Minnesota’s Cragun’s Resort opens Lehman 18 course

  • Cragun's Resort
    Cragun’s Resort

    Tom Lehman tees off at the official opening of the Lehman 18 at Cragun’s Resort in Minnesota

  • Cragun's Resort
    Cragun’s Resort

    The 627-yard par-five fourth on the Lehman 18

  • Cragun's Resort
    Cragun’s Resort

    The course plays alongside Stephens Lake

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Cragun’s Resort on Gull Lake in Brainerd, Minnesota, officially opened its new Lehman 18 course for play.

Lehman Design Group has overseen a 45-hole project at the resort, which hosts PGA Tour Canada’s CRMC Championship. As well as the new Lehman 18 course, named after the firm’s principal and Open champion Tom Lehman, the existing Robert Trent Jones, Jr-designed Bobby’s Legacy and Dutch Legacy courses are being transformed into a 27-hole layout called The Dutch. Construction work is being handled by Duininck Golf.

“Having grown up 90 minutes from here, it’s great to return to be a part of this resort’s golf legacy,” said Lehman, who has led the project alongside his design associate Chris Brands.

The Lehman 18 course – which has actually been in play since autumn 2022, following a soft opening – is almost 7,500 yards and has been laid out within a 1,000-acre wooded area. Its holes run around several natural wetland areas and alongside Stephens Lake, which comes into play most notably at the sixteenth, which requires (from the back tees) a 170-yard carry over the water.

The course features bunkers with revetted sod walls, in contrast to the fescue edges that are found on The Dutch.

Lehman highlighted the 627-yard par-five fourth as one of his favourite holes, where he advises avoiding the trio of bunkers that guard the right side of the fairway. Another huge bunker protects the green.

The Blue and White nines on The Dutch are already open and work on the third (Red) nine is now in progress and on track to open in 2024. The Dutch will host the CRMC Championship in 2024.