Lehman 18
12th Hole, 160 Yards, Par-3
Architect: Tom Lehman (2023)
Brainerd, Minnesota, USA
Course updated from original design by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. (1998)

One of the most fascinating trends in recent year and hastened with the coning of the global pandemic, is the surge in facilities updating themselves. Some have opted for minor tinkering while others have opted for a much broader overhaul.

Tucked away roughly two hours by car north of Minneapolis is Cragun Resort on Gull Lake. Minnesota is rightly tagged, “Land of 10,000 lakes,” and Cragun Resort splendidly intersects a full-scale facility with golf at the forefront.

Tom Lehman, who played successfully for years on the PGA Tour and captured the 1996 Open Championship, was hired to revamp the golf offerings originally created by architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr.

The Lehman 18 provides a circuitous routing that takes golfers to all corner of the property. There are a number of engaging holes and the par-3 12th blends an idyllic setting in concert with an engaging design.

As one approaches the tee box at the 12th, you face a dropshot approach set from an elevated teeing area. The green is smartly protected by a frontal bunker and the green runs diagonally from lower right to back left.

CRAGUN RESORT on GULL LAKE Lehman 18 12th Hole, 160 Yards, Par-3

Like any elevated tee shot, the rigors in selecting the proper club are always front and center. Wind patterns can fluctuate so demonstrating a clear resolve upon execution is a must.

The setting for the hole is captivating. No clutter with invasive housing or other distractions. The democracy of the hole is also most welcomed as talented players face a worthy challenge and those of higher handicap abilities are only one swing away from ultimate glory in seeing one’s ball nestle near to the flagstick.

Pin placements dictate a great deal. Those towards the front right are more accessible but hardly a cinch for success. When placed in the rear left corner the stakes increase dramatically. The slightest pull can find eternal rest among the nearby wetlands.

Internal green movements can be vexing and require an eagle eye to decipher.

The Lehman 18 provides an array of compelling holes and the 12th gives all levels of golfers a beguiling hole intertwining innate beauty with accompanying fine shotmaking mandated.


Lead Photo Courtesy: Peter Wong Photography