11000 Craguns Drive, Brainerd, Minnesota 56401, US
(218) 316-7005
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About Cragun’s Hotel & Resort on Gull Lake

Cragun’s Hotel & Resort on Gull Lake is one of the best golf resorts in Brainerd three hours north of the Twin Cities. Cragun’s lakeside lodging options include cabins and hotel-style rooms. Five- to 12-bedroom homes can be rented within the Homes at the Legacy community. The marina is popular in summer with boating, water skiing, fishing and swimming. A new yacht with two levels and two bars offers cruises around the lake. Hiking, biking, tennis and sports at the Indoor Sports Centre are also options. Dutch’s Legacy and Bobby’s Legacy and a unique reversible nine-hole routing all operate out of the same clubhouse.

Facts

Price Range$$$
Property Class★★★★
Year Opened1940
Number of Units100-300

Amenities & Services

RestaurantsCasual, Fine, Bar
Room TypesRoom, Suite
PoolIndoor
TennisYes
Fitness CenterYes
Practice FacilityYes
Beach AccessYes
Banquet SpaceYes
SpaYes

Rules

Is the resort pet friendly?No
Is resort stay required for a tee time?No

Golf courses at Cragun’s Hotel & Resort on Gull Lake

Reviews

4.1
8 Reviews (8)
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Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
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Played On
Reviews 157
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Top 25 Contributor
Chicago Advisor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Cragun's (Bobby's Legacy) - Fun, Sporty RTJ-II Brainerd Lakes Track!

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 “Bobby’s Legacy” course is named after Robert Trent Jones Jr, father and is certainly the more “sporty” of the two designs with several fairly easy, drivable Par 4’s and picturesque closing 6 holes that surround the Legacy Lake. 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 Par-3’s, other than the 9th, are fairly forgettable. Service and staff, while very nice, was still lacking. There were multiple times that we weren’t picked up on-time or at all for our shuttles.

The Verdict: The Bobby Legacy course is a solid addition to the Brainerd area and many consider it to be the best of the two courses at Cragun’s. I side with Dutch Legacy, but this certainly is an enjoyable track, especially for the longer hitter.

Best Hole: The Par-3 9th is the most photographed hole at the resort, but the best hole is the short Par-5 10th hole. You can take advantage of a cut drive to the far-right fairway and try to go for the green in two, or you can play conservatively to the left and attack a green that is engulfed by sand and pond short.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Average
Pace Average
Amenities Good
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 157
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Top 25 Contributor
Chicago Advisor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

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!

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Average
Amenities Good
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 108
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 50 Contributor
Minnesota Advisor
Previously Played
Wet weather
Used cart

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.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 512
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Golf Advisor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

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.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 94
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Top 100 Contributor
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Used cart

Pleasant experience

Course conditions were excellent. Greens were quite fast, but were puttable even with numerous ridges and swales. Only a few forced carries and mostly reasonable. Lots of doglegs, some with quite an angle. Good use of the elevations. Last 6 holes quite scenic. GPS in cart a plus.

Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Fair
Pace Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 108
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 50 Contributor
Minnesota Advisor
First Time Playing
Good weather
Used cart

Beautiful Resort Course

Bobby's Legacy golf course at Cragun's Resort is an excellent example of a Minnesota resort course. The Robert Trent Jones, Jr. design features expansive undulating fairways, lots of water and woods, and large, fast greens with subtle (and some not-so-subtle) contours. The course is visually stunning, with lake views on many holes. With five par 5 holes and only four par 3's, the course plays to a par of 73. This was my first time to play the course, and it quickly became clear that some thought off the tee is required before deciding which club to take and where to try to place the tee shot. On several holes, it might be better to take a long iron or hybrid off the tee. With a good result, you'll have only a mid to short iron left to reach the green. On the other hand, the 200-plus yard par 3 15th may require a driver off the tee for most average golfers. Don't let false pride keep you from making par on this hole. By contrast, the par 3 9th hole is only 112 yards from the elevated back tees. The peninsula green, with water on three sides, demands a precise tee shot. On a windy day my foursome, which included two single-digit handicappers, managed to leave only one ball on the green. The finishing hole is a classic risk-reward par-5, where you can challenge as much of the marsh as you dare on your tee shot. You can then try for the green in two, or lay up for a better chance to avoid the bunkers and hazard surrounding the green with a good wedge shot. You can then head to the clubhouse, where you can have a cold Minnesota brew on the patio, and watch other poor souls try to keep their balls on that pesky 9th green.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 34
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0

Outstanding Course

Great course, especially with a deal from Golf now. Excellent conditions, great greens. Play it every year and have not been disapointed.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Fair
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 6
Handicap 15-19
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
2.0
Verified Purchaser

Only issue is slowwwwww female 5-some on date of our tee time

I have found this to be my favorite course to play in the Brainerd area on a regular basis. I have only had one complaint and that is when they allow a very slow 5-some of women to play in front of a 4-some that is 20 handicap average. What should have been a 3.5 hour round stretched into a almost 5 hour round. I am very surprised as up to that time this was the most enjoyable course to play in the area. This ruined what was to be a fantastic golf round. It is unacceptable for a course of this caliber to allow this, especially on a busy day where tee times were booked all day. Not only were we slowed down but the 2 foursomes behind us had the same issue. Also, the slowwwww women group would not allow us to play through, another serious offense that should have been addressed by the course.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Poor
Difficulty Moderate
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