Breezy Point Resort – It’s All About The Deal, All-Inclusive And All-Exclusive
By Steve Dowling
The state of the golf industry in Minnesota has been a challenge for course owners over the past few years but it appears that one resort in the Brainerd area has found a key to drive golfers to their resort to a point that some days they have to close out the tee sheet on their championship course. The key appears to be exclusive to Breezy Point Resort and has a heading of “The Best Deal” on their website.
For more than 80 years, Breezy Point Resort in Breezy Point, Minnesota, has been a big draw for locals and tourists alike in the Brainerd Lakes area. Breezy Point Resort was built on land acquired in 1921 by millionaire publicist Wilfred Hamilton Fawcett (“Captain Billy Fawcett”), a flamboyant and charismatic publishing giant and owner of Fawcett Publishing. Through his charismatic personality and his many contacts in the publishing and motion picture industry, Breezy Point Resort soon became a mecca for the rich and famous during the Roaring 20’s era, playing host to stars including Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Tom Mix and Jack Dempsey. Captain Billy Fawcett embarked upon an aggressive building program at the resort, including the construction of a magnificent lodge. “Breezy” has continued to grow ever since. Breezy Point is now spread over 3,000 acres and features 250 lodging units.
As one arrives, passing through the resort gates of Breezy Point Resort, and navigates the tree-lined road out to the beautiful crystal clear Big Pelican Lake, they immediately pick up the rhythm of the experience that awaits. The resort offers first-rate lodging, great food, a superb conference center, boat marina, tennis, canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, fishing boats, beaches, cross-country skiing, an outdoor ice rink and two indoor pools plus great golf.
Golf At Breezy Point
Tee off on either of the two, 18-hole golf courses – the championship Whitebirch or the Traditional. This duet of layouts will challenge players of every ability. Both offer practice greens, driving range and clubhouses with most everything you need for a great day of golfing.
After you play, grab a nice meal at the restaurants of Breezy Point Resort or at Antlers Bar & Grill, which is located with the Whitebirch Course clubhouse. Antlers is a favorite dining haunt for Brainerd area locals.
The Traditional Course Holes: 18 Par: 68 Yards: 5,192
Located on the resort’s main property this executive-style course reflects the best in traditional Minnesota family resort golf. Patti Berg, Les Bolstad and Walter Hagen are a few of the famous names in golf that have strolled the fairways at Breezy Point’s Traditional Golf Course. This is a shot makers’ course that rewards accuracy over power and is enjoyed by golfers of all abilities. Not to be forgotten is the updated Traditional Golf Course pro shop, also open daily. This charming shop and remodeled clubhouse meets all of your golfing needs and more.
The Whitebirch Course Holes: 18 Par: 71 Yards: 6,730
The Whitebirch Course, located just up the road from the resort’s main entrance, offers an enjoyable championship golfing experience for every type of golfer. With wide fairways and waste bunkers to catch errant shots the average player can enjoy a round of golf without having to spend most of their time searching for errant shots.
Opening in 1987, Whitebirch has been through many changes. Originally designed by Landecker-Hubbard the course has been manicured into a picturesque championship layout. Whitebirch is cut out of thick forests and spacious fields. The holes that are cut out of the forests have narrower fairways but they are manageable and the waste bunkers help the golfer who catches a bad break. The waste bunkers add a little Scottish flavor to the course with tall grass behind the bunkers. Ponds, which are introduced on six holes, are natural attractions. Proof of this can be found on the par 3, 17th hole which plays 205-yards from the back tees and features a rock laced water cascade to one side of the green. The green is fronted by a large water hazard, which is surrounded by rock instead of weeds.
The memorable 16th hole, which is a dog leg right par 4, curves around wetlands where ducks, geese and a beaver hut offer the golfer a little Minnesota sightseeing. The many elevation changes on the course come into play most noticeably on the 15th hole which, from the tee box, is a daunting par 5, 502-yard hole. You tee off into a valley that has a large hump in the middle. From the valley the green sits atop a hill. It’s an amazing golf hole and one of the toughest par 5’s in the area.
With four tee boxes golfers can choose what type of challenge they want. The course plays 6,730-yards from the back tees and 4,750 from the forward tees. The immaculate greens are large with many undulations but the ball rolls pure and they will hold a lot of shots. The lush green fairways are firm. The ball rolls nicely and lays atop the grass for a comfortable second or third shot. They are wide, but you will still need accuracy when attacking the greens.
“Best Deal” – Exclusive All-Inclusive At Breezy Point Resort
With a boom in the tourism industry, resorts have to constantly innovate and come up with new ways to garner their share of the pie and since convenience and a hassle-free vacation is what any tourist looks for, all-inclusive packages have sprung up to cater to this need. However, all-inclusive offers are normally associated with winter sun destinations like the Caribbean and Mexico etc. Some resorts offer unlimited golf, whereas others offer a restricted number of rounds per person per stay. Golf carts, which are normally obligatory, may invite an additional fee. Over and above golf, these all-inclusive golf resorts also are likely to include dining, entertainment, attractions and activities to make your stay an unforgettable experience. A very few may include unlimited beverages – most don’t.
Minnesota resorts have recently dabbled in forms of all-inclusive and unlimited golf packages but most come with a handful of restrictions and never include unlimited beverages. It appears that Breezy Point Resort has an exclusive on a true all-inclusive golf vacation featuring lodging, unlimited golf, meals and unlimited beverages. Breezy Point’s General Manager Dave Gravdahl has revealed that approximately five years ago they introduced a true all-inclusive unlimited golf package resulting in a modest amount of new business the first year. Almost inexplicably, Breezy Point has experienced tenfold increases in an arithmetic progressive fashion each of the following years. The greatest majority of guests opting for the all-inclusive offer at Breezy Point are value-conscience Canadians.
When asked, during a July round of golf, about the marketing resources expended for such phenomenal increases in business Gravdahl said “I put one or two timely advertisements in the Winnipeg newspaper each year and otherwise it’s all word of mouth. I have over 800 guests checking in today alone on the plan and that’s down from a typical check in day during June!!”
Clean your clubs and be ready to golf all day long with Breezy Point’s all-inclusive packages with a 3 or 4-day golf vacation. Packages include:
• Lodging in the Breezy Inn
• Golf with cart on the Whitebirch and Traditional Golf Courses – play golf starting at noon the day of arrival through your day of departure.
• All meals in the Marina II
• Beverages* in the Marina II,
• Beverages* at Dockside Lounge,
• Beverages* on the course from the beverage cart
* house wine by the glass, beer, highballs and cocktails, including most call and premium brands.
All-inclusive guests are identified by a wristband provided at check in. All-inclusive package food and beverage privileges are valid at 5 PM the day of check in, until noon on the day of check out.
It’s All About The Deal
While the state of the golf industry in Minnesota has been a challenge for course owners, Breezy Point Resort has presented their golf experience and their “best deal” in an exclusive fashion garnering marketing results, primarily through word of mouth, which fill their resort. Their all-inclusive is exclusive!