Summer challenge: Golfer plays every GreatLIFE course

This piece is presented by GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness.

If he lived out West, John Taufen knows he’d look at a mountain and want to climb it “because it’s there.”

It’s the same challenge that drove him to golf at each of GreatLIFE’s 25 courses in Sioux Falls and the surrounding region.

“That was like my mountain,” he said. “I got all the logos, put them on one sheet of paper and just started doing it.”

Taufen, who worked in sales for IBM and then became a stay-at-home dad, always has been athletic. He and his wife, Deb, moved to Sioux Falls from Connecticut five years ago. They also lived in Chicago, St. Louis and other locales.

On the East Coast, golf took a backseat to bicycling. He remembers not being able to bring his 14-year-old onto a public course and being sticker-shocked by the private ones.

“I played a little golf growing up and then didn’t play for 20 years,” he said. “Out East, it wasn’t easy to do. GreatLIFE makes golf easy to do.”

From May 16 through Aug. 25, he tackled each of the 25 courses.

While Taufen made his own sheet, GreatLIFE now has a way for any golfer to track the same achievement. The GreatLIFE Golf Tour Club card is available at any GreatLIFE course. Play 15 courses and win a GreatLIFE Golf Tour polo. Play all 25, and you’ll be entered to win a driver or putter.

If you’ve already played a course this season, GreatLIFE will go back and track the dates to enter on your card.

“My favorite has to do with how well I play that day and what the conditions are,” Taufen laughed. “But I really liked Emerald Hills in Okoboji, (Iowa). I took three mulligans but broke 80 for the first time, so I played well that day.”

He also praised Adrian, Minn.: “A great little nine-hole course that’s 45 miles away.”

He found McCook Country Club in Salem “really well-maintained and updated.”

And he said The Bridges at Beresford “was in great shape when I went down and an easy trip from here.”

Taufen also would bring along a South Dakota roadside history book, “and it was a way to learn about Salem or Canton or Parkston as I went around.”

His favorite courses are still close to home.

“I like Willow Run probably best. I only live 12 minutes from Bakker (Crossing) and I go up to Central Valley,” he said. “Typically, people think that’s a long trip, but it used to take me longer to get to the grocery store, so I’ll go to Hartford and play there. There’s a lot of great, well-maintained courses in this group.”

He’s also considering a trip south this fall to take advantage of the many courses available through GreatLIFE in the Kansas City region, and he has used his member benefits to enjoy free movies at West Mall 7 and use the golf simulators at Suburban Lanes.

“There’s nothing like GreatLIFE anywhere in the country,” he said. “What a great formula and a creative concept.”

Summer challenge: Golfer plays every GreatLIFE course

If he lived out West, John Taufen knows he’d look at a mountain and want to climb it “because it’s there.” It’s the same challenge that drove him to golf at each of GreatLIFE’s 25 courses in Sioux Falls and the surrounding region.

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