The links style layout at The Landings at Spirit Golf Club provides St. Louis area golfers with some interesting playing conditions. And, as regular visitors to the course can attest, those playing conditions may change from day to day, depending on the wind and speed of the greens.
Because of changes in the wind, there are days at The Landings where players may see a three club difference in approach shots on the same hole from one round to the next.
The wind also gives the par-72 course some bite, even though it plays only 6,788 yards from the tips and 5,898 yards from the middle tees. The wind forces players to be precise with club selection and ball placement. It also can cause the course to play longer on certain days, contributing to the feeling that golfers are almost playing a different course each time they tee it up at The Landings at Spirit Golf Club.
But it’s those fast, impressive bent grass greens that draw players back to The Landings at Spirit.
The greens at The Landings are among the fastest in the St. Louis area, sometimes reaching a 10 reading or higher on the Stimp meter, depending in part on the heat of the day and whether the wind is drying the greens.
And the greens are large, making for some interesting approach shots. Players want to be precise with iron shots to avoid a challenging putt over a large distance on the fast putting surface, as many of the greens on the course have two tiers.
In total, the 18 greens at The Landings at Spirit occupy nearly five acres of space, which is close to double that of a typical golf course. Three of the greens on the course are double greens – holes 2 and 8, holes 4 and 6, and holes 3 and 7 – further emphasizing the feel of a Scottish links course.
To prepare for the challenging greens at The Landings at Spirit, players can work on their putting on the course’s huge putting green. It occupies about 0.75 of an acre with features similar to what you’ll find on the course’s greens. You also can work at the chipping green, a bunker with a 6-foot depth, and a long bunker.
The Landings at Spirit Golf Club sits parallel to the runway at the Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield, Missouri. And the course plays up its proximity to the airport and airplanes by naming each of the five sets of tees after different military planes: Hornet, Harrier II, Phantom II, Super Connie, and Super Cub.
The Landings has several memorable holes, highlighted by the par-5 11th hole. It measures 553 yards from the back tees and 513 yards from the middle tees, making it the second longest hole on the course. It has a three-tiered green with out of bounds on the right. A series of mounds provides protection for the green.
You’ll find several high risk/reward holes at The Landings at Spirit too, as a handful of the par-4 holes are drivable, including the first hole. It measures 359 yards from the back and 300 yards from the middle tees. Other potential drivable par-4 holes include the sixth hole (320 yards from the back tees), 10th hole (358 yards from the back tees), 14th hole (340 yards from the back tees), and 15th hole (354 yards from the back tees).
In addition to its golf offerings, The Landings at Spirit also hosts a variety of events. Jaclyn Tripp, the Assistant Manager and Special Events Coordinator at The Landings at Spirit, says the course has greatly expanded its event hosting efforts in the past couple of years. The course hosts weddings, receptions, showers, banquets, and parties, as well as a variety of other events.
“We’ve broadened out to meetings, seminars, training sessions, and more,” Tripp says. “We have a lot of people who ask to do photo sessions too.”
The golf club can host events indoors as well as outdoors. Tripp says the course makes use of a 40-by-80-foot outdoor tent for gatherings that those who book the course often cite as their favorite aspect of the event.
“With a large event with 200 to 250 people, we can host that event [in the tent] and with the great lighting effects we have,” Tripp says. “And what’s better than being 10 feet from the golf course? It’s kind of like a little park setting. So you are literally right here by the course.”
The Landings at Spirit has a bar and grill area that caters to golfers and that serves burgers, brats, and hot dogs.
“It’s a simple menu for the golfers,” Tripp says.
For catering for its events, The Landings at Spirit has an extensive menu of food options, including grilled chicken, salmon, and pork, as well as gluten free and vegetarian options. The catering menu includes full meals, as well as appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, and bar services.
“Last year we had six weddings,” Tripp says. “This year, we had doubled up on the marketing, and we have 24 or 25 weddings. We’re definitely growing and looking to expand. I am crossing my fingers that we can double and triple the following year too.”
Tripp says some renovations are planned on The Landings at Spirit course this year, although the timing is still unsure. She says the increased number of events that the course is able to host allows for making extra renovations, meaning golfers are able to benefit from the events too, even if they don’t directly participate.
For those who want to learn more about the latest golfing related events at The Landings, Tripp says the course’s Facebook page is a great place to check. She says the course even has themed weeks for golfers that are announced on the Facebook page. Additional information about the events at the course are available on the club’s main web site (www.landingsatspirit.com) and at its events site (landingsatspirit.wixsite.com/thelandingsevents).