Golf: The CRMC Championship, a friendly event for fans, families and wallets – Brainerd Dispatch
EAST GULL LAKE – Not much is free, but thanks to Positive Realty, viewing in the front row of the CRMC Championship Presented by Gertens will be.
Positive Realty has become the event ticket sponsor for the Aug. 24-28 golf tournament hosted by Cragun’s Legacy Courses and admission to all four rounds of the tournament and practice rounds on Tuesday will be free. Another bonus for spectator enjoyment will be that there will be no ropes except on the first and 18th holes. Fans can see the top-level golf played on the PGA Tour Canada up close.
“The most important thing for the event itself is free entry,” said Cragun Golf Director Jack Wawro. “General admission tickets are just perfect for, what I think, grandpa at the cabin with the grandkids and wondering what he’s going to do today. Why not bring them here to watch the golf for a while? Everyone is welcome and can come and go as they please. I think that’s pretty good access.
“Speaking of access, it’s not like a normal PGA event. You can get up close to these guys. Obviously Tiger Woods isn’t playing, but you can get really close and really watch them chip and putting and hitting full tee shots. It’s really good access.
The CRMC Championship will be a week-long golf exhibition. Monday August 22 will be the qualifying tournament for those who do not regularly participate in the PGA Tour Canada. This will be played at Deacon’s Lodge in Breezy Point with two waves of tee times starting at 7:30am and 12:30pm. It’s also free to the public.
Tuesday, August 23 will be filled with practice rounds at Cragun’s Legacy courses. The Brainerd Chamber Business After Hours sponsored by Dahlheimer Beverage will take place from 4:30-6:00 p.m. near the 18th green.
“I’ll be honest, Monday will be very quiet because they’ll be traveling from Winnipeg to here on Sunday,” Wawro said. “Tuesday will be the big practice day because Wednesday is a pro-am day and there will be no practice. Wednesday will be more of a range and putting green day.
“Business After Hours will be outside right next to our brand new 18th green. It is completely renovated with a pond. It’s really beautiful there. We will be interviewing a few players for this event.
On Wednesday, August 24, a pro-am sponsored by the Northern Pacific Center will be presented.
It will be nice for the community to come together and watch this caliber of play. I always wanted this to happen.
The first round of the four-day tournament will take place on Thursday, August 25, with two waves of tee times at the first and 10th holes. The first wave will leave at 7:30 a.m. The second wave is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.
“The VIP tent opens at 9 a.m. and at the moment it’s only open to sponsors,” Wawro said. “Each day, fans can purchase a VIP tent ticket for $100 per day which includes food and drink from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. This will adjust if weather becomes an issue, but breakfast, lunch and dinner will be included in the VIP experience. Dahlheimer Beverage sponsors the VIP tent »
The first two rounds will feature 156 players until the reduction following Friday’s round.
On Saturday, everyone will start from the first tee starting at 7:30 a.m. and finish with the second-round leaders. Saturday’s cup will be the top 60 plus ties.
Saturday will also feature a Night Jam sponsored by Clow Stamping and featuring the Mason Dixon Line Band.
“Our big night,” Wawro said. “30 minutes after the last putt, the group will start playing. It will be right next to the 18th green. It is in fact between the tee n°10 and the green n°18. The goal is for everyone to come watch the golf and be already parked so we can head straight to the concert. Tickets for all of these things can be purchased directly at the clubhouse or online. Everything can be found at crmchampionship.com.
Sunday’s final round begins at 7:30 a.m. with the trophy presentation after the action.
The tournament will be played on nine holes of the new Lehman course. This will be the first nine. Nine holes of the Dutch 27 will be the final nine. This nine will end up being the White Nine. The construction of all courses has been completed at Cragun.
The tournament course will be played at or near 7,000 yards and will be a par 70.
“It will end on the Dutch nine and I was just describing it to someone as the perfect hole to end your round,” Wawro said. “It’s a two par 5 house. It’s not guaranteed, but it’s a very accessible par 5, especially for these guys, so you’re going to see a lot of second shots coming. It’s all on the water to the spit so it’s a bit daunting but it’s a good drama. It’s going to be huge for them if they want to go in there and make it. It’s a good dramatic hole.
According to Wawro, parking will be “super easy”. There will be locations along East Gull Lake Drive which runs along the west side of Legacy Courses. The main clubhouse parking lot will be reserved for players and event staff.
Wawro said the best time to arrive would be around 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. as there will be non-stop action from players passing the turn. In addition to the exciting 18th green, another good viewing area will be near the 10th green, 11th hole and 12th tee.
“It’s incredibly perfect and it’s not even that far from the clubhouse either,” Wawro said. “It’s on the back nine. There will also be a tent near the Northern Pacific Center.
The biggest thing Wawro hopes for is energy in the crowd and for people to enjoy watching quality golf for free.
“That’s a really big reason why I came to Cragun,” Wawro said. “I wanted this to happen. I wanted to be a part of it to see the ins and outs of it and find out how to do it. I couldn’t be more excited. If we can have a group of people around 18 and have them cheering and clapping after someone lands an amazing shot, that will be the thrill. It will be nice for the community to come together and watch this caliber of play. I always wanted this to happen.
JEREMY MILLSOP can be reached at 218-855-5856 or [email protected] Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop.