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Tee Times Magazine | Minneapolis/St. Paul

Breezy Point

Fairways & Greens
August 17, 2017

Voyager Village - Bon Voyage
E. Nolan

I can't get away from this title (I've admittedly used a variation of it before). It's just too perfect to pass on. "Bon Voyage" is French for "have a great trip," which is exactly what a trip to Voyager Village in Danbury, Wisconsin is - GREAT. Only 100 easy miles from St. Paul, up I35 and east on 70, this weekend (and/or everyday) getaway is lusciously surrounded by 5,200 colorful acres of Northwest Wisconsin woods, lakes and wildlife.

As much a community as it is an escape, Voyager Village draws its numbers from popular features like the Grill's Sunday morning breakfast, aquatic and fitness centers, lawn bowling, mini-golf, nature and bike trails, tennis courts and (of course) the 27 holes of memorable golf. Membership offers a relaxed (very relaxed) country club lifestyle - with all the requisite amenities - but Voyager Village is open to the public every day. Voyager Village offers unique accessibility through its own on-site airfield. Fly in and fly out the same day, stay for a week, or just move here - make the most of whatever your window of opportunity is.

"In reality we are the best of both worlds - membership with its benefits (some of our amenities are member usage only), plus our golf course, restaurant, air strip are open to the public," says Community Manager Jennifer Johnson.

Voyager Village is remote but close to the cities, crowded with outdoor enthusiasts, but with plenty of room for you... a great place to raise a family or visit, but an even better place to retire - with remarkable real estate values! I'm always impressed on my visits at just how much this place has to offer... to everyone.

Voyager Village boasts a ring of eleven glistening lakes, with broad appeal to swimmers, boaters, floaters and fish (which fishers seem to appreciate). Minnesota golfers tend to be equally passionate fisher(wo)men, and they'll certainly meet their match with the pike, walleye, bass and bluegills here, as much as they will the challenging golf holes.

The cycling and hiking trails of summer give way to cross-country skiing, ATV riders and snowmobilers in winter - the definition of year-round exploration. There are card clubs, game nights, activities for children and the young at heart, the mini-golf is super fun and the other property activities load the every day with new opportunities. It's like a summer camp, for four full seasons.

But this is a golf article in a golf magazine, so you're likely curious about the golf - the quality and the quantity. I mentioned the country-club atmosphere earlier, and that is an element of pride for management, not just in the social and hospitality departments, but in the conditions of the course. "The course just might be in the best condition it has ever been in," states Jennifer. "We've had a great spring and the green is popping. We're very proud of the experience we provide our visitors."

And they get plenty of them. Voyager Village draws in many golf groups looking for a great tournament host site with the diversity the average city course can't provide. It starts with the members, who are proud to show off their course (and fully catered Prime Rib dinners afterward) and expands to the explorers - the golfers who have checked it out and can't wait to return... and bring their friends. Low cost + high value = happy people all around.

The greatest part of the "high value" is the high quality of the golf. It begins with a 9-hole Par 3 course along the lake with some spectacular shots - golf and photographic. Family-friendly and a great warm-up or cool-down round, these 27 (to 50 or so) swings will punctuate your day with pleasure.

And then there's the championship 18. A fast and all-club friendly round, maxed out at 6,589 yards, Voyager Village Golf Course makes sharp turns, dramatic drops and steady climbs through the hilly topography, with some pretty beautiful views, and a generous mixture of wildlife sightings. (Check out the scorecard on their website for a stunning aerial view of the lakeside property.) A friend of mine who worked there for years liked to boast of his "Tin Cup" drive - using the airstrip that divides the property - a 1,400 yard drive that launched from the #1 tee box and ended just off the #5 green. I stood on the first tee box on my inaugural round there, looked around (and at the scorecard) and just laughed. It was a moment of smiles that kicked off four more hours of smiles for me. (Love the Par 3, 4th and Par 4, 18th holes!) A fun and memorable round.

And speaking of memories, I keep coming back to the same memories of Voyager Village - the friendly people, the great course, the beautiful lakes. I came back to the same title for this story, and to the same favorite quote I use any time I refer to the destination: "It's The Village People Voyage To." If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? And Voyager Village is perfect just the way it is.

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