Majestic Oaks – Big Old M.O.
By R.J. Smiley
Majestic Oaks Golf Club, “M.O.” dates back almost 50 years to the early 1960s when a group of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company executives, with a love for golf, conceived and built The Golden Tee Golf Course in the remote suburb of Ham Lake. When first opened, the original 18-holes, designed by Charles Maddox, (later named the Platinum course, now named the Signature course) was one of the biggest and best public golf courses in the Twin Cities area. When stretched to the tips, this 7,013 yard monster, with spongy fairways and the ever-present wind, was more golf course than most low handicappers could handle in the days of balata balls and persimmon woods. With a course rating of 74.3 and a slope of 137, it quickly earned a reputation as big and tough track. When “The Players,” the money game that moved around the Twin Cities, wanted to play for the big bucks they traveled to Ham Lake where they were warmly welcomed.
Over the years, M.O. has had a variety of owners with their own unique management styles. But, the owner who has left the most finger prints on M.O. was Larry Carlson, owner of Woodland Development Company. Larry purchased M.O. in the early 70’s, with a clear vision about the future of golf and the experience of a savvy real estate developer. During his tenure, he added another full 18-holes and a par-3 nine to complement his real estate development. The 18-hole, Crossroads Course, was designed by Garrett D. Gill to be more player friendly than its big brother the Signature course, winds its way through townhomes built by Woodland Development and across and under the development’s streets. Playing to just under 6,400 yards from the longest tees, many golfers especially, seniors and women, find the Crossroads more fun to play than the Signature.
In the early 90’s Larry Carlson sold M.O. to American Golf Corporation, a New York Stock Exchange company, with a business plan to own and manage golf courses across America. After the hay days of golf in the 80’s, the golf business suffered from too many golf courses having been built and a stagnant growth in new players. American Golf was forced to liquidate its golf course portfolio. Today, the current management group, Eagle Golf Management, has the right attitude for a BIG public golf operation in the very competitive golf market of today. With Eagle’s company wide commitment to customer service with its guiding principal of Deliver The Difference with “Radical Hospitality” and “Best Price Guarantee” on the price of hard goods this company understands the “BUSINESS OF GOLF”.
Dan Jacott, M.O.’s manager, is proud of the fact that his facility with 45-holes of golf, a huge clubhouse and experienced staff can serve up to 600 people for a sit down meal. They can multi-task with a golf tournament with meal and awards presentation going on at the same time as a wedding with full reception. On days that M.O. does not have a tournament, it is a wonderful place to play with a lot of history. So the next time you want an enjoyable round of golf or a place to hold your company’s golf tournament think of the BIG OLD M.O.