Breezy Point Resort – Built For Summer
By E. Nolan
There’s not a kid, teacher or resort owner in Minnesota that doesn’t wish summer was six months long. Our winters seem to last half a year… why can’t summer? Resorts like Breezy Point don’t mind the winters as much as others do, considering they stay open and active year round, but when you spend a weekend, week or any extended period of time at Breezy Point Resort during June, July or August… yeah, you know the place was Built. For. Summer.
Breezy Point Resort is what I refer to as an “itinerary anchor” of the Brainerd Lakes. There are four such anchors up there – four “elite” resorts that cater to (potentially) millions of vacationers each year. My family has visited Breezy Point Resort seven consecutive years (this summer will be eight) and a visit to our “home away from home” on Pelican Lake is as much a staple of our family summer’s as it is to literally hundreds of other families across Minnesota and the entire Midwest. Every one of my kids knows the general manager, the golf professionals and the marketing people at Breezy by name because they are always there… and not just “there,” but visible AND interactive with guests. Breezy Point is their official home and it is their mission to make every guest’s visit feel like some sort of home on the road as well.
Breezy Point is a golf resort, but not just a golf resort… Minnesota’s second biggest golf resort – one of only two facilities in Minnesota with at least three 18-hole golf courses and 54 holes of golf. As a travel agent and golf packager I send hundreds of golfers to Brainerd each year – a no-brainer referral given that stellar hosts like Breezy Point can help them build a package from their three great courses AND any number of other great options in the area. Breezy’s three golf courses range from the historic at The Traditional, the resort-style at Whitebirch and the most champion of championship courses at Deacon’s Lodge – an Arnold Palmer Signature Course created in tribute to his father. My suggestion is to play all three on a visit – Their 2019 Triple Play Package lets you do just that with two nights lodging in their Breezy Inn or Breezy Center, breakfast each morning AND a dinner one night in their Marina II restaurant on the water.
The Traditional Course is on the main resort property, an easy walk from the main resort buildings and a majority of the lakeside lodging, AND an easy walking course for those who like a little more exercise while they golf. The Traditional is a true test of a player’s accuracy, a fun course to play with hickories (in that it’s not overly long, at only 5,192 yards) and a beautiful stroll through tree-lined corridors that run deep into the woods. Rolling hills and tight greens add to the challenge of a course that was made famous by the A-list guests who visited Breezy Point and raved about their Traditional experiences.
Whitebirch is a bit more of a test in many ways. Yes, it is more open and forgiving off most tee boxes than The Traditional, but it is also quite a bit longer and brings many more hazards into play with bunkers, wetlands and other water hazards. Whitebirch is located just up the street from the main resort property, adjacent the clubhouse that hosts the popular Antlers Restaurant and the many multi-bedroom lodging options at Breezy’s Whitebirch Estates. Whitebirch has a little rich history of its own, in that it was the first championship golf layout in the Brainerd Lakes Area. With over 6,700 yards of lush playing space, Whitebirch put Breezy Point on the serious golfer’s map and anchored that place until the resort acquired the Arnold Palmer gem at Deacon’s Lodge.
Golf owes so much of it’s current popularity to Tiger Woods, but Tiger would have never become the star he is were it not for the legends before him – superstars like Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus and (arguably THE most popular golfer of all time) Arnold Palmer. Arnold Palmer and his design partner Ed Seay, along with their illustrious team, have built golf courses all over the United States and the world, and while many of them are great, (having now played 34 of his courses) I continue to contend that no American Palmer design is better than Deacon’s Lodge, and I rank only Tralee Golf Links in Ireland ahead of it in the entire world. Take that for what it’s worth, but to me it means that I/we have Arnold Palmer’s best American golf design only two hours away (only 120 miles from the Twin Cities). Other than the phenomenal people at Breezy Point Resort, that is why I visit Breezy Point so much.
Deacon’s Lodge has a full collection of signature holes. The course features one of my favorite openers anywhere (tough as it might be), and follows that up with my favorite Par 5 in the state. Hole-after-hole on the front you are peppered with greatness and awestruck by the natural beauty of the course carved through the woods and around the lakes. The front always seems to play a bit easier than the back, given the back has some tricky hole layouts with well-guarded and even trickier greens, but put both sides together and you have the perfect mix of championship golf. I am, admittedly, biased and not just because of my affection for Arnold Palmer. Of the 9 golf courses I LOVE in Minnesota Deacon’s happens to be my second favorite.
I can give you many more reasons to visit than the golf. The lakeside resort is packed with activities, from boating (out of their private marina) to fishing, beaches, the recreation center and a number of pools, tennis and cruises on the Breezy Belle. There are four feature restaurants. Antlers presents a country club vibe in the Whitebirch Clubhouse, with views of the golf course. The Marina II offers steaks, chops and seafood on the lake with fabulous views of Breezy Bay. If you’re looking to chill out on the water, you can’t find many better places in all of Brainerd than The Dockside Lounge with its great patio, and menu full of appetizers, sandwiches, pizzas and salads. And then there’s Palmer’s Grille at Deacon’s Lodge, serving lunch and dinner adjacent THE course in “rustic elegance.”
The Dockside Lounge doubles up as the Live Action hub of the resort. Breezy Point Resort hosts many musical stars (beneath the stars) throughout the summer, from a Beatles Tribute, to Wyld Ryce, Chris Olson (“Memories of Elvis”), Penny Gilley, Doug Allen Nash (and his Neil Diamond Tribute) and so much more. Check their calendar on your visit and make sure you get there early. The house is a rocking at Breezy Point Resort, every summer night.
You can come for the golf, the watersports, live entertainment, food, etc… Breezy has it all and then some. But, as numerous as the outdoor and recreational draws are, the lodging options are even more extensive. Breezy Point Resort offers no less than 33 different accommodations, ranging from Inn rooms and suites to one and two bedroom villas/houses and a dozen other unique retreats (3 to 11 bedrooms). It’s always been my dream to spend a night in The Boat House – but it’s ALWAYS booked way out. Jump at it if you get the chance.
In fact, jump on your chance to visit Breezy Point Resort this summer. Dave and his phenomenal staff can’t wait to show you and your friends/family a great all-around time.