They're cold and snowy now, but things are about to heat up on these area golf courses come spring. Even before that, GreatLife Malaska Golf & Fitness clubs will be open for business.
“Unlimited golf, unlimited fitness for about $50 a month for individuals, and about $70 for families," Tom Walsh Sr. said.
Burger King franchise owner and community leader Tom Walsh Senior and his partners have either bought or leased, with plans to buy, five area golf courses and two fitness centers. Walsh purchased Willow Run after it came out of bankruptcy and has already seen business rise.
"For a total of 53 percent in two years in an industry that is challenging. We intend to do the same thing with these golf courses and fitness centers," Walsh said.
Walsh says he and his partners will put in $20 million dollars into the local golf courses and fitness facilities by the end of 2015. $1.3 million of that is going into EmBe with $200,000 of it for new equipment. $1.5 will go for a complete overhaul of Sioux Empire Fitness.
GreatLife will build new clubhouses with fitness facilities at Willow run and Central Valley in Hartford. The fitness center at Bakker's crossing is under construction now. LPGA golfer Kris Tschetter and PGA Golf Pro Mike Malaska are both involved.
“I do think this could save golf. Right now there's not a lot of people who start playing the game." Tschetter siad.
“Hopefully this can be something that can really revolutionize, not only the game of golf, but the lifestyles of people," Malaska said.
And the GreatLife concept isn't going to be limited to Sioux Falls.
“We're actually branding this. We're going to take this national is our intention," Walsh said.
Memberships in Sioux Falls go on sale at most locations as well as Austad's Golf starting today.