Crystal Lake – A Crystal Clear Choice
By Seamus McGee
“Have you played Crystal Lake in Lakeville?” A golfing friend asked me a couple of weeks ago. “Ain’t never been, but I’d sure like to go,” I sung in my best Jimmy Buffet voice. “Oh, man, you will love the place!” he told me with excitement. And so, an early morning trip to Crystal Lake Golf Club in Lakeville was scheduled for a few days later.
Crystal Lake, a nifty William Gill & Associates design in Lakeville has a unique set of qualities that make it an outstanding brand of golf. One of just 23 courses in Minnesota to be a “Certified Audubon Sanctuary Cooperative,” Crystal Lake is surrounded by beauty on all four corners of the map. With seven ponds and more bunkers than a golfer will want to remember hitting into, “The Lake” is a nice change of pace for all to partake in.
Laid out through the hills and valleys and a sweet little neighborhood in Lakeville, Crystal Lake has a little bit of everything all wrapped into a nice tidy package. Smooth fairways, hidden bunkers, well manicured tee boxes, rolling terrain, several sweet views, and a fun set of golf holes are hallmarks of Crystal Lake’s surroundings.
Arriving on the property just as the sun came up, and peering down the first fairway as I entered the clubhouse, it was clear that my man was right. “Our course rating is 70.8, and par is 71, if that tells you anything,” the pro shop attendant told me as I inquired about the golf course before teeing it up. “It can be sneaky, but I think you will enjoy it a lot.” That man, too, was right.
While the yardage from the furthest back tees is just a touch above 6,300 yards, the course feels like it is a lot longer. This is, in part, because Crystal Lake has a couple of short par 3 holes to give the golfer a little breather, but also due to a few golf ball swallowing water hazards that are blind from the teeing area.
What stands out about it most as a golf course, though, is that CLGC is the type of facility which is able to cater to all types of players. With fairway run -ups to nearly all of the greens, it is a perfect place for juniors, ladies, and seniors who are not quite able to fly the ball all the way to the hole. Plus, it has plenty of character and provides a good challenge for the accomplished golfer, as well. And the expansion of what used to be a fairly small driving range has added space for 10 more golfers who have longed for a better practice facility to come hone their game.
The front nine, which begins and ends with a par five, is a crafty creation that provides magnificent views of a land faraway. The back nine, a sweet little treat, sends golfers out into the trees where one forgets they are in the middle of a vibrant city and golfing adjacent to a major thoroughfare. Of the two, the outward nine is more fun to play, but it’s true that a golfer likes a set of holes more when they play them well. Wink, wink.
However, it is not only the golf that is impressive at Crystal Lake. General Manager, Lorie Kjergaard, an expert and veteran golf course operator, pays attention to detail every step of the way, with strong customer service initiatives that ensure satisfaction for both members and guests. Equally impressive is the amazing display of commitment from Sheryl Maize, LPGA Teaching Professional. Sheryl is one of the finest golf instructors in the state of Minnesota, and her vibrant junior program continues to help grow the game of golf by creating passion for the game in youngsters.
And for those who like to soak up the sun with their suds after the round, one needs to sit no further than the back deck of the clubhouse, which overlooks the driving range, and is an ultra efficient yet spacious landmark.
Looking for a facility to host your wedding, reception or event? Crystal Lake is equipped to host over 200 guests in the Crystal Room, their magnificent ballroom, and meals for the occasion can be customized to satisfy the guests of honor. “We take a lot of pride in our talented kitchen staff,” said Mr. Kjergaard. “Our ability to customize menus and décor to the specific needs of our guests is a staple of our service.” Best of all and NEW for this season at Crystal Lake is a quaint gazebo for brides and grooms to host their ceremony outdoors at a beautifully manicured location just off the 10th tee box.
Crystal Lake, where great golf and great events not only begin, but also where they come to an enjoyable end.