on the links. In addition to a large and well-stocked golf shop, there is entertainment on every level. The Legacy Bar seats 85, with great views of golf and multiple TVs for catching other sporting events. The Legacy Grille features a full menu for pre- or post-golf dining, and a pavilion can seat up to 250 for special events and par-ties. The clubhouse also features an Audubon Room and fireplace lounge for quiet relaxation.
If you’re on the lookout for even more golf, Cragun’s is part of the Brainerd Golf Trail. Within 45 minutes of each other are 11 outstanding golf courses, and the staff at Cragun’s can secure tee times on any of them for resort guests. The Brainerd area has been named one of the world’s top 50 golf destinations by Golf Digest. Cragun’s features a dedicated planning staff that can help you put together a dream golf vacation for groups of any size.
Aside from golf, Cragun’s Resort on Gull Lake is the largest four-season resort in Minnesota – or, as folks in Brainerd like to say, there’s more fun at Cragun’s than most anyplace in the Midwest. Activities and amenities include tennis, a Sports Centre and spa. A full-service marina includes fishing outfitters, tour operators and boat rentals. No matter what time of year you visit, there’s always plenty to do at Cragun’s.
Cragun’s Resort on Gull Lake also has a tempting selection of lodging options. From lakeside cabins to hotels with water-view balconies, choices range from one to five bedrooms to accommodate any group. The Beach Cabins are set along a sandy beach, with fire rings and a park-like setting. The lodge features a covered walkway to dining, the Sports Centre and an indoor
pool. Cragun’s also offers a Reunion House, with one level of private bedrooms and another level of dining and sitting areas with a pool table and ping pong for reunions and group functions.
Explore Minnesota Golf
With 280 PGA-staffed golf facilities, Minnesota has myriad playing opportunities for golfers. Some of the state’s leading golf destinations include the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Southern Minnesota, the Brainerd Lakes area and Giants Ridge in Northeastern Minnesota. Explore Minnesota Tourism, together with the state golf industry, provides excellent platforms for golfers to research and plan their next Minnesota golf vacation.
Golf is a major player in the Minnesota social fabric. Beside this week’s PGA Championship and the upcoming 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National, the sport makes an significant and ongoing contribution to the state’s economy. According to the Minnesota Golf Association, the state leads the nation in golfers per capita, and is the only state to have hosted all 13 USGA national championships, plus the Walker Cup, Curtis Cup and men’s and women’s state team championships. If that’s not enough to cement Minnesota’s status as a golf heavyweight, consider this: a golfer in the Northern Minnesota city of Hibbing consistently plays more rounds and posts more scores and any other golfer in the country.
A recent Minnesota Golf Economic Impact study showed the size of Minnesota’s direct golf economy to be approximately $1.2 billion per year, with golf-related tourism spending in the state amounting
to approximately $361 million each year. That puts golf on par with industries such as dairy products, printed circuit assembly, and accounting, tax and payroll services. Beyond its sport and recreational value, golf is at the heart of a major industry cluster that generates jobs, commerce, economic development and tax revenues for communities around the state.
Explore Minnesota Tourism, the Explore Minnesota Golf Alliance and the state golf association aim to reinforce and expand golf’s reach by making it easier to enjoy a golf vacation in the state. Log on to www.exploreminnesota.com for resources on golf- and non-golf vacations. For example, Minnesota boasts attractions that range from hundreds of unique golf courses to world-class shopping, historic sites, music and theater, and museums. Family vacations can include a visit to the Mall of America in Bloomington and a round of golf at a course near the Twin Cities. Or getaways can be built around the historic Brainerd Lakes resort region to the north, Dacotah Ridge to the southwest, or a group gaming trip to Grand Casino or Fortune Bay.
To browse a statewide list of courses in Minnesota, go to www.mngolf.org. And to view video of many of the state’s destination courses and resorts, log on to www.exploreminnesotagolf.com, and check out www.exploreminnesota.com to see an additional golf webisode.
Whether you are visiting for a day or have lived here your entire life, you will be sure to find something of interest to do or see in Minnesota. With so many places to play statewide, there’s always a golf course around the corner. ■