Crystal View turns 90

If you plan to present the Crystal View Golf Course with a birthday cake this year, make sure it has 90 candles. On July 14, the course on the east side of the Paint River marks the 90th anniversary of the day it opened to the public.
    Diane Emo recently wrote this history of the course, including improvements that will make it an even better place to play.
CRYSTAL FALLS--In the summer of 1925, the Crystal Falls Rotary Club talked seriously about building a golf course. Original proposals were for construction near Fortune Lake or Indian Lake, but the first seven-hole course was built at the Great Western, with McKinney Steel offering the land.
    As interest in the game continued to grow, the Crystal Falls Golf Association was incorporated for $10,000, and the course was constructed at its current location (402 Wagner Street) on the banks of the Paint River overlooking the town’s main street and historic courthouse.
    On July 14, 1928, the course officially opened. The club originally had 25 charter members with an annual fee of $25.
    As reported in the Diamond Drill 90 years ago, “The fairways supply enough hazards to make them interesting, the greens are in fine condition, and the scenery from the course is exquisite.” Golfers could see deer, fox, eagles and other wildlife while on the fairways.
    When the course opened, a temporary clubhouse was located in a small Western School building near the current restrooms. The permanent structure was built later and expanded several times.
    The present sixth hole was originally hole No. 1. Over the years, several holes were lengthened, particularly holes 2 and 7, increasing par from 34 to 36. Many other structural improvements were made including an underground irrigation system.
    Crystal View is a beautiful and challenging nine-hole course encompassing about 47 acres. This year the city began a pilot program to modify the red tee box length and add a third set of tees (silver), offering options for players to use the tee box appropriate for their game and driver distance.
    Groundbreaking to build permanent, raised tee boxes is planned to begin in 2019. According to Crystal Falls Mayor (and golfer) Dave Sherby, “We followed the recommendations of the USGA’s Tee it Forward and Play 9 initiatives.
    “Forward tees,” Sherby continued, “help make the game fair, fun and accessible to more golfers, new and experienced. The feedback from our community has been overwhelmingly positive.”
    According to the U.S. Golfing Association surveys, Tee it Forward results in 56 percent of golfers playing faster and more often, 83 percent hitting more lofted clubs into greens and 85 percent having more fun.
    All golfers are invited to visit Crystal View, play the course and try the new tee boxes. The new 18-hole total yardages are:
    --White/yellow tees: 6,174 yards.
    --Red tees: 5,120 yards.
    --Silver tees: 4,490 yards.
    For more information and rates for Crystal View Golf Course, visit the city’s website at www.crystalfalls.org/parks-recreation-golfing or call the course at 906-214-4727.