New Owner for Western Hills in Topeka

Rick Farrant and his wife, Linda, have bought Western Hills Golf Course for an undisclosed sum. The Farrants acquired the 18-hole facility in Topeka, Kans., from Torrey and Jennifer Head.

The couple own Ozawkie, Kans.-based GreatLife Golf & Fitness. They plan to use current staff to operate the course, pro shop, driving range and its Sand Trap Bar & Grill. Torrey Head's brother - Murray Head - will continue to run the pro shop and clubhouse.

"Jennifer and Torrey and Murray have done a great job, and we want to continue that," Rick Farrant said.

Farrant added that he plans to close a restaurant on the course called Aboud's and convert it into a new fitness facility. The new facility will contain a fitness center with men's and women's saunas, cardio and weight equipment, aerobic rooms and locker rooms. Farrant hopes to open the fitness center in a couple of months, adding that GreatLife is also considering building a gymnasium and an indoor pool.

Farrant got his start in golf by becoming a night water boy nearly 30 years ago at Western Hills, which was then known as Cedar Crest Country Club. He later worked as a superintendent before teaming up with his wife and his brother, Gary Farrant, to form GreatLife Golf & Fitness.

The acquisition of Western Hills brings GreatLife's holdings to seven golf courses and six fitness centers. In addition to Western Hills, the company's golf facilities include: Berkshire Athletic & Golf in Topeka; Prairie View Country Club in Topeka; Lake Perry Country Club, Ozawkie; LPCC Fitness 24/7, Meriden; Chisholm Trail Athletic & Golf, Abilene; Maple Creek Athletic & Golf, Kansas City, Mo.; and River Oaks Athletic and Golf, Grandview, Mo.