Rush Creek Golf Club – Connecting with the Maple Grove Community
May 04, 2017 11:53AM
● By Wendy Erlien
photo provided by Rush Creek Golf Club
More than 20 years ago, Rush Creek Golf Club opened in Maple Grove off County Road 101.
Founded in 1996 by W. Duncan MacMillan, he had a “vision to
turn an old golf course and farm into a first class golf facility,” according
to the Rush Creek Golf Club
“When it opened, the golf course really had a lot of fanfare. It was right around the time when higher end golf courses were coming into the metro area. Right away, we were a big player in the corporate outings,” Rush Creek Golf Club General Manager Derek Stendahl said.
Each summer, a tent would be permanently placed outside for post golfing meals and activities.“Once we went through a couple years of that, we knew we wanted to add on,” he said.
In 2000, the MacMillan Ballroom and Banquet Center opened along with new locker rooms and cart storage. As the business evolved and grew, several changes took place in response to connecting with the community – growing to becoming a venue which included dining at Highlander Restaurant, weddings and other events, banquets, lessons, and more.
“We’ve done a few different things to the golf course. That’s always changing a bit. We’re redoing the bunkers, adding some tee boxes in the spring. We’re always tweaking the course,” Stendahl said.
During the last seven years, strategy has changed to expand offerings at Rush Creek Golf Club.
“Originally, it was to have the course known state and regionwide and to try to become a destination type of facility. We have really changed our thinking…,” Stendahl said. In 2010, some of the changes started to take place to turn the focus to the Maple Grove and area community.
“The way Maple Grove is growing and the demographics it has - if we can just become Maple Grove’s place to go, we’ll be fine. If things branch off of that – great! We became focused on the community and offer more family things to do,” he said. “You look at what a country club is to people and what they want. We’ve done an internal inventory of what we do and we’re able to do those things without having a membership.”
In addition to providing golf and lessons, the Rush Creek Golf Club has a variety of offerings at the Highlander Restaurant such as Mother’s Day brunch as well as entertainment, such as the Sounds at Sunset series of live music.
“Those feel good things, that have nothing to do with golf, but people associate with being part of the community. It’s really fun. We’re always trying to think of other events we can do,” Stendahl said. “The biggest key about being part of the community is being more than a golf course. I attribute that to local people coming here, enjoying the food and service, and it being one of their ‘go to’ places.”