Grand View Lodge
Going Back in Time has Never Been so Luxurious than at Grand View Lodge in Minnesota
By Glen Turk
Every once in a while we all need to take a step back from the 21st century rat race we call life and decompress. But quite honestly there are not that many places left in the world where time has essentially stopped. If stepping into a time machine whose destination is set for 1916 sounds intriguing to you, then MGM has a grand golf destination in mind - The Grand View Lodge in Nisswa near Brainerd, Minnesota.
The focal point of Grand View Lodge is the lodge itself, a nearly century old rustic edifice that oozes up-north style and substance. Selected in 1979 for the National Registry of Historic Places, Grand View Lodge's main building offers one of the most well-preserved examples of early resort log construction in existence today. As part of the Historic designation, the Lodge cannot be altered by construction and only materials authentic to the early 1900's can be used throughout.
Down a flower-laden staircase behind the lodge resides Gull Lake, the ideal place to wash your cares away. Guests can rent canoes, kayaks, pontoon, or paddlewheel boats or just wade in the crystal clear water. The area between the lodge and lake is the ultimate place to have a wedding reception, family reunion, or just take in a magical sunset.
If you're anything like our staff you understand that the only way you can truly relax is if your accommodations are clean and comfortable. Grand View Lodge's Director of Sales and Marketing Frank Soukup could not agree more and therefore makes their lodging options a priority. "If there is one single thing that separates us from all our competitors, it's our accommodations. From our Lodge Rooms (studios in the upstairs of the historic lodge) to the Roy Lake Cottages (three story cabins with six bedrooms, full kitchens, pool tables, etc.), our cabin options are numerous," began Soukup. "We have over 200 accommodations and can house close to a 1,000 guests on site during the summer. Of those 200, they are broken into 13 different styles - like the romantic and completely modern Roy Cabins perfect for honeymooners, to our Golf Villas located right on the Pines for the serious golfer. One of our units, nicknamed 'Loon Lodge,' is eight locked out bedrooms with two front rooms, two kitchens and eight bathrooms. Loon Lodge is famous for golfers because the whole team can play, eat and have fun in the same accommodation," concluded Soukup.
Even after getting a good night's sleep MGM recommends that all golfers take advantage of Grand View's "Golfer's Massage" package at their Glacial Waters Spa, located only a pitching wedge from the main lodge. The 50 minute service is equal parts stretching and massage, and will allow your muscles to relax on the course! For a complete list of their services, visit www.grandviewlodge.com and then click on the Glacier Waters tab in blue near the top.
Other stellar amenities of note at Grand View Lodge include seven restaurant options throughout the summer providing guests and locals with some fantastic dining flavors. Three of these are open year-round; Cru, Lodge Dining Room and Northwoods Pub. Their other restaurants are open seasonally and include a restaurant at each golf course creating burgers, sandwiches, salads and wraps - perfect for the golfer just making the turn who is ready for something tasty to eat and cold to drink. Also on the main property is the Italian Gardens which offers family-style dining with Italian & Sicilian flair. The last dining venue is Loony's Beach Hut which is more than just fast food. Tasty items like the Walleye Tacos or the Greek Salad are very popular besides the cold mixed drinks available right on the waterside on their 1500 feet of sandy beach on Gull Lake.
As we now turn to golf, it's important to note that Grand View Lodge is no longer affiliated with the nearby Deacon's Lodge Golf Course, an Arnold Palmer designed facility that opened in 1999. Frank Soukup discusses the reasons behind the split. "Deacon's Lodge was developed and owned by an investor group, Sienna Corp. Its operations were previously managed by Grand View Lodge since its inception. In 2012, Sienna Corp decided to sell the property, and Grand View Lodge turned down the offer for purchase so we could reinvest on our main property accommodations and the other two golf courses. Meanwhile Breezy Point Resort, whose property is just a couple miles away, purchased the property to add a championship course to their docket," concluded Soukup.
As Frank previously mentioned, the focus at Grand View now rests with their three golf properties, the off-site Preserve GC designed by Dan Helbling & Michael Morley, the 27 luxurious holes of the Pines Golf Course, and the family fun Garden 9 golf course. Our very own Deb Patton was so impressed with the Preserve GC last year she included it within her Forward Tees write-up on pages - within this issue.
The Pines 27 was designed by Joel Goldstrand and is divided into three nines dubbed the Lakes, Woods, and Marsh. All nines have been renovated since 2011 to even further Grand View's reputation of high quality golf at affordable prices. The Pines transformation started by reconstructing tee boxes on all nine holes of The Lakes 9, improving scenic rock walls throughout the course, adding yardage where available, and making major enhancements to the property's signature hole, the 152 yard par-3 7th.
In the fall of 2012, The Woods 9 underwent a similar renovation project including the reconstruction of all main tee boxes and leveling of all the other tees. All cart paths have been resurfaced for a smoother ride through the course and the removal of several trees have opened up sightlines and allows for better sunlight and air movement around the tees. "Players will definitely notice the much larger main tees, particularly on the par-3's. By removing a number of trees and opening them up to sunlight, the larger tees will give us the ability to maintain a better teeing surface," said Mike Bohnenstingl, Director of Golf Maintenance. "The tees have been squared off and re-aligned to the fairways, as well. The pond on #3 is being enlarged to bring it more into view from the tee, and offer players a more scenic challenge to that hole," described Bohnenstingl.
Golfers ready to challenge The Woods will have to wait until Memorial Day weekend of 2013, which is the projected completion date if everything goes as planned. "We are always about the experience at Grand View and we want to make sure that the course is ready to be fully played at its best potential when opened," said Bohnenstingl.
The closest course to Grand View's Main Lodge is the Garden Course which was opened in 1959. This scenic 9 hole, Par 35, 2,500 yard layout has provided an excellent golf experience for over 50 years. The Garden Course is an easier, faster and less expensive option yet is the perfect companion course to a classy golf resort. Because this "family friendly" course is used so much by every age group, last year they added 6" cups and kid's tee boxes to encourage a fun time. "It is essential for any golf club or golf resort to have a shorter course that will provide an enjoyable golf experience for players of all ages, physical abilities and skill levels and we are thrilled to have the Garden Course on property," stated Steve Hanson, Manager of the Garden Course.
In interviewing Frank Soukup for this piece I asked him about the golfing landscape in the Brainerd area. His below answer is extremely rare and shows that Midwestern values are alive and well. "We don't really look at our local golf courses such as The Classic at Madden's and Cragun's Legacy Courses as competition, but instead as helping to create an incredible national golfing destination. There are not a lot of cities that hold the diversity in courses and terrains for an incredible golfing experience like the Brainerd Lakes Area. Plus, throw in the great accommodations available, world-class dining, lake recreation and nightlife all within miles of each other and you are guaranteed to have a golf trip like no other," concluded Soukup.
For more information on all that Grand View Lodge has to offer, please visit
Revised: 09/24/2013 - Article Viewed 1,017 Times - View Golf Course Profile
Written By: Glen Turk
Glen Turk is a Wisconsin native and is the Senior Writer/Editor of Midwest Golfing Magazine. Midwest Golfing Magazine was formerly known as Pub-Links Golfer's Magazine and is a free publication distributed four times per year throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, and Ohio.
His duties at MGM include writing course features, facilitating product testing, and overseeing the overall content and look of the magazine. But clearly his most important task is playing as much golf as his wife allows. Fortunately for him, she plays also and loves out-driving him even with a 60 yard head start.
Glen plays to a 6 handicap but once set a record by having his ball retriever regripped 15 times in one calendar year. It was a December trip to Guam that ultimately did him in. Finally, if you haven't caught on by now, the two most worthy weapons in Glen's writing arsenal are self-deprecating humor and pithy one-liners.
My signature line, "Be A Force on The Course" and now more recently, "Hit 'Em Where They Mow!" can be reused at no charge.
Contact Glen Turk:
Midwest Golfing Magazine - Senior Writer Editor