Rush Creek's New Mac Nine: Big Love for a Short Course
If Derek Stendahl has his way, golf will no longer be just for stereotypical “golfers.”
Stendahl, general manager of Maple Grove’s Rush Creek Golf Club, is thrilled that Mac Nine, a new nine-hole, par-three course right next to the main course, finally opened for business earlier this year. With golf holes ranging from 75 to 150 yards long, Mac Nine is tailor-made for younger players, those still working on the basics, occasional players intimidated by a full-sized course and serious golfers who simply don’t have the time to play 18 holes.
“This course can accommodate everyone,” Stendahl says. He notes that because there are no permanent tee boxes, so the yardage can be continuously modified.
And, he says, all kinds of people are excited about Mac Nine—which is just the way he likes it.
“It’s the number one thing people ask me about,” Stendahl says. “I got stopped in the grocery store the other day by someone who wanted to talk about it.”
Grew like a weed
Mac Nine has been in the making for several years. Rush Creek owned several acres of farmland adjacent to their course and, needing more space for the Golf Academy several years ago, created a rudimentary practice area on the grass. Building on Mac Nine began in Summer 2011.
“We put some sticks in the ground and used a push mower to mow different heights, so it might look like a fairway and a rough, to at least give students an idea of what a golf course looks like,” Derek says. “And then we started talking that maybe we should put in a green so they can practice putting. But if we’re going to put in a green, let’s put in a practice hole. And if we do one hole, maybe we can do one going this way and one going the other way. It grew that fast.”
From there, Rush Creek partnered with Chaska-based firm Herfort Norby to design a full nine-hole course. The initial idea was to create the course in stages, but it soon became apparent that doing it all at once was more financially feasible—and more satisfying to the public’s demand.
Mac Nine has been in limited use since June; Rush Creek leadership wanted to be careful not to tax the new grass too heavily in its all-important first season.
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