5 Best Reasons To Visit Crystal Lake Golf Course
By Tim Cotroneo
If you are going to build a golf course, the smart money says to plant stakes in a community that is positioned to grow. When Crystal Lake Golf Course in Lakeville opened in 1995, the city’s population was around 40,000 residents. In 2019, Lakeville is one of the fasting growing suburbs in the Twin Cities area with a population percolating at over 61,000.
Today’s Crystal Lake Golf Course is pedaling as fast as it can to keep pace with a healthy golf audience. If it’s been awhile since you’ve played one of the Twin Cities most popular southern metro courses you’ll find that Crystal Lake’s banquet facilities, bar area, outdoor patio, driving range, instructional expertise, course conditions, and even an under the radar honey operation are all state-of-the-art.
At a golf course that literally buzzes day and night, it’s hard to narrow down its main drawing card or what may appeal to Ms. or Mr. Golfer the most. One thing is for sure, Crystal Lake is one of Minnesota’s best values for great golf, as well as before and after round celebrations.
- Golf By Gill
When Crystal Lake’s founders went all in on a golf course design almost 25 years ago, they considered several of the Midwest’s top architects. The goal was the best 18-hole design on 160 prime Dakota County acres.
Architect Garret Gill was selected based on his exquisite portfolio of 225 golf courses designed across 33 states. Gill molded a 6,300-yard layout that features pine trees, wetlands, and what now includes an Audubon Certified Sanctuary.
In addition to Crystal Lake’s well-maintained tee boxes, fairways, bunkers, and greens, golfers can take maximum advantage of the course’s superior practice facilities. In addition to a massive practice green, Crystal Lake also features a huge targeted driving range.
Crystal Lake is led by Jim Orlando, a long-time golf operations manager who serves as an amiable and tireless presence for members and newcomers alike. When he is not tweaking or polishing Crystal Lake’s amenities and services to make the course better, this former Boston resident can share a story or two about his beloved Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins.
- Instruction As Good As It Gets
If you look out on the driving range, practice green, or golf course, chances are good that you’ll see Sheryl Maize enhancing a golfer’s game. What’s amazing is that Maize’s teaching reputation generates a dawn to dusk annual wait list for her services.
Maize was not only a top collegiate golfer herself, but she has studied, trained under, and picked the brains of golf’s best. The result is a teaching style that places a premium on listening first and then prescribing a fluid instruction repertoire based on an individual’s unique wants and needs.
Maize has garnered a wealth of awards over the years, as well as reaped a bevy of testimonials from grateful men, women, and junior golfers. Her favorite tribute is hearing that her next lesson arrived based on a success story from a friend. What’s even better is when she hears that a new or long-time golfer has found joy for the game.
- Banquets, Weddings, Tournaments, and Meetings
For years, Crystal Lake has been known as the go-to place for golf tournaments. Over the past decade, the course’s 250-seat banquet facility has transitioned to become a south metro top venue for wedding receptions, reunions, memorials, special events, and meetings.
The Crystal Lake extras that one can expect include a special gazebo on the 10th fairway for wedding ceremonies, an expansive glass wall showcasing the outdoor patio area, and top-notch dining.
- The Pub
Two years ago, Crystal Lake invested big time in their bar area, and the result is The Pub, one of Lakeville’s favorite watering holes. Golfers and neighborhood residents frequent this great place to relax, sip a favorite beverage, and savor a tasty bite to eat.
Complementing The Pub is Crystal Lake’s huge patio, which offers scenic golf course views that stretch for miles. In addition to watching your favorite sporting event on the big screen television, guests can expect daily Happy Hours and evenings that feature trivia, bingo, cornhole toss, cribbage, and Connect 4.
- What’s the Buzz?
June, July, and August are the months that are always jumping at Crystal Lake. A new development at Crystal Lake Golf Course is an under the radar enterprise that generated 150 bottles last summer. No, this wasn’t moonshine. Long-time Superintendent Jim Temple added the title of Beekeeper to his resume last summer.
Just beyond the driving range, Temple’s bees deliver high grade honey that sells out in the pro shop. So in addition to sweet golf, sweet instruction, and sweet banquet facilities, the sweet sound heard when driving through Lakeville is the Crystal Lake Golf Course team buzzing like bees.