles east. It also added a "19th hole," so to speak – the opportunity to use the facilities of the neighboring Worthington Area YMCA for fitness and aquatics.
Great Life Malaska, which offers memberships to 14 golf courses and nine fitness centers in southeastern South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota and northwestern Iowa, is a franchisee of Great Life Golf & Fitness, Topeka, KS. The Great Life model offers fitness-only memberships for unlimited fitness club visits for individuals, couples or families, along with golf and fitness memberships that feature unlimited golf and fitness. Members pay extra for golf cart use. The Malaska group has been under the Great Life name for about a year, and during that time, it has increased rounds at its member golf clubs by 46 percent, revenue by 28 percent, and food and beverage retail by 23 percent, Tom Walsh, CEO of Great Life Malaska, told Prairie Business.
The Worthington Area YMCA is Great Life's first YMCA fitness partner, but one that makes perfect sense to Andy Johnson, executive director of the Worthington Y.
"Well, first off, we are right around the corner," Johnson says. "We are a small community here, and Great Life is promising to do some very nice upgrades at our golf course. Since they are about both golf and fitness, we are the right partner for them."
Johnson adds that the organizations share missions of health and wellness, and sees the deal as an opportunity for his Y to increase exposure and membership, while Great Life members get access to the best aquatic and fitness facilities in Worthington.
Great Life members will have unlimited access to the fitness area and use of the pool, with additional charges for classes and lessons.
"This means we can reach out in our programming to more people," Johnson says.
Great Life 's purchase stipulates that the Worthington Country Club must remain a golf course for at least 20 years, and Great Life has pledged an estimated $300,000 in golf course improvements, the Prairie Business article states. The company says it has already sold 100 new memberships in the Worthington area.
"The community is looking forward to new and improved operations at the country club," says Johnson, who plays regularly at the Worthington Country Club in the summer. "Obviously, I do not need the fitness aspect of it, but I think this is going to a very good deal for the rest of our community, too."