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Tee Times Magazine | Minneapolis/St. Paul

Breezy Point

Fairways & Greens
June 25, 2017

Spooner Golf Club - Full Spoon
Spooner Golf Club #18 Photo Courtesy Jim Gallop
+ click to enlarge
Spooner Golf Club #18 Photo Courtesy Jim Gallop
Spooner Golf Club #8 Photo Courtesy Jim Gallop
+ click to enlarge
Spooner Golf Club #8 Photo Courtesy Jim Gallop
By E. Nolan

Imagine Mary Poppins singing, "Just a Spooner full of sugar," and you'll never forget the course's name. Actually visit Spooner Golf Club and you'll never forget the course, either: So GO already.

As directions to great golf go, Spooner Golf Club makes it easy: Take 94 west from the Twin Cities to Highway 63 then go north. Two hours (total) to "can't miss" and only another 20 miles to Hayward. Welcome to the "Golf Capital of Wisconsin."

The Hayward Lakes Area is the Badger State equivalent of Minnesota's Brainerd Lakes - north of all the big cities, beautiful water all around... nature at its most glorious. The Hayward Lakes Area host many a resort and star golf course, but no facility shines any more brilliantly than Spooner Golf Club.

Part of the draw is off the course, in the elements you select for your getaway. Spooner feeds the golf traveler with a bonanza of lodging partners, providing some pretty special Stay & Play packages: Best Western, America's Best Inn, Heartwood Conference Center, The Country House Motel & RV Park, Inn Town Motel, Northwest Lodging and Kelly's Cable Lake Resort. This diverse arrangement of hotel, motel and resort accommodations lets you determine your own space, amenity and budget needs and meet them all at great values with ease. From that plate to the palette, visitors will eat their fill of goodness at the ALL NEW Bar and Roost Restaurant. With seating for many, food a plenty, and TV screens to take in the sports world, lick your chops then take your chops to the links.

Sticking with the "simple and successful" theme, Spooner Golf Club features a Northwest Wisconsin First in its FREE GPS app, with flyover video of all 18 holes, course info and easy online tee time booking. You can come prepared digitally and mentally for what you're going to face on the course, tune up at the spacious practice facilities upon arrival, and/or if you need a little extra help, General Manager/PGA Head Professional Fred Friedman offers Class "A" instruction to individuals, groups and juniors. Your golf needs and expectations are going to be met here on each level at every age - especially juniors. Spooner Golf Club is a PGA Family Course, one of only four in the State of Wisconsin featuring TWO sets of Junior tees, with $1/hole rates for any junior playing with an adult. Double down on the great Spooner values yourself (as an adult) by getting a "return rate" of ½ price on Sunday after any Friday or Saturday round. A new spin on the 2-for-1!

The championship course is a classic Tom Vardon routing, enhanced by Gordon Emerson 50 years later (in 1980). Over the past eight and a half decades the course has maintained its original design integrity, and the longevity of love expressed by reviewers is as revealing as the laughter echoing throughout the clubhouse and across the property. As much today as yesteryear, people love to play Spooner Golf Club. This is one of those places that golfers come back so often to because there's so much offered to come back to. (Think about that.) Four-hour rounds are the norm, lost balls are abnormal, and hole-in-one's happen with such regularity that people at the bar actually turn down drinks when they happen (or so I'm told).

The 18 holes feature plenty of tree-lined, mostly-flat, fairways with the occasional water hazard interrupting here and there just to keep you alert. There is plenty of room for driver on most holes and plenty of forgiveness found beneath the trees on "strays." You can work your way around the course with little difficulty, and plenty of enjoyment, and just might shoot your best score ever. (Which is never really a bad thing.) Playability and course conditions are clearly stressed, as the rough is never too rough, and the greens are firm and fast.

Spooner Golf Club saves its best for last (as the course design goes), with the spectacular lake-lined 18th. The Wisconsin Department of Tourism selected this beast of a closer in its "Dairyland Dream 18" - as daunting a hole as it is memorable. (Imagine playing it back in the day with Hickories!) The curvy crescendo hits all the right notes, an amazing hole all day long, especially near sunset, as the animals come out to frolic and drink, and you get to take it all in and hopefully end with a birdie (instead of a bath).

I discovered Spooner Golf Club on the return leg of a great golf trip to Hayward, and it altered my Northwest Wisconsin itineraries forever. It doesn't pretend to go head-to-head with the national best, but it always intends to make its mark on your heart. Full Spoon + Your Heart = Can't Lose.

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