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Tee Times Magazine | Minneapolis/St. Paul

Breezy Point

Fairways & Greens
August 18, 2017

Come Full Circle At Teal Wing Golf Club At Teal Lake Lodge
Teal Wing #15
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Teal Wing #15
Inside The Historic Teal Lake Lodge
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Inside The Historic Teal Lake Lodge
By Will Brogan


When looking at a map of the property at Ross' Teal Lake Lodge, you'll notice two distinct features, one of which is unusual. It's no surprise that nearly two dozen of the resort's cabins reside on the shores of Teal Lake, but what is unusual is the resemblance of a "spiral" pattern of routing defining the layout of several golf holes at Teal Wing Golf Club. The Ross family, who took charge in designing most of the course themselves in an environmentally friendly fashion, would like to cordially invite you to take the journey exactly twenty miles East of Hayward to come experience the best true "getaway" that Wisconsin's Northwoods has to offer. Speaking of offers, take note that there are free golf packages available in the months of May and October to bookend the golf season, so be sure to consider that discount when planning your Hayward vacation!

Teal Wing Golf Club
Ross' Teal Lake Lodge, operated by the Ross family since 1921, is a rustic "throwback" resort from yesteryear in its architecture, though certainly not in it's service. Even though Teal Wing Golf Club opened in 1997, it has an ambiance about it that makes golfers feel like it's been there since the days of architects like Donald Ross and A. W. Tillinghast. In fact, the greens are designed as if they were built during that golden era of golf course architecture: they run about 8 on the Stimpmeter, yet their slopes and contours are reminiscent of the way greens were designed by that generation.

Just shy of 6,400 yards, Teal Wing Golf Club is comprised of your usual setup of holes to give a par of 72. However, outside of the par threes, all but one hole curves in one direction or the other, and every hole is tightly lined with the variety of evergreens that are native to the area. During the first year of the course's existence, the Ross family was anticipating 30% of the growth around the holes to subside from exposure to activity. However, strong rains that season meant there was even more significant growth, leading to only 10% of those areas being "cut" away from the fairways. As a result, Teal Wing puts a premium on accuracy. Ross' Teal Lake Lodge and Teal Wing Golf Club sit in the heart of the Chequamegon National Forest, and holes 1,2,9,10,11, and 18 spiral around a (very rare) virgin Hemlock grove in the middle of the property.

For all but the shortest of hitters, this is a "leave the driver in the bag" course, and that's not a problem. Since the doglegs on the driving holes are so significant, angles are not provided for monster tee shots anywhere, except the 18th, in which large fairway boulders provide a fun "shotgun site" for golfers to aim for. If you have a club that you (most of the time) hit dead straight anywhere from 180-220 yards, tee it up with that club all day long!

Five sets of tees, including just 4,000 yards of golf from the forward tees, allow golfers of all abilities to go have fun at Teal Wing. In fact, the Purple (shortest) tees are set up so that shorter hitters may have a realistic chance of beating longer hitters! Still, whether you choose to gamble with the driver or not, remember this: the course record, set by the PGA Professional at the time, is only an even par 72. Think about that: no one has ever officially broken par on Teal Wing Golf Club. If that doesn't exemplify the challenge, what will?

The lack of use of the driver provides a great suggestion, unique to Teal Wing, that golfers should consider: if you truly want to make it fun, and match the rustic feel of the resort, greens, and course as a whole, rent some hickory shafted clubs for the weekend. This course has a feel that yearns for stars like Vardon and Ouimet to walk its fairways, and that's not a bad thing. It has the "classic" feel to it from the first tee to the last green, so why not go all in with that concept? What a great way to take the edge off of "serious" competition and go enjoy every aspect of Teal Wing the way it is seemingly meant to be played!

Ross' Teal Lake Lodge: The Resort
A brochure for the property notes that Teal Lake Lodge is "reminiscent of a past era", and that's exactly right. This is not a place to go and sit in your cabin all day working on your laptop or making phone calls. Teal Lake Lodge was built for families to reconnect, for friends to strengthen their bonds, and for the scenic beauty of the area to be explored! The property is sandwiched between Teal River and Teal Lake, one of Wisconsin's "quiet lakes", in which boats cannot exceed ten miles per hour. This allows for undisrupted fishing but also quiet, relaxing times on the shore.

The main lodge serves breakfast from 7:30 to 11:00 am every morning, while the dining area is also open for lunch and dinner five nights a week. Perhaps the neatest amenity offered at Teal Lake is their "picnic" dining option. Two to three times per week, you can have a picnic anywhere on the property (though the center of any fairway is not advised), where your food will be delivered to you. We're not talking your basic peanut butter and jelly sandwich picnic either: the cooks at Teal Lake Lodge will cook steak or fish dinners and deliver them to your picnic site hot and ready! Too bad you can't get that kind of service everywhere!

The variety of lodging options is another significant aspect that makes Teal Lake Lodge a great getaway destination. Over twenty lakeside cabins are comprised of a variety of sizes, from one bedroom "apartments" to large four bedroom "reunion cabins", and virtually every size in between. Whether your group is coming for a four generation reunion, golf outing, bachelor(ette) party, or even a honeymoon, Ross' Teal Lake Lodge can suit your every need. Additional facets of the lodge include a heated swimming pool, a bocce ball court, the Harbor Club Bar, and of course the one thing that is vital to any Wisconsin resort: plenty of fishing!

Ross' Teal Lake Lodge provides a myriad of options that will surely suit the needs of everyone in your party, no matter how large or small. Whether you fancy yourself a "linksmaster" or not, there is plenty to do around Teal Lake Lodge that will allow you to disconnect from the "real world" for a few days while recharging your batteries. The best way to experience Ross' Teal Lake Lodge is by experiencing all it has to offer and allow yourself to come full circle with your vacation.




Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, April 21, 2014
Article comment by: Mike MacDonald

I have played this course and it is beautiful and challenging. We ordered lunch at the turn and they brought it out to us on 11th tee. Great place.



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