Crystal Lake Golf Club-Where Great Golf And Great Events Begin
By Tim Ryan
“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.
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.
Crystal Lake, a nifty William Gill & Associates designed facility, has a unique set of qualities that make it an outstanding brand of golf. One of 23 courses in Minnesota to be a “Certified Audobon Sanctuary Cooperative,” the golf course is surrounded by beauty. With seven ponds, and more bunkers than one can care to remember hitting into, “the lake” is a retreat for all to soak up and partake in.
Laid out throughout the hills and valleys of Lakeville, it has a little bit of everything all wrapped into a tidy package: smooth fairways and undulating greens, rolling terrain and deep rough, hidden bunkers and ponds. Oh, and lots of wildlife!
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 the golf ball swallowing water hazards that are blind from the teeing area.
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 to 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.
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 adequate driving range, and is an ultra efficient yet spacious landmark. The structure is equipped to host over 200 guests in Crystal Lake’s 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.”
Crystal Lake, where great golf and great events not only begin, but also where they come to an enjoyable end.