GENERAL MANAGER & HEAD GOLF PROFESSIONAL Spring is coming! Maybe a little slower than we would like but it will get here. It has been a few years since we had a nice weather year and are due for a dryer, slightly warmer golf season. I am definitely looking forward to it. All about being positive and optimistic.
It was great to see and converse with some of you at the MN Golf Show in February. Always nice to see you during the offseason and hear about the good experiences that you have had at The Wilderness. As most of you know, we had a rough season condition wise due to the ice damage (winterkill) from last winter. Therefore, as you can imagine, that was a topic of conversation with many of you. The course completed the season in good shape and more importantly, the turf conditions went into winter in strong shape. The next big question is how will the course come out in the spring? The answer to that is pretty simple, won’t know until the snow melts. That is pretty much the deal for courses in the Midwest. Golf courses do all they can to prepare for winter and have procedures in place to minimize any damage but it ultimately comes down to Mother Nature. Some winters can give us a good idea what to expect and others we are crossing out fingers. However, from conversations with Vince, our Superintendent, we feel the course is wintering well. Why do you ask? We have a solid base of snow in which we had no rain or warm temperatures in the early parts of winter that would have created that layer of ice, which was the culprit last season. I hope by the next newsletter we will not have much snow and have a good idea on how things will look. We are confident but you truly never know until the snow melts. Stay tuned!
I am looking forward to seeing you this season. It is our 15th anniversary this year so come celebrate with us with a great round of golf and a tasty meal. The tee sheet is open online and as always, you can give us a shout.
Here are some great early season events to kick off the year:
Don’t forget to stock up on golf balls with the following promotion from Titleist! Definitely a heck of a deal for the #1 ball in golf! To contact me directly, click here.
Ryan Peterson -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- GOLF COURSE SUPERINTENDENT
I always enjoy using pictures with my writing and this article is no exception. I could show you pictures of people painting walls, revamping golf course accessories, grooming trails, and turning wrenches but we have been over all of that in previous articles.
The first picture gives a pretty good idea of just how much snow we have on the golf course:
Cart Path behind Practice Tee March 6, 2019
The snow drifts have become so gnarly (over 5’ in spots) that we had to re-route the cross-country ski trails on top of the snow drifts since the existing trails became impassible. First time this has happened in the fifteen years that we have been performing this work. There really is a lot of snow out there.
The second set of pictures is a comparison between 2015 and the present time:
Hole 18 March 11, 2015 Hole 18 March 6, 2019
As is obvious in the picture, this winter appears to be hanging on with heavy snowfall amounts in February (28”) and sustained low temperatures. In some ways similar to last year (yikes!) but with a key difference-we have been consistently below freezing for virtually the entire winter. This is important because we do not have the formation of glacial ice sheets underneath this heavy layer of snow. For this reason I do not foresee the wide scale damage to the golf course as we did last year-as least not in the form of ice-suffocated, dead turf. One thing that I do expect to see once the snow begins to leave is both pink and grey snow mold in areas of the rough where we do not treat for these diseases. We may even begin to see disease breakthrough in treated bentgrass areas-especially if the spring thaw occurs much later than is “normal.” This year will be a great test of the efficacy of our fall snow mold treatments-though the damage that we sustain from any kind of breakthrough is rarely anything more than superficial. That being said, this winter cannot go away soon enough. We have much work to do before opening in May and the more time we have to perform the work, the better product we can provide. We sure could use an April that is conducive to turf growth and getting work done but at the moment, I see no hint of spring and with the amount of snow we have to melt, it will take a drastic change in the current weather patterns to make this happen. Stranger things have happened.
Soon another season will be upon us, and as we wait for warmer temperatures and green grass, we are busy planning for another great year here at the Wilderness Grill. Some exciting additions this year include the addition of our famous house smoked prime rib each Friday and Saturday evening. This prime rib is rubbed with our special blend of spices and slow smoked over mesquite wood giving it a delicious smoked flavor. Another addition this year will be weekly special sheets, allowing us to source the freshest seasonal ingredients to add new and exciting dining options each and every week.
An addition we are very excited about this year is our new “FORE” happy hour specials! Each day from 3pm to 6pm we will be offering select appetizers, beers, wines and cocktails for only $4! What better way to spend a relaxing summer afternoon than enjoying these awesome deals on our spacious patio with friends and family? If you are on Lake Vermilion, we would be happy to pick you up at the Fortune Bay Marina.
Our popular Night on the patio will continue this year on most Wednesday evenings featuring great local entertainment, dinner and beverage specials. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram for more information.
Have you, or someone you know, ever considered working in the foodservice industry? We are currently assembling our culinary and service teams and would love to hear from you. Experience is appreciated but not required, we are always happy to train those with a desire to learn and a positive attitude. We are flexible with scheduling and are looking for both full and part time employees. Positions at the Wilderness include some great perks such as golf privileges, employee meals and discounts on merchandise. If you are interested, you can contact Darlene at (218) 753-7808 or Chef Doug at (218) 753-7896 for more information.
Thank you for you patronage and we look forward to seeing you again soon!
There are certain dates filling up with tee times and rooms! If you have not booked these for 2019 and know you are coming on certain dates I would advise you to make them earlier than later. Please give us a call at 218-753-8917 or book on our website. Click here.
This is the time to get your group trips lined up if you have not done so already! Please do not hesitate to reach out to me via email firstname.lastname@example.org or my office at 218-753-7803 for any questions at all regarding bringing your group to The Wilderness.
Cross Country Ski Trails
Vince has been grooming the trails with all this snow we have received over the last few months. He got them back into to shape after the last large snow fall and high winds so the trails are looking great! If you are in our area bring your equipment and enjoy the course views in this beautiful winter setting.
Hole #4 February 21, 2019
P.S.'Click' on the photos below for more information.