Hard not to think of Dorothy’s famous words from that movie all us Kansans hate to love. When driving through the quaint town of Marion, the feeling you aren’t in Kansas anymore is tough to shake.
Nestled along the outskirts of the scenic Flint Hills, this place seems like it was plucked from upstate New York and dropped onto the rolling prairie. The streets of Marion twist and turn through the dells of central Kansas, deviating from the standard square grid so familiar to most places in this part of the country. The ancient buildings, built of native stone and standing several stories tall, tower over the cozy downtown park and the welcoming shops of Main Street. That part of town sets the vibe for this place and just feels different.
If you follow the winding Main Street east of downtown, you’ll arrive at one of the community’s gems: the Marion Country Club. This place has a foreign feel to it too. The rolling landscape takes you back to a time when golf courses were dictated more on the lay of the land rather than the blade of a bulldozer. According to Mal Elliott in his book 100 Years of Kansas Golf, the course was opened in 1920. One year later in 1921, The Topeka State Journal listed Marion among towns boasting a “well regulated country club and carefully laid out links.” It will be obvious from the time you step on the first tee that this place is something special. Just like Marion as a community, it seems like this course is a transplant from another place and another time.
For over a century, the Marion Country Club has been the welcoming environment for generations of residents and visitors to the charming central Kansas community. This is the place they play; this is the place they call home.
And, while it may not feel like Kansas anymore the first time you take a trip to Marion to play this spectacular nine-hole golf course, I can assure you that it will feel like home. And that there is no place quite like it…
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