McCrite Plaza resident Dean Duling placed his club against the golf ball, sized up the distance and angle to the cup and then gave it a swing. Duling, an 89-year-old retired construction contractor, watched as the ball rolled within a few inches of its destination.
Waiting for their turns at the 5-hole putting green — 10 holes if you reverse play — on the east edge of the McCrite Plaza grounds were owner Pat McCrite and resident Delno Malmstrom, a 93-year-old retired chiropractor and longtime friend of Duling.
“This gives me something to do, and I can be active,” Duling said. “It makes my day better.”
Before moving into the senior living community at 1608-1610 S.W. 37th St., Malmstrom and Duling played golf together. They and other residents approached McCrite about the possibility of installing a putting green on the grounds.
“We have a history of doing things like this,” McCrite said.
About 20 years ago, a par-3 golf course was installed on the southwest edge of the property for a female resident who was a former Kansas amateur golf champion. That par-3 course is now the site of a stocked fishing pond.
The new putting green — made of all-weather materials — was installed in mid-August. A cement walkway and bench were later added.
The putting green is named The Postage Stamp, which refers to a short par-3 course at the Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland and is in sync with the Scottish-Irish decor of the senior community, McCrite said.
The putting green has been a hit. Duling said he spends about a half-hour every day on the putting green.
“It’s a good way to exercise,” Malmstrom added. “I play every morning and sometimes in the afternoon.”
Have their games improved since August?
“It’s improved a little bit,” Malmstrom said. To which Duling quipped: “Mine’s in my imagination.”
McCrite Plaza, which has about 150 residents, provides independent and assisted living, home health care, rehabilitation therapy and long-term skilled nursing. Other recent upgrades to the campus include interior and exterior paint, renovations to the rehab unit, additional parking and new roofing.
And more suggestions are coming in.
“A group of ladies now want an outdoor shuffleboard,” McCrite said.
Contact niche editor Jan Biles at (785) 295-1292.