Grand View Lodge – Great Golf at a Minnesota Institution

For over 80 years Grand View Lodge has been providing hospitality to Minnesota visitors. Started as a small lodge, it has evolved into an award winning (Conde Nast, Golf and Golf Digest magazines) family resort, spa and golf destination. Grand View’s golf operations include three championship caliber golf courses: Deacon’s Lodge (an Arnold Palmer design), The Pines and The Preserve.

If you have not been fortunate enough to play golf in the Brainerd lakes area, what you will find are courses set in mature forests with towering trees, natural wetlands, lakes and marshes. In general, the scenery alone is worth the trip.

The Preserve is a Par 72 layout that plays 6,601 yards from the tips and is located on rolling wooded terrain that includes 40 acres of wetlands. It has a great combination of holes and while not overly long, it makes up for it with swooping doglegs, elevation changes and large greens with plenty of undulation. Accuracy, both off the tee and into the greens, is paramount to posting a good score.

While The Preserve is just a short drive from the resort, the 27 holes at The Pines are just across the street from the main lodge. There are three nines: Marsh, Lakes and Woods. Each hole of each nine is very private and secluded. A beautiful clubhouse overlooks the property and offers amazing views of the surroundings.

The first question everyone wants answered is, “Which of the nines is the best?” Often times I have played 27 hole layouts where the original eighteen holes are wonderful while the additional nine holes are of lesser quality. This is certainly not the case here.

What I can tell you is that the condition of the entire course was top notch. The greens were fast, the fairways smooth and the rough was, well, rough. There are a number of nice design features throughout. Often a single towering tree, or stand of trees, was left in place to emphasize certain shots. Other times, a lone, well placed, skyscraper of a tree could be found protecting a putting surface as if that was what it was born to do.

The signature holes at The Pines may be the Par 3’s. Most of them are medium length holes but with small narrow greens that tended to angle away from you. Throw in the ponds and marshlands that guard many of them and you have quite a grouping of outstanding three pars.

The third course in Grand View’s championship trio is the Arnold Palmer designed Deacon’s Lodge course. Here again you will find a true test of golf set in a beautiful north woods setting. If you have the time, play all three of the courses. You won’t regret it.

The best bet if you are playing Grand View is to book a stay/play package. They come in various weekend and mid-week arrangements with optional meal plans. This is a perfect trip for your foursome or entire family at one of Minnesota’s iconic resorts. Throw in their nice beach, indoor pool, boat rentals, beachside bar, lavish breakfast buffet and the Glacial Waters Spa and you too will find it very hard to leave this historic Midwest oasis of golf and relaxation.


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