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Workers Logan Olson (left) and Keegan Johnson listen to Mike Stone on Number 4 of the High Noon course at the Crosslake golf club this week. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls

Area Golf: Popularity drives demand for new nine at Crosswoods

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CROSSLAKE — Mike Stone constructed almost 200 golf holes before moving an inch of dirt.

The owner and operator of Crosswoods Golf Course in Crosslake decided it was time to put pen to paper and thought into action.

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This spring, construction of a new nine-hole course began at Crosswoods with a completion date projected around the middle of next summer. The reason for the expansion to an already popular 18-hole course is a matter of flexibility.

“There are multiple benefits to having a third nine,” said Stone, “First and foremost, we need to have more tee times available. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday our leagues are so big we can’t even open up any tee times to the public until 10 a.m. Wednesday afternoon we have a mixed scramble so we have a lot of things going on. I just don’t have the space on weekends to do any shotgun tournaments. Everybody wants to do a tournament on a weekend and there aren’t too many 18-hole courses that will allow it. This way I’ll be able to have public play available at any time.”

Crosswoods will be split into three nine-hole courses with the back nine being called Sunset. The current front nine will be split and mixed in with the new holes to create Sunrise and High Noon.

The new holes will be laid out across 65 acres Stone purchased in 2008 with the final 18 acres of the project being closed soon.

Sunrise will use the existing front nine’s first two holes and the ninth hole, with six new holes making holes 3 through 8.

High Noon will start on the current eighth hole. A new hole will be hole 2. The current third hole will be hole 3 for High Noon followed by two brand new holes for 4 and 5. The current fourth hole will be six. Five will be seven and holes 8 and 9 will be the current sixth and seventh holes.

“Another reason for this is maintenance,” said Stone. “During the not so busy times, I can rotate through and close one of the nines and we can do things that would be interruptive to play. We can close a nine for an entire week so we can aerate so people never have to play on freshly aerated greens again. We can let them heal up and just rotate through. So there are tons of benefits.”

Stone, who has never been one to rest on success, already has plans for major tee box renovations and new bunkering to existing holes once the new nine holes are playable.

A few highlights of the new holes will be scenic views of a private 100 acre lake, especially on two down hill par 3ss, which uses the lake as a back drop.

Stone was also able to use natural features to frame many of his holes. A plateau cut into the side of a hill created a stadium feel to the green on a dogleg par 4. He did develop mounding in certain areas, but tried to use what the property provided, including huge Norway Pines as focal points to many of the holes.

“I tried to work with the natural features as much as possible,” said Stone. “Most golf courses try to make everything look natural, but you can’t improve on nature when you already have it established like we do here.”

Stone was able to use what he learned during the construction of Crosswoods’ back nine and the reconstruction of the current front to streamline his latest project. Play on the current 18 holes won’t be interrupted and Stone expects another successful season of golf.

“The last few years we’ve been really gaining traction,” said Stone, who along with his wife Kelly have been in the business for 17 years. “People are discovering what we offer and really finding out that this is a hidden gem we have here. When we first opened granted it was pretty darn tight, but we’ve cleaned out things, widened things out and put in extra irrigation. It’s a completely different golf course than it was 15 years ago.”

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■ Crosswoods Golf Course

Address: 35878 Country Road 3, Crosslake

What: 18-hole golf course, 9-hole Par 3

Owners: Mike and Kelly Stone

What’s new: Construction of an additional 9-holes

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

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Jermey Millsop
My career at the Brainerd Dispatch began May 11, 1999 after graduating from North Dakota State University. My areas of emphasis includes local high school sports, Central Lakes College, the lakes area golf mecca and once a year I dabble in the NHRA when the Lucas Oil Nationals come to Brainerd International Raceway.
(218) 855-5856
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