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What’s Happening at The Willows

Come see what’s happening at The Willows.

Eat, drink and have fun at The Willows all year long.

Open to the public, seven days a week, year-round for lunch and dinner, The Willows at Willow Run Golf Course is teed-up for happy hour and primed for the fall season. With the golf season cooling down, we’re heating up with lunch and football deals you won’t want to miss!

Delicious entrees, appetizers, flatbreads, sandwiches, soups and salads, round out The Willows experience. Take a short drive to east side Sioux Falls and see what’s new.

Lunch for $10
The $10 lunch menu is available Monday through Friday, 11am – 4pm. Enjoy a stunning view of Willow Run Golf Course and lunch with friends on your choice of:
• ½ lb Angus Hamburger, fries and soda
• Pulled Pork Sandwich, fries and soda
• Chicken Caesar Wrap, fries and soda
• BLT, fries and soda

Game Day Specials – Monday, Saturday, and Sunday
Come to The Willows with friends and family and cheer on your football team while you enjoy our game-day specials including:
Domestic bottles bucket – $15
Import bottles bucket – $18
Wings – Boneless, $3; Traditional, $4
Appetizers – $5
Chips with Salsa or Queso
Onion Rings
Cheese Quesadilla

Features – $10
Loaded Nachos (beef, chicken or pork)
Hamburger & Fries with domestic pint
Flatbread with domestic pint

Happy Hour – Monday – Friday – 4-7pm
The Willows also offers happy hour Monday through Friday with half-price bottles, wells and taps from 4-7 p.m. Our amazing menu and service, unlike anywhere in town, make The Willows your year-round gathering spot.

Great service. Great views. And GreatLIFE. The Willows Food and Spirits at Willow Run. Open to the public. 11am-9pm, Sunday to Thursday. 11am – 10pm, Friday and Saturday.

GreatLIFE Welcomes Fish Lake Country Club

100 Years of Exceptional Golf in Plankinton

Now you can take advantage of all GreatLIFE has to offer in Plankinton, South Dakota with the addition of Fish Lake Country Club to GreatLIFE Malaska Golf & Fitness Club.

Fish Lake Country Club was established in 1914 by local sportsmen as a place to enjoy recreational and social activities. Throughout its history, both serious and recreational golfers have visited Fish Lake to find good friends, a warm welcome and a great game of golf in a beautiful setting.

Known for its pristine greens and come-one-come-all mentality, this nine-hole course is located about halfway between Plankinton and Mt. Vernon, South Dakota off old Highway 16 and features 2,744 yards of exceptional golf for a par of 36.

The club’s bar and restaurant is a gathering place for everyone in the surrounding areas from old-timers to young families. The menu includes great choices from steak and prime rib to savory sandwiches. A wide variety of bottled beer, tap beer and top-shelf liquor is served by friendly bartenders and wait staff and the club is available for parties and get-togethers of all sizes.

At Fish Lake, you’ll come for the golf and stay for the GreatLIFE hospitality.

Walsh ranked among top golf innovators

Sioux Falls Business Journal
July 17, 2015
By Jodi Schwan


Great Life Malaska Golf & Fitness CEO Tom Walsh has been named one of the top 10 innovators in golf by Golf Inc. Magazine.

The publication ranked Walsh and Rick Farrant, CEO of GreatLife in Kansas, third and second respectively.

Farrant started the unlimited golf and fitness concept in Kansas. Walsh ran with it in the Sioux Falls area and has grown it 14,000 members able to use 19 area golf courses and 10 fitness centers.

“It’s beyond anything we imagined,” Walsh told the magazine.

The top spot for innovation to Erik Anderson, CEO of Topgolf, a concept that turns the game into a party scene with live music, televisions and courses that light up at night.

To read the full article in Golf Inc., click here.

LPGA Symetra Tour Coming to South Dakota for First Time


GreatLIFE Malaska Golf & Fitness Club in conjunction with the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) and Title Sponsor, Luxury Auto Mall of Sioux Falls is proud to host the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge at Willow Run as part of the 2015 Symetra Tour – Road to the LPGA.

The tournament will be held September 3-6, 2015 at Willow Run Golf Course, with special events beginning Monday, August 31, and will provide an unprecedented opportunity for Sioux Falls to seal its reputation as a world-class destination city with all the amenities necessary to host an event of this magnitude. In addition, golfers participating in the tournament have a shot at the largest purse in the history of the tour – $210,000 – with the winner taking home $31,500 and almost certainly a spot on next year’s LPGA tour.

The Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge at Willow Run is one of only four 72-hole events on the tour and one of only 23 cities to host the tour. Sioux Falls will realize more than $3 million in economic impact, depending on overall attendance according to the CVB. If not for the GreatLIFE Challenge at Willow Run, Sioux Falls LPGA fans would have to travel as far as Kansas to attend a Symetra Tour tournament.

The tour brings 144 of the top up-and-coming ladies golf professionals to Sioux Falls to compete and support local charities including Make-A-Wish, Boys and Girls Clubs, Komen Race for the Cure, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue and Troops First.

Willow Run Golf Course opened its brand new 16,000 sq. ft. clubhouse on June 1, just in time to welcome guests with a full restaurant and bar, banquet seating for more than 200, an 8,000 sq. ft. fitness center and indoor pool and Jacuzzi. The course will be in top shape after strategic renovations including an expanded driving range, state-of-the-art three-hole practice area and extensive landscaping. In addition to the club’s expansion, work is underway on the city’s premier luxury apartment development, The Bluffs at Willow Run, set to open in August.

According to GreatLIFE chairman Tom Walsh, “We’re proud to be a part of bringing this national tour to South Dakota for the first time in its history. It supports passion for the game of golf and keeps the dreams of young golfers alive, and that reflects our mission at GreatLIFE. It’s just a great opportunity for the city of Sioux Falls to shine.”

To ensure the success of this weeklong event, organizers are looking for local volunteers to act as host families and to provide other services throughout the tournament. To learn more about volunteer opportunities or to sign up, visit

The Symetra Tour, the official Road to the LPGA, has begun its 35th competitive season in 2015. With the support of its umbrella sponsor, Symetra, the Tour’s mission is to prepare the world’s best young women professional golfers for a successful career on the LPGA Tour. The top-10 money winners each season earn memberships on the LPGA Tour for the following season. With more than 600 alumnae moving on to the LPGA including 2014 RICOH Women’s British Open champion Mo Martin and current Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park, former Symetra Tour players have won a total of 382 LPGA titles, including 45 major championships. Symetra Tour events have contributed more than $5 million to charitable organizations throughout the nation since 1989. Follow the Symetra Tour on the web at

East Sioux Falls gets own version of country club

Sioux Falls Business Journal
June 3, 2015
By Jodi Schwan

Photo: Elisha Page/Argus Leader

The east side of Sioux Falls now has its own version of a country club, according to Tom Walsh, CEO of GreatLife Malaska Golf & FItness.

“It’s a country club that we open to the public is the bottom line,” he said. “It will rival any country club.”

Willow Run Golf Course opens its new clubhouse this week, and it’s packed with amenities.

Combine that with the massive upscale Bluffs at Willow Run apartment project connected to the complex, and the area clearly is in the midst of a transformation.

GreatLife changes fitness landscape

Walsh bought Willow Run in 2012. He has steadily improved the course, most recently adding a three-hole practice area and making a number of holes “even more grandiose,” but the clubhouse makes a big statement.

“I’ve completely lost my mind. I just shake my head,” he said. “It is so fabulous. I never, ever dreamed it would turn out this well,” he said.

It’s two stories, with a nearly 8,000-square-foot fitness center, an indoor pool and whirlpool, a banquet area for 200 people, multiple patios and a full-service bar and grill – The Willows Food & Spirts at Willow Run.

“What we’re trying to do out there with the neighborhood is bring an upscale pub, food-type atmosphere,” said Mike Fodness, director of food and beverage. Fodness was the founding general manager at Foley’s and has worked at Callaway’s and The Country Club of Sioux Falls.

The menu for The Willows includes more than one dozen appetizers, sandwiches, pizzas, soup, salads and other entrees.

“I’m not trying to do a huge menu mediocre,” Fodness said. “I’m trying to do a nice upper-scale pub menu and do it well.”

The restaurant will be open daily and can seat about 100, including the space on its deck.

It’s also an amenity being marketed for potential residents at the adjacent Bluffs apartments.

The 161-unit project is on schedule to open half of its apartments in September. The units range from one to three bedrooms and include expansive views. Early tenants can help customize their units, said Craig Lloyd, CEO of Lloyd Cos., the project’s developer and property manager. Amenities include granite countertops, underground parking, individual garages, a guest suite and a GreatLife membership.

On a typical day, 180 people are working on the construction site. The first units will be available to view in July, but the project already has attracted a mix of young professionals and downsizing older adults, Lloyd said.

“I can’t believe we’re renting right now, but we are,” he said.

“There’s no other place in South Dakota you can live, that I’m aware of, that you can have a four-star golf course, great restaurant, a controlled environment. It doesn’t exist. It’s a lifestyle,” Lloyd continued. “It’s probably not for everybody, but if you like activities and you like to be part of something bigger than anything I know of in the city, it’s going to be a really nice place.”

More Improvements at Willow Run

Despite the much needed rain, the weather lately has allowed for another productive week on the course at Willow Run. Check out the photo gallery to see the latest pictures of the progress being made. The sodding process starts today, beginning with hole 17 before moving on to the short-game practice area and eventually the driving range.

What’s Happening at Willow Run

You know golf season is here when The Masters is on TV and you’re hearing that wonderful theme song by Dave Loggins. With that in mind, we thought it was time for an update on the progress at Willow Run.

We’re moving full-steam ahead on our brand new 16,000 sq. ft. clubhouse with restaurant, bar, pro-shop, two decks overlooking the golf course and a banquet room that seats up to 200.

The fitness center will be 6,000 sq. ft. with a group classroom, pool and jacuzzi. I must say it looks AWESOME!

Everything is on schedule and we cannot wait to get everyone out to see it!

Along with the clubhouse we will be doing some extensive improvements to the golf course. These are the projects we will be working on this Spring:

  • Renovating the driving range to increase the length while improving the drainage. The range will consist of a fairway with four target greens along the side of the fairways.
  • A brand-new three hole practice area that will be located between 17, 18 and the driving range.
  • Storm detention pond between holes 7 and 8.
  • Clearing out all of the trees on the right side of the creek on hole 17 to create a split-fairway.
  • New cart paths on holes 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17 and 18.
  • New restrooms on hole 6 and between holes 12 and 13
  • New tee boxes on holes 1, 8, 10 and 17
  • Adding three bunkers behind hole 9 green.
  • Extensive landscaping around the clubhouse to enhance the esthetics of holes 1, 7, 8, 9 and 10.
  • Most of the course will be sodded with some areas that we will seed.

With all of these renovations to the golf course and clubhouse, we feel it is best to let the contractors have complete access to the course with no interruptions.

We have set our target date to open the golf course on June 1st. The driving range and short game area will be closer to July 1st.

This project is going to elevate Willow Run to be one of the best facilities in the region. We want our members and their guests to experience Willow Run at its entirety.

Bakker Crossing, Central Valley, Dell Rapids and all affiliate golf courses are great options to play while Willow Run is shut down. We improved the cart paths at Central Valley and built restrooms in the area of holes 3, 5, 13 and 15. Dell Rapids is open with cart paths and came through the winter very well.

We are sorry for any inconvenience, but trust me it will be worth the wait!

Jason Sudenga, Director of Golf

Introducing The Malaska Golf Online Learning Center

Fix your dreaded slice.

Add more distance.

And save $20 on Mike’s first book, I Feel Your Pain.


Promo Code — GLSAVE20

In the 2015 golf season, will you fix your slices and distance forever? Take a lesson from the former #1 player in the world? Or follow an innovative new path from beginner to scratch golf? It’s all made possible with GreatLIFE and their director of instruction, Mike Malaska.
Mike Malaska is bringing his decades of teaching experience to GreatLIFE members with the Online Learning Center.
As part of your GreatLIFE membership, you’ll have free unlimited access to the learning center for the entire 2015 season. We’re offering a sneak peek this week, as Mike fixes your slice and adds more distance to your game.
Mike was the PGA Teacher of the year in 2011. You may have seen him on the Golf Channel last week, helping golfers around the country with his renowned ‘uncomplicated’ teaching. Now Mike is bringing his decades of teaching experience to GreatLIFE members with the Online Learning Center — so that he can help you, and all our members, have a chance to become among the best golfers in the country.
Unlimited access to the golf course. And now, unlimited access to the best instruction in the world. This truly is the Great Life!
Follow this link for a special sneak peek. Mike will be fixing the dreaded slice, and adding more distance to you game, with a series of videos from all parts of the Online Learning Center.
P.S. – Also take a look at Mike’s first Book — “I Feel Your Pain”. Take advantage of the GreatLIFE discount of $20, using promo code GLSAVE20. It’s the perfect compliment to Mike’s teaching, and to your golf game.
Here’s to the GreatLIFE in 2015.

GreatLIFE Updates: A Successful Year One

Story provided by
Troy Klongerbo  

Announced on December 11, 2013, almost exactly one year ago, the GreatLIFE Malaska Golf & Fitness Club reports a successful year one.

Starting with 3 golf courses, a couple of fitness centers and a dream of changing the Sioux Empire golf scene, they ended 2014 with 12 courses in partnership, 5 fitness centers and plans for even more expansion in 2015. GreatLIFE General Manager Donn Hill is happy with their first year.

“This year has been a great success,” said Hill, in a phone interview last week. “Golf overall is in a bit of a decline, but rounds at GreatLIFE courses were up 48%. That’s something we’re proud of.”

With focuses placed on families and fitness, GreatLIFE was able to generate record numbers of couples, children and women at their facilities.

“We are shattering the old model for golf,” explained Hill about the program’s infrastructure.

“We appeal to a much larger audience with fitness and family centered activities. Through it, we are broadening the appeal for golf so now, it appeals to everyone. And GreatLIFE can also help these people achieve healthy lifestyles.”

With affordable, family, fitness focused golf, the perception of the GreatLIFE model was to “rack up golf courses” and let them just run themselves. The opposite is true.
The number of renovations to GreatLIFE related golf courses and fitness centers have made noise throughout the region.

Facility Improvements
Willow Run, which announced hosting the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge for next fall, is shaking everything up. They are improving almost all elements of the club.

First, the new practice facility. It will feature a new short game area with 3 greens, bunkering and the ability to hit 100 yard pitch shots. The putting green will be re-vamped. They will also be completely restoring the driving range. The new driving range will be visually more appealing while better protecting the holes surrounding it.

Also to be added, are “The Willows,” a 160-unit apartment complex adjacent to the golf course.

These changes are made in congruence with a brand new, 16,000 sq. ft clubhouse to be completed by next April/May. The old clubhouse was torn down in the fall. The clubhouse will feature 2 levels, with the lower level containing the fully-loaded fitness center. They also have plans to host a full-service restaurant within the clubhouse.

Next year, Willow Run has future plans for a 9-hole short course across the street.
In its 3rd year of renovation, all bunkering changes are complete at Bakker Crossing. Water hazards were also repositioned for a more playable golf course. In 2016, Bakker Crossing will be working to add a short course, similar to the one being added at Willow Run.

Central Valley GC in Hartford, SD also is undergoing upgrades. New cartpaths along with an added storm shelter and restroom facility. Re-shaping of certain tee boxes will give the course a fresh look come 2015.

In regards to the fitness center improvements, Woodlake Athletic Club will have brand new addition. Plans to enclose the pool and build a large training area, new childcare area and a new women’s locker room are underway. They will be converging the two existing locker rooms to make up the men’s locker room. GreatLIFE has added a new kids area called “The ZONE.”

Courses Added for 2015
GreatLIFE is always working to expand their impact and give golfers the opportunity to play more courses at affordable rates.

This fall, they were able to reach agreement with Worthington Country Club in Worthington, Minnesota– a 60 mile drive from Sioux Falls. It will be fully accessible for GreatLIFE members come 2015, along with the unlimited carts rate.

Price Changes for 2015 and New Policies
Memberships for the GreatLIFE will stay the exact same for the 2015 golf season– with one exception. There will be a reduction in the cart rates.

Last year, the pass for unlimited golf and fitness with a cart was $124.99. For 2015, the price will be $99.99.

GreatLIFE will also be putting into effect a new policy for 2015.

In 2014, Willow Run hosted 104 outings and Bakker Crossing hosted 55 outings. There were a few dates where both courses hosted events and Central Valley also hosted an event. This isn’t the way GreatLIFE wants to operate– so they made a change.

“Next year, we will be coordinating event dates between the courses in the Sioux Falls area,” Hill said of the new policy. “We are making a commitment to keeping a course available to our members every day of the golf season. Events are still great for us and our partners, but we will plan them in a way to give our members access to golf as well.”

This should be an initiative which will alleviate some of the problems encountered in 2014.
2015 looks to be another fantastic year for the members of GreatLIFE.