The Little Things: Golfing The Wilderness at Fortune Bay
Welcome to the north; A land of deep waters, rocky surfaces, thick forests, and unrelenting weather patterns. The summer’s are warm and the winter’s are downright uninhabitable. The wind howls, the forests speak, the darkness arises and the creatures crawl. The winters - oh, don’t get me started on the winters - but, even after all the harshness, after all the hostility of the north, there’s really no place like home. That’s what I am. I am The Wilderness.
You’ll find me in Tower, Minnesota on the shores of Lake Vermilion, in the heart of The Iron Range. I’m wild, unpredictable, and completely Minnesotan. My fairways stretch far and forests run deep. But there are many little things that make me what I am. Little things that you may not realize at first glance.
For instance, I’m built on an area full of granite; actually, many of my features were not so much designed as blasted with dynamite. It might look picturesque and tranquil, but If you dig down much deeper than four feet, you won’t find lush soil - you’ll find hard rock and iron. You can actually see my rock features protruding throughout the course.
Now, to you, this might look like nothing more than a ridge of rock - something to avoid. To me, it’s a reminder that below the manicured lawns and carefully positioned shrubs lies minerals that have been on this land longer than any golfer can imagine.
But there is more to my wildness than just rock.
These mighty golf hazards are White Pine trees - common in my neck of the woods. You’ll find many holes named after these trees, but if you find yourself looking up from your ball to see this view, you’re probably not in the location you desired.
If you look down and see something like this, you’re in a my sand. And let me say, this isn’t a walk on the beach. I’ve got these peppered all over my landscape just to add a bit of difficulty to my already wild trek.
Now, if you see this view close up, hopefully you’ve got a spare golf ball or two, cus your first one is not coming back; You should see the collections I gather some days.
The staff members who maintain my beauty throughout the season are very deliberate in their actions. Besides the natural hazards, my staff keep the grounds in check and add bits of what may seem like decoration to visitors, but are purposeful assets to me.
Take these flowers, for example. Yes, they’re pretty, but marigolds have a very important job to do. They give off a strong scent, so they’re good at keeping varmints from digging holes or eating grass. So when you visit, please don’t go all Caddyshack on our marigolds - even if you are Cinderella story outta nowhere – they’re hard a work.
One thing my staff can’t control is the weather. Here, the weather can change on a dime. Don't let my stunning greens and amazing views fool you, my 18 holes are known to be challenging even to the best of golfers.
So, come try your best. My elements will test you – see if you have what it takes. And while you’re here make sure to pay attention to the little things that make me the Wilderness at Fortune Bay.