Welcome to our “The place I Performed” collection, through which a GOLF staffer runs by way of a current day at a course you may play in your future. On this event, we’re teeing it up at The Pines, in Brainerd, Minn.
On a current journey to Grand View Lodge, my dad’s favourite spot in our rental was within the sun-soaked porch, hand on his chin as he watched golfers chip, putt and putt once more on the third inexperienced under us.
We now have taken household journeys to Grand View earlier than, however on this event we stayed within the resort’s new North Pines neighborhood, the place some houses are open and others are nonetheless being constructed. It is off the principle property, however these locations are greater and nice for households or giant teams, they usually have all the pieces — loads of bedrooms and loos, large TVs, a porch, deck and a firepit. This one even had a pool desk.
However let’s get again to the start. Our place’s greatest characteristic was its location, which was perched on a hill and searching down on the third inexperienced of the Woods 9. Chicken watching? Boring. Watching resort golfers navigate a tough downhill par-3 with water lurking? Sure, please.
Grand View Lodge is a few two-hour drive north of the Twin Cities in Brainerd, Minn. It is golf heaven up there; everybody native is aware of that, and Grand View is simply one of many space resorts that gives excellent lodging and golf lodging. The Pines, for instance, has three nines: the Woods, Marsh and Lakes. There’s additionally one other 18-hole course at Grand View, The Protect, situated about 5 miles down the street. Each programs are among the many state’s higher public choices, and you already know what? They’re solely getting higher.
In addition to the latest lodging digs, Grand View is in the course of a four-phase challenge, the aim of which is to rejuvenate all the resort’s 100-plus bunkers. (The Protect part has but to be accepted, however may very well be within the close to future.) Work at The Pines is already underway. Each bunker on property (67 of them) will likely be addressed — both moved, reshaped, or taken out altogether. They will even repair drainage (together with some greens that drained into bunkers to create washouts) and add new sand (Greatest Sand from Ohio) in each bunker.
Adam Haugen, the director of golf at Grand View, stated the bunker challenge has been talked about for a number of years and was extra lately stalled a few years in the past because of Covid. Now it is properly underway and part 1 is already full.
Work began on the Lakes 9 sooner than anticipated this fall and it is almost accomplished, save for just a few ending touches, however will likely be able to open within the spring. It went from 18 bunkers to fifteen. The Woods portion of the challenge additionally began within the fall and will likely be accomplished within the spring. The Marsh will likely be greater than a challenge, as they’re additionally creating new cart paths, fixing tees and a few greens. That can begin within the fall of 2023 and end within the spring of 2024. There’ll all the time be 18 holes open at The Pines all through the length of the challenge, and all 27 are anticipated to be open in mid-Could or June 1 subsequent yr (till the Marsh closes later within the fall for its work).
“We did not wish to make the course simpler by any means,” Haugen stated, “however we needed to make it strategic to suit gamers’ eyes and in addition be good for mid- to high-handicappers arising for the weekend.”
Haugen stated the aim of the challenge is not simply to refresh some sand, however to enhance the shot values of each gap. Carried out properly, a bunker challenge like it is a main change. Bunkers moved to new areas add extra strategic parts and reward good pictures.
Haugen used the Lakes 9 as a great instance of what they wish to accomplish.
“Standing on the primary tee field with what we already did, the footprint is not totally different however the visible is drastically totally different,” Haugen stated. “They are going to be capable to inform that is new, that now we have accomplished one thing. The largest aim was to make it one thing that was visibly noticeable that we did work and that was exceptionally pleasing, and for our upkeep employees to make it extra maintainable and playable.”
Mission completed? That snow cannot soften quick sufficient.