Breezy Point Resort – “Duck, Duck, Great Duck”

By E. Nolan






Excellence and consistency, on their own are impressive when attained. Both attained together is incredibly rare, and therefore even more impressive. On a radio interview at the PGA Show in Orlando this year, I was asked to name “three to five of my favorite golf resorts from around the country.” Having visited over 250 American golf resorts, but with no cue card to refer to at that moment, I sweated the response, worried I’d forget someone important. “Bandon Dunes, Sand Valley, Big Cedar Lodge, Pinehurst… Breezy Point.”

“Breezy Point?” the interviewer cut me off. (The others are household names.) “It’s in the heart of Lake Country in Minnesota,” I nodded, realizing it was the Gray Duck in the other figurative Duck, Duck, Ducks. “Impressive company,” the host replied, before adding he’d never heard of it. “Let me know if you’re ever in Minnesota,” I insisted. “I’ll get you there.” He said “okay” and maybe meant it. I handed him my card. I meant (and mean) it. If you’re ever in Minnesota, you really should get to Breezy Point.

The radio host wanted to know how Breezy Point belonged in the same conversation with all those other marquee golf resorts. His skepticism was fair. I clarified that it’s not that Breezy Point rivalled any of them in terms of golf courses, lodging, setting, or anything specifically. It’s that Breezy Point, small as it may be in comparison to those behemoths, just does everything right.

That starts with ownership and management, as the Spizzo family has stopped at nothing to maintain a level of excellence throughout their staff and guest service, never hesitating to pounce on an opportunity to improve their resorts appeal, amenities, and guest opportunities. Breezy Point is a place I could envision living for the rest of my life, because they cover everything, I think we all need in our lives.

Now in my 15th year as a golf journalist, approaching 700 courses played, I’ll concede I’m harder to impress. But when impressed, I like to point out what does it for me. Breezy Point Resort has three golf courses… a Goldilocks and the three bears scenario. Director of Golf, Mark Johnson claims to love them all equally. “Three is at least better than one,” he interrupts my laughter. “Right?” Yes. (Love the guy.) And he does have a point.

The Traditional has literally stood the test of time – a course that has been wandered on foot by many of the game’s legends. Tighter and smaller than the others, it demands precision and presents challenges and limits on club selection the others don’t. Whitebirch was the original Championship layout in the Brainerd Lakes area. A popular tournament course and phenomenal golf value, it gives you a little bit of everything in just the right doses. Then there’s Deacon’s Lodge, my favorite public golf course in Minnesota. Arnold Palmer built this course to honor his dad – a testament to how much he must have loved his father, with so much to love about the entire course.

Even with a legitimate ten signature holes and arguably the best front nine in the state, it took a while for Deacon’s Lodge to get the respect it deserves. Much of that can be attributed to the unselfish nature of Breezy Point’s leadership. Owners and managers alike are always quick to point out to visiting media how much they like the other golf courses (and restaurants) in the area. Mark Neva, Manager of Deacon’s Lodge, has nothing but the greatest of respect for those in similar roles at what many might see as “competitor” resorts. “I believe that what’s good for one of us is good for all of us,” Mark says, “and won’t hesitate to promote what I love and appreciate about all the great people and places around us.” He’s right about there being a lot of greatness for vacationers in the Brainerd Lakes area, but a little selfishness would be merited too. Now prominently featured at the top of every national “Best in State” rankings list, karma has given Deacon’s Lodge all the attention from media and golfers it needs.

There are literally dozens of lodging options at Breezy Point resort, including several currently under construction. There are multi-story golf lodges at Deacon’s Lodge (personal favorite), condos, townhomes, lake cabins on Pelican Lake, hotel rooms and suites. We have our preferences, depending on the size of party we take with us, but what’s most impressive is the range in cost. Vacation Affordability is still a thing at Breezy Point Resort – no splurging required. You can get a room by the lake, with a pool, on a golf course without even breaking a modestly sized piggy bank.

Speaking of options… Breezy Point Resort lets you park your car and never leave. With Breezy’s restaurant options, at the main resort and each of the golf courses, variety is spiced with all kinds of life here. It’s admittedly hard to leave Dockside, especially when the Live Music is pumping, the water is calm, the stars are out and you’re chillaxin’ with family and/or friends. Dockside offers American Grill options, pizzas, and plenty of kid-friendly favorites in an unbeatable location on Pelican Lake. But if you venture away from the water, you can also find steak and seafood upstairs at Marina II AND up the road at Antlers (at Whitebirch Golf Course), crazy awesome wings and sandwiches at Palmer’s Grille (at Deacon’s Lodge) and ice cream, Caribou Coffee and treats at The Coffee House. Get ready for the ultimate bar experience! Introducing The North Star, the Brainerd Lakes area’s newest sports bar coming to Breezy Point this summer, featuring elevated pub grub, a 20-option self-serve tap wall, four golf simulators, and more!

The Serenity Spa is a sublime slice of paradise for those seeking a little “me” time for a facial, nail treatment, massage, wax, or other pampering experiences. From passive though the resort goes full-active, with a Rec Center, several swimming pools, the awesome Paddle-Wheel Boat – Breezy Belle – for dinner cruises and lake loops, a marina (always packed with boats and lake toys) the beach with volleyball nets, tennis courts, fishing, a meeting center, and banquet facilities for hosting up to 500 people and more. This is, after all, a year-round resort… not just a summer escape.

The Brainerd Lakes Resort is always acquiring new properties, expanding operations as they can (such as The North Star), with big plans for the future (especially on the hockey front). Beyond that, away from Brainerd, Breezy Point has a sister resort in Detroit Lakes. Forest Hills Golf & RV Resort is a more subdued and remote escape. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or planning a vacation home, it’s great for those seeking a casual getaway. The improvements never stop! Forest Hills Golf Club is the only course in Minnesota with Black Sand bunkers!

The greatest compliment I can pay a place after countless visits over the past 12 years is to say that we’re always treated like family there… always feel like we’re more than just a dollar sign to the powers that be. “The most consistent of resort experiences in Minnesota,” Breezy Point is a place that never gets too big, is never too full of itself, doesn’t overlook anything and always (ALWAYS) is looking for ways to improve. I work hard for my money and try to always spend it wisely. I’ve never regretted spending a penny at Breezy Point Resort and hopefully… have many more opportunities to spend my time and money there.