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GreatLife Announces Hiring of John Rawdon, Instructor Director
A lifetime member of the PGA and a Certified Professional (one step away from the ultimate achievement of Master Professional PGA), John Rawdon has been hired at the Green Hills Golf Course as Instructor Director. John will be the Lead Instructor for our Junior Golf Programs this summer at Green Hills. Click here to learn more about the summer junior golf programs. You may learn more about John Rawdon and his Instructional Program, Clinics, and Junior Golf Programs via his website and click here to sign up to receive John's newsletter and a chance to WIN a round of golf with John plus lunch at the course!

GreatLife KC Takes Over Green Hills Golf Course

Council Meeting 04/24/17 - Great Life KC, the firm that took over management of the city-owned Green Hills Golf Course and Fast Lane Family Entertainment Center at the first of the year, gave a favorable report to Chillicothe City Council members during the city's monthly finance meeting Monday evening at City Hall. Josh Black, of Great Life, reported that the company is ahead of target financially at the golf course. This is due, in part, to increased play, staff management, increased memberships, and by tracking costs accurately. "We've been able to reduce the cost structure substantially," Black said. "We make sure that very dollar that comes in goes where it's supposed to." He said that the mild winter and warm weather in early spring led to increased play and that staffing numbers are being properly maintained for the amount of work that needs to be done. He also stated that golf course membership numbers have increased this year and noted that the increase could be a result of the new payment option of a monthly draft being offered to members rather than an annual fee. Black said the company plans to improve the golf course greens. "We want the greens structures to be faster and smoother," he said. "Ultimately, we find that brings in more players and keeps more players." Black said employees are in the process of removing and trimming a few trees and studying what course of action to take regarding some of the deteriorating bridges. It was noted that golf leagues begin next week.

On the bowling side of management operations, Black stated that employees are taking inventory of items that have been in a back room storage and that there are plans to sell what is no longer needed. He also said there are plans to remove a shed on the property that is no longer needed. To boost bowling play, the company plans to start advertising discount promotions through Groupon.

Council Meeting 01/09/17 - With Great Life Kansas City taking over management of the city-owned Green Hills Golf Course, effective January 1, Chillicothe City Council members passed an ordinance Monday evening repealing the formation of the Golf Board. The city created the Golf Board to assist with management of the 18-hole course since its opening in the early 1990s. Golf Board members now, at the time of its dissolving, are Charles Bigler, Scott Ellis, Rollie Staldman, and Brooks Macoubrie. Along the same lines of repealing the ordinance establishing the Golf Board, the council on Monday unanimously voted to terminate a contract with Grand River Entertainment to manage the bowling alley. Grand River Entertainment was instrumental in establishing a bowling alley in Chillicothe about 12 years ago. Management of both these facilities are now under the direction of Great Life Kansas City. City Council members unanimously approved a personal services contract December 22 with Great Life Kansas City, LLC, to manage Green Hills Golf Course and Fast Lane Family Entertainment Center. The agreement states that the city desires to promote and provide for the management of both facilities and that Great Life is a professional golf course, fitness and recreation management company whose principals have experience and expertise related to golf course, fitness and recreational management and promotion. The agreement is for five years. In accordance with the agreement, Great Life will, in part, operate the facilities, collect and disburse the money, handle hiring and employment (all employees of the facilities will be employees of Great Life), promotion and management of the facilities, the purchase and sale of food beverages, merchandise, supplies and services, the purchase and maintenance of insurance coverage for its operations and equipment, the handling of disputes with third parties, the collection and payment of all appropriate taxes, the securing of all appropriate licenses and the performance of all other day-to-day activities relative to the facility. The five-year contract calls for the city to provide $4,000 a month for management of both facilities with the amount to increase each year. Great Life will provide a budget to the city and the city will provide the amount of money that will be used to manage both facilities. Great Life Kansas City is the manager of both facilities and all of the revenues collected through the facilities will go to the city, according to City Administrator Ike Holland. The administrator stated that the city expects to see savings on operational costs and has an expectation of revenues going up eventually. "The shortfall is so steep right now," he said, "we won't break even for several years. Golf courses, as a general rule, do not make money, but the goal is to reduce our loss as much as possible." Holland stated this management firm will be instrumental in reducing the city's losses in operating the facilities. "They have a record of success with other golf courses that they own or manage of reducing those costs and losses."

December 29, 2016 - City council recently approved management company, GreatLife KC, to take over management responsibilities of the Green Hills Golf Course and The Fast Lane Family Entertainment Center. The city council began hearing presenters this past fall to research the possibility of using a management company and to see if that avenue would be the right fit for the city owned golf course. GreatLife KC became an interesting candidate when it was learned that they also manage bowling alleys. Typically city owned entertainment venues, like bowling alleys and golf courses, are built to add to the quality of life for community members. But in the case of the Green Hills Golf Course, annual revenues were not covering annual expenses. So the city began their hunt for a management company and found one that could take the management of both venues off of the city's table of operational responsibilities.


GreatLife KC currently manages 14 other golf courses which gives them buying power that a lone golf course wouldn't have and the benefits of a marketing department focused on improving revenues year round. GreatLife KC takes over the Green Hills management effective January 1, 2017, on a five-year renewable contract. "What we're hoping for," said City Administrator Ike Holland, "is a 20 percent reduction in expenses and an 80 percent increase in revenues." It is expected to take two to three years to reach those goals, but GreatLife will have five years to improve those values.

With the new management company, the city's golf advisory board was eliminated along with the bowling alley advisory board (by Grand River Entertainment). Though they will likely be trained to the ways of the GreatLife KC management company, the employees of the golf course should remain mostly intact.

GOLF BOARD (5 members)
(Established 02 26 96)
Brian Sherrow
Rollie Stadlman
Brooks Macoubrie
Scott Ellis
Charles Bigler

2 Submit Golf Course Proposals
By Catherine Stortz Ripley

Representatives from two professional golf course management companies made presentations to Chillicothe City Council members during a workshop Tuesday evening at City Hall. The representatives highlighted their companies'  qualifications, identified potential areas for reducing expenses at Green Hills Golf Course, introduced ideas to boost course play and explained the documents each company submitted in response to the city's request for proposals to manage the city-owned course. Two companies submitted proposals: Great Life Golf and Fitness and Landscapes Unlimited. Both companies have experience of managing not only golf courses they own but also courses that are publicly owned.

C-T Photo Catherine Stortz Ripley

The city of Chillicothe is taking steps to seek a management company to manage the 18-hole golf course, pro shop, putting practice green and a full-service maintenance crew in an effort to scale back its subsidization from the city's general fund. While the course is part of the quality of life amenities offered in Chillicothe, the facility continues to go over annual budgets as revenues fall short of expenses. It is the city's hope that if the city shifts management to a professional outside firm that the course could maximize its public use without compromising the quality of service of maintenance at the facility, according to City Administrator Ike Holland. Based on the proposals discussed Tuesday evening, the cost of hiring a management firm is similar to the cost of having a full-time golf manager, Holland stated. Both proposals also include financial incentives for increased golf play as well as sales of merchandise and concession items. The council will further discuss the proposals during their regular council meeting Monday evening at City Hall. The council will likely decide whether to explore a contract and begin negotiations with one of the management firms or decide to continue with the process of a golf course manager. If the council opts against the management firm arrangement, the city will then begin advertising for a full-time golf course manager. The previous course manager recently resigned to take employment elsewhere.

City Exploring Options for Golf Course Management
October 7, 2016

A recent vacancy at Green Hills Golf Course has created an opportunity for Chillicothe officials to consider a change in how the course is managed. The city is now advertising a request for proposals for the professional management of the course and is seeking a golf course management company to take the reins of operation in hopes of improving margins and scaling back its subsidization from the general fund. "We're going to look at that idea as a possible option," said City Administrator Ike Holland. "A management company might be able to find areas of waste or improve some things that maybe we didn't recognize."

The city-owned and operated golf course opened in 1993 and is considered by many to be a nice amenity to have available in Chillicothe. However, the golf course continues to go over annual budgets, as revenues fall short of expenses. To keep the course open, money comes from unscheduled transfers, from the city's general fund. Golf course revenues are up more than 6 percent from five years ago in 2011. However, the 2015-16 fiscal year-end audits show that after $537,407.11 in revenues, the city still needed to help subsidize golf course expenses. According to City Auditor Theresa Kelly, $171,786 was already budgeted to account for golf course losses and will be transferred from the city's general fund. In addition, the year-end audit also shows that the scheduled transfer was not enough to subsidize expenses and that an additional $59,157.49 will have to be transferred to clear the shortfall.

The city intends to seek an operator to manage the 18 hole golf course, pro shop, putting practice green and a full-service maintenance crew. "Potential operators would be expected to maximize the public use of the course and the revenues there from without compromising the quality of service or maintenance at the facility," the request states. The facility "adds to the quality of life that we have here in Chillicothe," said Holland. "We're a very active community."

Interested parties should send seven copies of their qualifications and proposal of services to city hall, ATTN: City Administrator Ike Holland, 715 Washington Street, Chillicothe MO 64601 no later than 5:00 PM on the 17th of October 2016. Three RFQs will be selected to present to the council in person prior to the end of October 2016. A date and time TBD later. For questions, please call Ike Holland at 660-646-2424 or

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