By R.J. Smiley

The 18 hole Championship Golf Course at the Royal Golf Club will not be open until the spring of 2018.

The public is welcome to enjoy Arnie’s, a steakhouse restaurant, the Short Course, a six-hole loop designed for both adults and kids, and the Practice Range in late August.

Hollis Cavner is the golf entrepreneur who has entertained millions of golf fans with his harem of PGA Champions Tour golf tournaments. His company, Pro Links Sports has events scattered across the USA throughout the year. Hollis is the founder and director of the 3M Championship at the TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota. Over the years Hollis has created a huge amount of trust and goodwill with the 3M company.

It seemed only logical that when 3M, the mega conglomerate that made Scotch Tape and Post-It-Notes famous, made the decision that owning and managing Tartan Park golf course in Lake Elmo no longer fit their companies profile, Hollis Cavner was the perfect person to purchase the outdated golf course and take it in a new direction.

To say that Hollis took the golf course in a new direction is an under statement. He created a golf course that is unique. It will stand as a shrine to Arnold Palmer, the King of Golf, and Annika Sorenstam – his Queen. The golf course located in the sleepy village of Lake Elmo is designed to be the Mount Rushmore of golf.

“How could anyone create something unique in golf?” you ask. Cavner combined the decades old and ultimately experienced golf course design talents of Arnold Palmer with the best woman golfer in history, Annika Sorenstam, to build the Royal Golf Club. A golf course with two designers is not unique. (Arnold Palmer and Tom Lehman teamed up to design TPC Twin Cities.) The uniqueness of the Royal Golf Club comes from the fact that it is the last golf course that THE KING, Arnold Palmer, will ever design. It is also unique in the fact that Annika Sorenstam designed nine holes. It was her first major project in the U.S. At the Royal Golf Club, there is not a front and back nine, the nines will be known as the King Nine and the Queen Nine. See related interview with Annika Sorenstam in this issue of Tee Times. Take it from the knowing eyes of this writer, the Royal Golf Club is something special. Eighteen holes, each fitted perfectly onto the topography of the former Tartan Park property, utilizing 50-year-old trees to frame the fairways and landing areas. This public access course will instantly become a favorite among Twin Cities golfers.

Cavner and his people had to make a tough decision recently. The original plan was to celebrate the Grand Opening of the wonderful golf course late in the 2017 season. Every developer of a golf property looks forward to the day when the cash starts to flow and satisfied customers rave about the golf course.

“Let’s wait until spring,” Cavner said recently. “We want the golf course perfect for every player from Opening Day through infinity. Arnie and Annika designed the golf course to be played with perfect conditions. If we allow golfers to play it before that time, they will have been cheated.”

Arnie’s Restaurant, the Golf Shop, the Practice Range and the Short Course will open in late August.

Short Course
Kids will play golf FREE FOREVER on the Short Course! The free golf for kids’ concept is another of Cavner’s ideas to grow golf. Any kid can play the six hole loop FREE at any time. Arnold Palmer loved the idea of free golf for kids. Kids may play it alone or with their parents (who will pay a small fee). There is no better place to bond than on the golf course and Tee Times will expand on the Short Course a later issue.

Arnie’s is an American Steakhouse featuring classic steakhouse menu items as well as innovative variations on real American food. The restaurant will feature a variety of enjoyable small plates allowing customers to create an uncommon personal dining experience. The small plates may also be shared among the group creating interesting culinary discussions. Arnie’s Southern Fried Chicken is a throwback to the traditional Sunday meal, when families sat around the dinner table after church.

Executive Chef Dennis Dahl, Sous Chef Tim Fuhrman and their team will create and deliver unique nightly dinner specials allowing customers a vote in the always-evolving menu. Their goal is to find the perfect balance between current culinary trends and the American classics. Faithful customers will be forced to make a choice between their old favorite or something fresh and new. Arnie’s will serve lunch and dinner on a daily basis and will be offering breakfast on the weekends.

Seated on the outdoor patio overlooking Horseshoe Lake with 180 degree views of the Annika Sorenstam and Arnold Palmer masterpiece, patrons will feast on braised local beef tenderloin alongside homemade gnocchi, mixed peppers, fresh spinach, and India Pale Ale Ragu while sipping a glass of Skyfall Cabernet. The chef’s feature “farm to table” trends such as Duroc Pork, a grilled porterhouse served with locally sourced wild rice and many other fresh kitchen ingredients will go nicely with Folie A Deux Zinfandel. Or they may enjoy walleye done the Minnesota way, pan seared with a glass of unoaked chardonnay.

Whether you’re coming off the course in a golf shirt, or it’s date night in your Sunday best… Arnie’s has a seat for you!

Golf Shop
Anticipating a late summer grand opening, the Golf Shop at Royal Golf Club is loaded with logo merchandise. With the latest in golf fashion for both men and women, the pro shop has a golf shirt or sweater to fit each golfers personal style. Caps sporting the Royal Golf Club logo come in a variety of colors and styles. With the fall golf season coming soon, a windbreaker from the Royal Golf Club will give the golfer that added edge. Free range balls are provided with the purchase of $50 or more of pro shop merchandise.

Practice Areas
The Practice Areas at the Royal Golf Club are dedicated to excellence to match the balance of the golf facility designed to honor the King and Queen. With 40 hitting stations and wonderful targets the range will be the place that serious golfers come to work on their game. Dedicated to the best, golfers will hit new Titleist NXT Tour S balls. These balls will produce the exact reaction off the clubface every shot. In addition, the Club boasts an expansive putting green and short game area overlooking Horseshoe Lake.

As the days of August slip away, make it a count down to that day in late August when the Royal Golf Club opens. From the hilltop clubhouse golfers can fantasize what it will be like to play the Queen and King as they dine in luxury, play the Short Course, practice on the range or spend hours investigating every item in the fully stocked pro shop.

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