In central Minnesota, the heart of lakes country, there is a large group of golf courses known as the The Brainerd Golf Trail. There are many great courses to play – some of the most renowned in the state – and it is the perfect area for a weekend golf trip. There is only one problem: there are so many top-notch Minnesota golf courses, you will be hard pressed to choose which to play.
Let’s say you have secured an early departure from work on Friday morning and are looking to play some Minnesota golf. Not just a quick round at the local muni, but a weekend of touring some of the finest courses Minnesota has to offer. The answer is the weekend golf trip to the Brainerd-Baxter Lakes area.
Centrally located in the state, you can get there pretty quickly from most areas in Minnesota – including in roughly two hours from the Twin Cities. Once there, the difficulty begins: Madden’s on Gull Lake has 63 holes to play, while there are 54 holes under the Grand View Lodge umbrella, 54 at Breezy Point and Golden Eagle Golf Club is nearby. If you have to be back in the office on Monday morning, you have a dilemma on your hands.
If you are trying for the most golf you can play throughout the weekend, perhaps it’s best to pick a resort with multiple courses and stay there for the weekend – keeping your driving on the course rather than the road. Perhaps Madden’s with three championship courses and plenty of other activities to fill the time, or Breezy Point, which added Deacon’s Lodge to its roster of courses in 2012.
But the Minnesota golf bounty is so plentiful, you can’t go wrong cherry picking a weekend of superlative golf. Depending upon your group size and how mobile you wish to be, a weekend in Brainerd can be the golf trip of a lifetime.
If you are coming north from the Twin Cities, try running up to Golden Eagle Golf Club in Fifty Lakes and catch a Friday afternoon round there. The beauty and challenge of this north woods course is not to be missed.
After the round, head over to Deacon’s Lodge at Breezy Point for the night. If you are with a big group, Deacon’s has large lodges with amenities that will make for a fun-filled and restful evening. You can attack the award-winning Arnold Palmer-designed course in the morning.
After lunch, travel south back to Nisswa and Gull Lake, where Grand View Lodge and Madden’s are located. Either resort will provide luxurious accommodations for the rest of the weekend. Check in and then play a course on the property to save on driving time. Both are close enough to make all the courses accessible from either resort.
The award-winning Pines at Grand View Lodge is the granddaddy of the Brainerd-Baxter area courses and it features 27 holes (the Woods, Lakes and Marsh) of beautiful and challenging golf. Grand View also manages The Preserve, a championship track of rolling and tumbling fairways and grand elevation changes. Either course will fit nicely into your Saturday afternoon schedule.
On Sunday, the weekend comes to a peak finish when you take on The Classic at Madden’s, the state of Minnesota’s only 5-Star Top 100 golf course. The course’s challenge is as extreme as its beauty and will remain in your mind long after you get back on the road for home. Anyway you construct it, a trip to the Brainerd-Baxter lakes area is the perfect weekend Minnesota golf trip.
Explore Minnesota Golf Alliance is a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to raise awareness of Minnesota golf courses and resorts as international travel destinations. Our member facilities feature award-winning, championship golf courses and are geographically disbursed across the great state of Minnesota. The combination of exceptional quality and outstanding value make Minnesota one of the best golf destinations in the United States.