Whitefish Golf Club – Beauty With A Challenge
By Tim Ryan
Tucked away in the tall pines and majestic oaks is a classic-style golf course that simply must be at the top of your next vacation itinerary. Whitefish Golf Club is an affordable golf experience that will heighten your awareness to nature and wildlife with challenges that test your skills. Go play it. Thank me later.
When the modern era of golf course design began to emphasize target-golf, an added distraction was placed on extreme difficulty. Bunker-lined fairways and Atlantic Ocean length carries, with trees hovering tee-boxes, sometimes makes demanding golf enough of too much.
But, just one trip to Whitefish Golf Club in Pequot Lakes, and you’ll find before you a hidden gem that will make you want to bring your friends up to play it for sure. With just the right amount of everything, this classic golf course is healthy and thriving. This is because they did it right, and they did it right from the start.
The first nine holes were the 1968 creation of several pioneering local residents and resort owners. These folks determined that, at that time, a new golf course was needed to meet the growing demands of it’s seasonal residents. Whitefish’s front nine became a tidy way for homeowners and vacationers to spend an early morning. In fact, the new golf course proved to be such a success that a full-length one was the obvious and logical progression. So, by 1983, famed but not forgotten Minneapolis architect Don Herfort handled the design, rebuild, and addition of the new holes. The result was a golf course and club that is all about the experience.
“Right from the beginning, the vision and mission of our golf course and club was to be very player friendly,” General Manager and PGA Head Professional Steve Bengtson said. “No, we do not have the longest par 5’s or shortest par 3’s, but it is a fair test, and very great for golfers who like to walk the course and not get overwhelmed or exhausted.”
Whitefish Golf Club did not only become a great place to sneak in a couple rounds during a vacation to the Brainerd area. It’s the type of club to call home. “Many of our members have met a lot of their closest friends through the golf course,” said Bengtson. “They’re here to recreate. And we love providing them with a fun and attractive facility.”
Over the years, Whitefish has taken pride in offering members one of the best possible golfing values, in addition to providing other attractive benefits. One of those benefits is that it is a great place to socialize. “We have 300 golfing members, and our restaurant is by far their favorite around,” Bengtson said of the cozy and relaxed indoor and outdoor facility with fare aplenty.
Mr. Bengtson and his staff are some of the most talented individuals in the business. The atmosphere they have created is the reason Whitefish is getting it right. “People love our product and are always comfortable walking into our club,” he said, holding up his hands to the speakers, which play solid classic oldies music at just the right levels. “It sounds a little cliché, but it really is a place ‘where everyone knows your name.'”
“Customers tell us we’re the best value in the area. Being in the high end of the middle tier of golf courses, we believe that the great conditions and presentation at a moderate price is what makes us so special.” I do believe Steve Bengston is right.
Give it a go. You will be more than glad you did.