Breezy Point Resort – Believe The Hyperbole
By E. Nolan
At some point praise becomes hyperbole. I’m not exactly sure what that point is, but I’m sure I’m well past it with Breezy. But… I can’t go back to simple praise, nor would I modify ANY of my affectionate statements. I honestly beg to write this article every year and anticipate the opportunity almost as much as I anticipate Christmas, because I truly believe that neither a second nor a cent of any time or money spent on a Breezy Point golf (or family) vacation is wasted. Having visited the resort seven years in a row now, I can attest that Breezy Point resort feels like a home away from home, and the wonderful people working there feel very much like family. You can find that “temporary home” for yourself – an idyllic golf (and family) vacation – right here on the shores of Pelican Lake.
Let’s start with the golf, and begin the three-course breakdown with The Traditional. The smallest and tightest of courses can also be the most relaxing and serene. On “The T” you’re strolling historic fairways walked by some of the greatest players in the game, and likely getting plenty of good iron work and chip out practice in the process. The tunnel vision required to play through the hallways of trees rewards you on the more open holes where the fairways feel twice their actual size. People who play all three courses on a visit claim the premium on accuracy of The Traditional improves their scores on the other courses. It almost makes the other two seem easy.
Almost. I wouldn’t call Whitebirch easy. Whitebirch has a blend of Traditional and Deacon’s in it. There are a few super tight fairways and a few beautiful water holes. It has more length in general, more openness and more forgiveness of most tees. All of those mores add up to a lot of real good and, in general, great fun. The Whitebirch experience peaks on the three-hole stretch from 15 to 17, a trio I’d trip over myself to go play again, if I wasn’t already on my way to Deacon’s.
Deacon’s Lodge…oh, how I love thee…too much to count the ways. There are some courses you like less after each visit, and there are courses like Deacon’s that you only love more. Arnold Palmer’s tribute to his father Deacon is easily one of the 5 best courses in the entire state of Minnesota (it’s in my Top 2) and deserves to be in every publication’s “Top 100 in America.” Having played 22 Arnold Palmer designs around the United States (and world) I kid not in the least that it is my favorite of his in America, and only second worldwide to his Irish links, Tralee. For whatever that’s worth to you, rest assured that to me it means I can’t make it a year without playing it, and can’t make it a single round without taking at least a dozen pictures – pictures of things that Arnold Palmer must have seen and appreciated as he first walked around the course…the views, the loons, the incredible details we can relate to, coming from a man who loved the game of golf as much or more than we do.
I flip through my Deacon’s yardage guide as I write this, Arnold Palmer’s original, that was given to me by another great man at Breezy. It brings a smile to my face as I think of all the great shots and memories I’ve had on each hole out there with my kids and with the other golf journalists I’ve ushered up there. It’s a special place, a place worth toasting after the round, under the moose, in Palmer’s Grille.
Palmer’s Grille has a full bar and great menus. Whether it is wings, burgers, ribs or walleye you’re after, they usually have a bevy of flavors for those options. Back over in the Whitebirch clubhouse (a half-mile west of the resort gates), Antlers Restaurant combines fine dining with a casual vibe – letting you come as you are to enjoy seafood, prime rib and top of the line steaks. That’s the menu for many, but typically (with six of us) not for me. My kids want to be down on the water as much as possible, which for dinner typically means we’re at Dockside or Marina II.
Marina II offers an appetizing mix of fine dining options like Antlers with a setting on the lake, indoors, and with spectacular panoramic views of Breezy Bay. More steaks, more seafood… more choices… more of everything you want. It’s hard to stray from the comforts, smells and flavors of Marina II, unless it’s a beautiful day. Then, it’s hard not to be outside, at the tables of Dockside, just a few feet from the water. One of my favorite places to eat on a summer night offers a lively atmosphere and diverse menu, often accentuated by LIVE music. Yes, Dockside packs the best of everything Breezy Point onto one cool waterfront patio.
From late May until the end of August, weekend nights at Dockside are even more spectacular as Chris Olson brings his famous “Memories of Elvis Show” and this year Doug Allen Nash brings his Johnny Cash & Neil Diamond Tribute show to Fridays (from June 28-August 23). Other performers, from visiting local musicians to the popular mother-daughter duo The Turtle Doves (and many more) will light up the stage other nights. Bottom line: This place is hopping all summer long!
Dockside capitalizes on the lake at night, especially at sunset. You can capitalize on the lake around the clock. Breezy Point resort is on Breezy Bay on Pelican Lake. There are beaches here, water toys, water sports, fishing and even the classic Breezy Belle paddle wheel boat to take rides on. The water fun continues indoors with the pool and the Rec Center on the resort property and to the other pools up at the Whitebirch Estates (where we typically stay).
Breezy Point Resort offers plenty of lodging options to the visitor. You can stay in the Breezy Inn (100 yards from the lake), with its Double Queen and King rooms and suites. There are One and Two Bedroom retreats (both on the resort property and up the street at Whitebirch), many of them right on the lake, and then there are the setups for bigger groups or those with more diversified needs. Breezy Point offers cabin options with 3, 4, 5, 6 and even 11 bedrooms (at the Fawcett House). My favorite place to stay is in the Deacon’s Lodge Cabins, and I always request them, but (even six months out) they’re almost always sold out. That’s how popular this place is. That’s how much the “I’m not the only one who absolutely loves this place” rings true. You see, at a certain point (when everyone agrees with you) hyperbole almost feels like an understatement.
I love Breezy Point Resort and I’m confident you will too. Believe the hyperbole.