Craguns Resort - Dutch Legacy Course
|White (W)||72||5802 yards||74.3||134|
|Gold (W)||72||5391 yards||72.6||130|
|Black M: 73.9/142||388||518||392||215||465||239||517||135||523||3392||456||388||185||566||460||181||546||158||547||3487||6879|
|Blue M: 70.8/135||370||506||318||171||445||143||491||120||496||3060||427||366||155||480||431||167||492||135||519||3172||6232|
|White M: 69.0/126 W: 74.3/132||345||490||293||119||427||117||449||100||470||2810||396||350||148||443||360||148||465||125||474||2909||5719|
|Gold M: 67.1/122 W: 72.0/128||305||470||290||111||400||107||419||95||445||2642||375||330||138||440||320||136||440||120||450||2749||5391|
|Red M: 64.7/117 W: 68.9/121||298||404||288||78||305||103||389||91||403||2359||334||281||107||437||260||82||430||115||417||2463||4822|
Food & BeverageBar, Restaurant
Golf Advisor: Top Courses in Minnesota
Cragun's (Dutch Legacy) - (Slightly) Better of the Two Cragun's Courses!
The Good: Cragun’s Resort is a multi-faceted summer vacation spot primarily for those coming up from the Twin Cities area. Part of the allure is the 45-holes of championship golf that is the flagship attraction, with 36 regulation “Legacy” holes designed by the great Robert Trent Jones II back in the late 90’s. The Dutch Legacy, named after Cragun’s founder, is an extremely interesting track with its most aesthetic holes adjacent to Legacy Lake. Great, short Par-4’s, especially the 3rd & 11th holes & some of the nicer Par-3’s in the Brainerd Lakes area. Very good course conditions and large greens with enough undulation to keep you awake, but not unfair. Nice, expansive clubhouse with huge pro shop and Legacy grill has good eats for the price. One of the better values of all the Brainerd area courses. Excellent GPS.
The Bad: The practice area and Par-3 course are across the street and not very conducive to a warm-up session prior to your round. Pace of play was an issue throughout the 54 holes that we played at Cragun’s. The 5th hole might be the most demanding hole of the 180-holes I played on our golf trip and probably should be considered a Par-5 for most amateur golfers.
The Verdict: The Dutch Legacy course is the better of the two courses, mainly due to its exceptional scenery and extremely stimulating, strategic design. I really enjoyed several of the “risk-reward” aspects of the course. Third best course we played in the Brainerd area (behind Deacon’s Lodge and The Classic).
Best Hole: While I really enjoyed the short Par-4’s, the Par-5 16th is my favorite hole at the entire Cragun’s resort. You have two options: Play it safe on the left side or hit a cut drive that challenges the hazard on the right. It gives you the chance to hit the green in two (which I did) and go for an eagle or birdie. Tons of fun!
What a Beautiful Course!
What a beautiful course! Dutch Legacy at Cragun’s Resort is an excellent example of northwoods Minnesota golf. Wide, expansive undulating fairways, stands of mature trees, and lots of marshy areas that you will have to carry either off the tee or on the approach to the green. The view from almost every tee is picture-worthy. And some views make you want to be the last in your group to tee off. Those marshy carries can be intimidating, especially the many cape-like holes where you can take on as much of the marsh as you dare in order to have a shorter second shot. The other danger, of course, is going through the fairway if you choose a shorter carry and ending up in the marsh or woods on the other side of the fairway. Luckily, there are six sets of tees, so you can choose the one that best suits your game and your length off the tee. Don’t let false pride cost you too many balls! Once you’re on the green, the fun is just beginning. The greens aren’t overly fast, but just moderately speedy. Most of them have a back to front slope, and you definitely don’t want to be above the hole. The GPS units on the riding carts can be very helpful, because they show the exact distance to the pin. If you find yourself with a relatively straight putt, the greens run very true, so get it to the cup with a confident stroke. One of those “don’t be above the pin” holes is the short par 3 eighth, which is only 120 yards from the “combo” tees. Standing on the tee box you see nothing but a sea of sand fronting the green on both sides. You don’t want to be short in the sand, so the tendency is to go long, and then you’ll be above the pin. Try for a two-putt and move on. The par 4 fourteenth hole is interesting because it has two greens. Depending on which one you’re playing you’ll either have a dicey approach shot over a marsh (380 yards total) or a much easier and shorter shot (318 yards total) over land to the green. The 492 yard par 5 sixteenth features two fairway approaches separated by a marshy area. The right fairway is shorter, but the second shot must fit into a very narrow area to set up an approach shot over the marsh to the green. The left fairway is “safer” but a little longer. The clubhouse at the course is first-rate, with a very well stocked pro shot and an excellent bar and grill operation with lots of seating both inside and outside where one can enjoy the view. This was my second time playing this course. The first time I was just overwhelmed by the whole experience and so missed out on many of the nuances of the course and the beauty of the design and strategy that Robert Trent Jones, Jr. built into the course. I will definitely be back when I can.
Is Dutch Legacy the best of Cragun's?
While Bobby's Legacy has more holes on the scenic Legacy Lake, Dutch Legacy seems to get the nod from most golfers as the best course on property.
It's a nice mix of fun, scenery and challenge that's probably a tad more playable.
Robert Trent Jones Jr. - the designer of both - conjured up a boatload of strategy in the routing: The layup to a narrow fairway on the short third hole, two greens on the 14th hole, a risk-reward drive over bunkers on no. 11 and a split fairway on the par-5 16th.
All in all, you can't go wrong with either course at Cragun's. They're both 4 1/2 stars and worth adding to any Brainerd golf itinerary.