Area Golf: Cragun's keeps golf alive year round | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Area Golf: Cragun's keeps golf alive year round

Posted: November 29, 2013 - 10:54pm
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Annika Christiansen uses the golf simulator at Cragun's Legacy Courses Clubhouse in East Gull Lake.
Annika Christiansen uses the golf simulator at Cragun's Legacy Courses Clubhouse in East Gull Lake.

EAST GULL LAKE — Golf season is over in the Brainerd lakes area.

Or is it?

The staff at Cragun’s Legacy Courses in East Gull Lake have taken the game indoors to keep golf relevant during the cold months.

A golf simulator and an added lesson bay used by Chris Foley of Chris Foley Golf Schools and his TrackMan technology have been set up in the Legacy Clubhouse. Golf enthusiasts can take lessons, hit the range, play Pebble Beach or any of the 39 other courses available on the simulator’s software package.

A small concession stand has been set up behind the check-in counter, chairs and tables surround the two bays and tee times are two hours apart — or the estimated time it takes to play 18 holes of simulated golf.

“If you just want to come in and play golf you can play one of 40 golf courses, plus there is a driving range mode, where you can just hit balls on the range,” said Foley. “Then there is a fun deal where it’s like a test center where you can hit shots to different targets and it will score you on that.”

The cost is $40 per hour or $10 per player in a foursome.

Foley is offering a package for up to 10 people that includes use of both bays for two hours and golf tips for each member at $190 for the entire group.

Unlike the older golf simulator models, the putting aspect of Cragun’s two-year old model is more accurate. It’s so life-like there is a function for fans of the mini golf variety.

“You can also do miniature golf on it as well, which is something that is a lot of fun,” said Foley. “My little girl Katie is going to have her birthday party here and they’re going to play miniature golf.”

For those hoping to tackle more prominent courses, Cragun’s software offers Pebble Beach, TPC Sawgrass, site of the The Players Championship, the Stadium course at TPC Scottsdale, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, Pete Dye’s Teeth of the Dog in the Dominican Republic and more.

Foley is offering winter-long lesson programs. He said his biggest one now is his high school program, which is called future champions.

“With the simulator and TrackMan it simulates the ball flight so it’s as real of a golf experience as you can get without being outside,” Foley said. “TrackMan is a little more accurate than the simulator. The distances and the curve are almost identical. The diagnostics are a little more accurate on TrackMan. Things like where the clubface is on contact and what the path was.

“At the end of January and beginning of February when we start getting the new clubs in we’ll be doing fittings as well, but right now my biggest focus is on the high school program. I am getting a lot of individual lessons for people who are heading south for a few months, too.”

The simulator is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Cragun’s will be hosting a two-man team league and the simulator will be open later for that. As for lessons, Foley can be available at any time.

JEREMY MILLSOP, sports writer, may be reached at 855-5856 or jeremy.millsop@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop.