A Warm Northern Escape Wendigo Lodge, Golf And Conference Center
By Libby Mehaffey
Wendigo Lodge provides for a perfect golf weekend escape. This Northwoods getaway, located just minutes outside of Grand Rapids, offers guests amazing golf, fine local cuisine and fantastic accommodations.
The award-winning golf course designed by well-known, local golf course architect Joel Goldstrand provides golfers with a truly scenic and serene 18 holes of golf.
“The layout of Wendigo has a great feel to it and is very unique in terms of design,” said Jeff Fortune, General Operations Manager for the golf course. “None of the fairways run parallel to each other so golfers are at one with nature and their clubs in a sense. It is definitely one of the most beautiful golf courses I’ve ever played.”
The course runs long and measures over 6400 yards from the blues. The front nine runs a bit shorter than the back, but bottom line, you’re taking a cart on this course. “It’s a long course with lots of ups and downs, but it’s enjoyable for golfers at all skill levels,” said Fortune.
The course’s signature hole, number four, features two tee boxes and two greens offering players the option of playing a Par 3 or a Par 4 depending on what they feel like. The second most acclaimed hole at Wendigo is number seven. This short par three is extremely picturesque with players driving onto a green surrounded by towering conifer trees.
“Wendigo is a really good place to pursue the passion of golf and get away from the hustle and bustle,” said Charlotte Phillips, Lodge General Manager. “I’m not a golfer, but I love to take a cart out and just enjoy the scenery. It gives folks a chance to escape, relax and be surrounded by nature.”
On top of the great design and fantastic scenery, the price of play at Wendigo is affordable. For $55 dollars you can play 18 holes with a cart – $52 if you play with a partner. Better yet, play after 3PM and 18 holes with a cart will run you just $40 for a single player, $37 for a double. Play and stay rates are unbeatable and multiple course packages are also available.
The menu at Wendigo is something you might see at a restaurant in downtown Minneapolis, while the atmosphere is more like a small town Mom & Pop stop. Featuring delicious local meats and vegetables coupled with tasty sauces and sides, Head Chef Matt Taylor has taken the menu to a new level in recent months, without creating a stuffy food-snob atmosphere.
“Our menu features Contemporary American Cuisine – it’s not fancy, its fresh,” said Taylor. “And the atmosphere is casual, casual, casual. You don’t need to be dressed up to have a great meal and that’s what you’ll get at Wendigo – great food with great people.”
The menu at Wendigo changes monthly and features lots of local foods bought directly from farmers including produce, meats, cheeses and poultry.
“These local products are always superior in quality and purchasing them provides a stimulus to our local economy – it just makes sense,” said Taylor. “In June we’ll have lots of fresh berries, spring Elk, wild game, and duck. These are foods that are in season and readily available thru local vendors. We’ll also be offering fresh walleye caught by local guides, inspected and brought to Wendigo with out being frozen – it’s fantastic.”
In addition to great food, the atmosphere is really impressive. The open floor plan of the restaurant gives the establishment a upscale cabin-like feel and the bar provides a wonderful place to enjoy an aperitif or after dinner drink.
Once you’ve played your round and filled your stomachs, head to your room for a relaxing night of rest in one of Wendigo’s inviting guest rooms.
“Wendigo isn’t huge in terms of the number of rooms we have, but we offer a wide variety of options for our guests,” said Phillips. “We offer everything from two-room executive suites with living rooms, fireplaces, full kitchens, and private patios, to romantic suites with whirlpools, to standard guest rooms for the more economical traveler.”
All rooms at Wendigo are non-smoking and include a microwave, refrigerator and high-speed internet. In addition, guest rooms include an expanded continental breakfast.
If you’re looking to just kick-back and take it in, be sure to grab a lounge chair on Wendigo’s expansive deck that overlooks the golf course. The deck is a great place to have a drink, read a book and just take a moment to appreciate all that mother nature has to offer. Don’t like sitting outside? Cozy in to a overstuffed leather chair in the Lodge’s lobby area and put your feet up.
Off To Grand Rapids
The City of Grand Rapids is minutes away from Wendigo Lodge with great boutiques for the shopper, an impressive performing arts scene for the theater-goer and several state parks for the nature-lover.
Local shopping includes fantastic antiques, unique gift shops and several classy clothing stores. Entertainment highlights include the Judy Garland Museum, the Myles Reif Performing Arts Center, and the Mississippi Melodie Showboat.
Outside of shopping and the arts, Grand Rapids is the southern gateway to the Taconite Trail and home to more than 3,000 miles of groomed trails. If you’re not in the mood to hike, Highway 38, the scenic byway runs 47 miles north through some of the most picturesque areas of the Chippewa National Forest.
3 Hours Away
If you’re interested in getting away to a scenic escape, we recommend Wendigo Lodge. Located just a few hours from the metro area, this resort offers local golfers a relaxing weekend retreat. For more information about Wendigo Lodge visit www.wendiglodge.com. For more information about Grand Rapids visit www.visitgrandrapids.com.