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Golf: CRMC Championship a fan, family and wallet-friendly event

The CRMC Championship presented by Gertens just might be the family event of the summer.

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Players putt into the cup on what will be hole No. 18 for the CRMC Championship presented by Gertens at Cragun's Legacy Courses Wednesday, August 10, 2022, in East Gull Lake.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch
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EAST GULL LAKE — Few things are free anymore but thanks to Positive Realty front row viewing of the CRMC Championship presented by Gertens will be.

Positive Realty became the event ticket sponsor for the Aug. 24-28 golf tournament hosted by Cragun’s Legacy Courses and admission to all four tournament rounds and Tuesday’s practice rounds will be free. Another bonus to the fans viewing pleasure will be no ropes except for on the first and 18th holes. Fans can get close-up views of top-level golf played on the PGA Tour Canada.

“The biggest thing for the event itself is the free admission,” Director of Golf at Cragun’s Jack Wawro said. “The general admission tickets are just perfect for, what I’m thinking, grandpa at the cabin with the grandkids and wondering what he’s going to do today. Why not bring them up here to watch golf for a while? Anyone is welcome to come and they can come and go as they please. I think it’s pretty good access.

“Speaking of access, this isn’t like a normal PGA event. You can get really close to these guys. Obviously, Tiger Woods isn’t playing, but you can get very close and really watch them chip and putt and hit full tee shots. It’s really good access.”

The CRMC Championship will be a week-long golf exhibit. Monday, Aug. 22 will be the tournament qualifier for those not on the PGA Tour Canada regularly. That will be played at Deacon’s Lodge in Breezy Point with two waves of tee times starting at 7:30 a.m. and at 12:30 p.m. That is also free to the public.

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Tuesday, Aug. 23, will be packed with practice rounds at Cragun’s Legacy Courses. The Brainerd Chamber Business After Hours sponsored by Dahlheimer Beverage will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. near the 18th green.

“I’ll be honest, Monday will be real quiet because they’re traveling from Winnipeg down to here that Sunday,” Wawro said. “Tuesday will be the big practice round day because Wednesday is a pro-am day and there won’t be any practice rounds. Wednesday will be more of a range and putting green day.

“The Business After Hours will be outdoors right next to our brand new 18th green. It’s completely remodeled with a pond. It’s really beautiful out there. We’ll interview a couple of players for that event.”

Wednesday, Aug. 24, will feature a pro-am sponsored by the Northern Pacific Center.

It will be nice to have the community come together and watch this caliber of play. I’ve always wanted that to happen.
Jack Wawro

The opening round of the four-day tournament will be Thursday, Aug. 25, with two waves of tee times going off the first and 10th holes. The first wave will tee off at 7:30 a.m. The second wave is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.

“The VIP tent opens at 9 a.m. and right now that’s just open to sponsors,” Wawro said. “Each day fans can purchase a VIP tent ticket for $100 per day and that includes food and beverage from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. That will adjust should weather become an issue, but breakfast, lunch and dinner will be included in the VIP experience. Dahlheimer Beverage is sponsoring the VIP tent”

The first two rounds will feature 156 players until the cutdown following Friday’s round.

Saturday everyone will tee off from the first tee starting at 7:30 a.m. and concluding with the second-round leaders. The cut on Saturday will be the top 60 players plus ties.

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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 drops the band will start playing. That is going to be right next to the 18th green. It’s actually in between No. 10 tee and No. 18 green. The goal is everyone will come to watch the golf and already be parked so we can head right into the concert. Tickets for all of these things can be purchased right in the clubhouse or online. Everything can be found at crmchampionship.com.”

Sunday’s final round will begin at 7:30 a.m. with a trophy presentation following action.

The Tournament will be played on nine holes of the new Lehman Course. That will be the front nine. Nine holes of the Dutch 27 will be the back nine. That nine will end up being the White Nine all course construction is finished at Cragun’s.

The tournament course will play 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 finish your round,” Wawro said. “It’s a home in two par 5. It’s not guaranteed, but it’s a very reachable par 5, especially for these guys so you’re going to get to see a lot of second shots coming in. It’s all over water to the pin so it’s a little daunting, but it’s good drama. It’s going to be huge for them if they want to go for it and pull it off. It’s a good drama hole.”

According to Wawro, parking will be “super easy.” There will be spots along East Gull Lake Drive which runs along the west side of the Legacy Courses. The main clubhouse parking will be reserved for players and event staff.

Wawro said the best time to arrive will be around 9:30 to 10 a.m. as there will be non-stop action of players coming through the turn. Along with the exciting 18th green, another good viewing area will be near the 10th green, 11th hole and 12th tee box.

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“It’s unbelievably perfect and it’s not even that far from the clubhouse either,” Wawro said. “It’s on the back nine. There will be a tent by the Northern Pacific Center there too.”

The biggest thing Wawro is hoping for is energy in the crowd and that people take advantage of watching quality golf for free.

“This is a very big reason why I came to Cragun’s,” Wawro said. “I wanted to see this happen. I wanted to be part of it to see the ins and outs of it and find out how to do it. I couldn’t be any more excited. If we can have a group of people around 18 and have them cheering and clapping after someone hits an incredible shot then that will be the thrill of it. It will be nice to have the community come together and watch this caliber of play. I’ve always wanted that to happen.”

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or jeremy.millsop@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop.

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