Grand View Lodge – Nearly 100 Years Of World-Class Service
By R.J. Smiley
In 2016 Grand View Lodge will celebrate 100 years of providing a quality resort experience. “Why should golfers care?” you ask? Because Grand View Lodge, owned and operated by the Cote Family since its origin, has been in a continuous state of metamorphosis since the early 1900’s. Grand View Lodge management, with its finger on the pulse of current resort trends and their eye on the future trends, has provided what each new generation of resort guests expects – while retaining that glorious log cabin charm.
The answer to “Why?” is simple – because of the beautiful lakes, the fresh naturally pine scented air, the sugar sand beaches and best of all – the totally relaxed atmosphere. Those same natural qualities that started drawing people to Grand View Lodge in 1916 are still present today except; modern amenities have been continually added to satisfy the fickle desire of today’s guests. Lodging options, menu selections and recreation alternatives (including GOLF) are under constant scrutiny by the experienced staff, who aims to please.
Grand View Lodge is not your everyday golf resort where foursomes are packed into small condos that line every fairway. Grand View, which is spread over hundreds of acres, gives guests (golfers and non-golfers) a choice in lodging options from cozy lakeside cabins to extremely secluded private homes, that retain that Grand View elegance.
Today the Brainerd Lakes Area has became a GolfDigest “Top 50 Golf Destinations in the World” thanks to Fred Boos, who married Grand View owner’s daughter in 1960. Fred, who has become the Godfather of resort golf in Minnesota history, had the courage to believe that golfers would throw their clubs in the trunk of their car and drive up north to have a quality golf experience. When Fred Boos gave golf architect, Joel Goldstrand 1,500 acres of virgin wilderness and told him to build a world-class championship golf course, he was taking a huge gamble. At least that is what most golf people thought. Almost thirty years later, let’s just say it worked!
Golf Packages featuring two nationally acclaimed golf courses: The Pines and The Preserve.
The Pines was the first golf course in Minnesota to receive a 4½ star rating from GolfDigest. Most golfers, familiar with Goldstrand courses, will tell you that The Pines is his finest work. Joel himself, with more than eighty golf courses in his resume, is extremely proud of the national recognition The Pines has received.
The entry drive with its narrow, curvy, tree lined, road gives a glimmer of the golf yet to come. All three nines at The Pines are obviously siblings, with relatively narrow tree lined fairways and greens, though not flat, do not have the severe contours found on many of Goldstrand’s courses. The Pines is a golf course that was designed to make the recreational golfer feel at ease, but when played from the back tees, it presents a real test to the low handicapper.
All 27-holes at The Pines are a photographer’s dream, but the camera buff in your group will have a field day on the most photographed holes at The Pines, the shortish par 3, #7 on the Woods nine and #9 on the Marsh nine. The seventh plays slightly down hill with a long narrow green that appears to be only a few yards wide with a pond guarding the left and a steep grassy bank on the right. The kaleidoscope of shadow patterns, created by the huge Red Pines that tower above the tiny green, cause even the regular players to pause and enjoy the ever-changing look of this wonderful hole. They are also happy to score a three. The ninth hole on the Marsh nine sits directly in front of the clubhouse deck where golfers enjoy an adult beverage while watching fellow players try to escape with a par. This, 3-shot, par five features a green that is basically an island accented with flowers, marsh grass and water. Many a good round has ended in a watery death on this true signature hole. Pictures are plentiful from any angle.
As The Pines approaches its 30th anniversary, improvements and tweaks are still being made. To cap off two years of renovation and refurbishing, The Pines boasts a new fleet of state-of-the-art golf carts from Club Car for 2014. The carts are equipped with the Visage GPS system. This GPS system features touch screen yardages to any point on the hole, yardage to the pin, flyovers of each hole at the tee, electronic scorecard (that will instantly be emailed to the golfers after the round), and enables golfers to order food on any hole. The system allows the pro shop the ability to monitor pace of play and talk to each cart for pace and weather situations. “When we combine this system with our player assistant staff, The Pines will to be the “BEST PACE OF PLAY” resort course in the state,” explains Jack Wawro, head golf professional.
The Preserve was the dream of Dan Helbling who is known as an artist with earthmoving equipment. Dan secured the property near Nisswa, and then hired Mike Morley, Minot, ND architect to design his dream course. Together Dan and Mike labored to produce one of the fairest and most straightforward courses ever created. When you stand on the clubhouse deck and look down onto the 1st and 10th fairways you will feel the elevation changes that are the signature of The Preserve. Morley, a former tour player, is known for elevated tees that give golfers a pleasant visual experience standing on the tee. Most of the greens are elevated, some severely. First time players at The Preserve quickly get into a rhythm of playing from an elevated tee to a fairway below then back up to an elevated green.
The Preserve, purchased after completion by Grand View Lodge, became the adopted little sister of The Pines. Like The Pines, The Preserve is maintained in tournament condition every day of the season.
When golfers combine choice of lodging with storied golf courses kept in perfect condition there is no better golf package in the golf world. For groups of eight or more, the accommodating staff at Grand View will custom design a golf package that is “perfect” for your group.
Fred Boos and the entire staff a Grand View believe that GOLF SHOULD BE FUN! Therefore, The Pines annually hosts several golf tournaments that are open to the public and provide an entertaining golf experience that test the skills of golfers of all levels. Golf is fun, but the opportunity of winning a big prize for the once in a lifetime shot is like winning the lottery. Let’s take a look at each.
The Minnesota Putting Championship is a putting tournament where two person best-ball teams putt to tough hole locations on the 18-greens of the Lakes and Woods. Nine holes are marked as Hole-in-One holes, with a prize of $100 for an ace. Teams drive their carts from green to green, then attempt putts to never-seen-before holes. At the conclusion of the tournament hors d’oeuvres are served at Freddy’s where the prize money is paid out.
The Lakes Area Par-3 Tournament is a tournament where every hole on the Lakes and Woods is converted to a par 3 hole. Grand View purchases insurance that pays Hole-in-One Prizes of $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000, in CASH – on every hole. This 2-person best ball event attracts golfers from all over the state. Last year, PGA TOUR veteran and fellow Minnesotan, Tim “Lumpy” Herron competed in the unusual event. Prizes include: trips to the U.S. Open, NBA Championship and Stanley Cup.
The Annual Fish and Golf Tournament is a one-of-a-kind tournament for outdoors people who like to FISH and play GOLF. Day one of this 3-person event is a total weight for: 2 bass, 2 northern, 2 walleye (with a side cash pot for big fish in each category). A Cote family walleye dinner is served at Grand Dining Room in the Main Lodge after weigh in. Day two is a 3-person scramble at The Pines with lunch following.
The IRONMAN is the toughest golf tournament in the world! This scramble tournament is truly the “Toughest golf tournament in the world!” The event has become the favorite of both staff and players. The Pines is set up as tough as possible (length and hole location – plus the iffy October weather). The entire Grand View staff spends all summer selecting the devilish hole locations for the IRONMAN. Every team competes for the giant “cash” gross skins.
The experience gained in one hundred years of treating guests like “GUESTS”, makes Grand View Lodge the can’t miss golf destination in Minnesota.