April Newsletter


Well folks, it seems that spring doesn’t want to show itself quite yet or winter doesn’t want to leave. We have been fortunate to avoid all the snow and wind that the southern part of the state and area have been getting but when our high temps don’t get above 35 degrees it is difficult to melt the snow covering our beautiful golf course. However, the forecast for the next 10 days is promising with some possible rain mixed in. If the weather stays consistent for the next few weeks, it looks like our opening date may be May 11. Of course Mother Nature is our ultimate decision maker!
The staff at The Wilderness are anxious and excited for the upcoming season and look forward to your visit. We have many returning faces along with a good contingent of new ones. Our new chef, Doug Sperry, is equally excited to get working in the kitchen and preparing the wonderful food that you have come to expect. Doug and Darlene (our F&B Manager) have put together a great menu for this year and are ready to deliver the quality and service you have come to expect. 
Don't forget about our Annual City Auto Glass Golf Tournament on Friday, May 18th. Limited to 24 teams!

I am going to be optimistic and say that we will, eventually, have a nice spring, warm summer and beautiful fall. What better place to enjoy those seasons than at The Wilderness at Fortune Bay!
Happy Golfing and hope to see you soon!
Ryan T. Peterson
PGA Golf Professional


I would like to offer a big thank you to all people who offered their feedback on things like ball washers and bunker rakes on the golf course. The overwhelming majority seemed to be in favor of ball washers located on golf carts-as long as they are maintained properly. When we upgrade to newer carts in the future, we will be sure to strongly consider adding this option to our cart fleet. In the meantime, we will be putting ball washers on the first and 10th tee as well as the Par 3 golf holes.  Ball washers on every hole is simply unnecessary and adds clutter to the golf course-something I like to avoid.  Another way to avoid clutter is to eliminate rakes in bunkers.

This question elicited some great responses from those of you who contributed. While there were a few (the Traditionalists who actually use them) that felt removing rakes from bunkers was not cool, most of the feedback I received was very positive about giving a try to adding a bunker rake to each golf cart in lieu of rakes in bunkers.  Those of you who responded this way are not alone. I did some research by talking with peers on this topic at the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) trade show in San Antonio and this technique has indeed been used with success on many courses. I think that it is worth a try in the future though we will not be implementing this technique this year-our current golf cart fleet does not offer a rake attaching option standard like the newer carts do. We would have to resort to an aftermarket method to install rakes-not something I am enthusiastic about. Like the ball washers, when we upgrade to a more modern golf cart we will be sure to make sure that they have the rake holding option.

Thank all of you for the feedback that I find to be quite valuable in making decisions regarding the golf course. We listen to what you have to say and try to make the right decisions.

Those of you who have been reading my articles over the years know that sometimes-especially when there is snow on the ground (quite a bit at the moment)-I look at the less technical and more social side of our business. I have amused some in the past with my “a golf course is an aquarium” analogy. By our nature, we feel like we are doing our best work by efficiently presenting optimal conditions to our patrons while being noticed as little as possible by players. Golf professionals and Outside Service staff are the face of the golf course-Superintendents and their staff are the foundation of the golf course. Something that provides necessary structure without being seen.

This year on May 8, the GCSAA is launching a program called “Thank A Super” where efforts are made to explain what we actually do. The “Carl Spackler” stereotype has been a tough one to shake in our profession-partially because it is pretty funny and partially because of our lack of exposure to customers compared to Pro Shop staff.  For those of you interested in learning more about what it is we do, feel free to click the following link:
I look forward to letting everyone know how the golf course fared through the winter in our next newsletter. Still too much snow on the ground at the moment to know what is going on. 

See you soon.
Vince Dodge


Our 2018 season is just around the corner!! 

Even as I write this, it would be a perfect day to take a photo for a Christmas card!! The trees are beautifully covered with heavy snow…..but the rumor is that spring will happen!

Our new Executive Chef, Doug Sperry, is here from Ridge Creek Golf Course near Fresno, California. I am very excited about our upcoming season, as we have designed a menu with some great new sandwiches, burgers, appetizers and entrees. How does a Cajun Seasoned Black and Bleu Burger, hand dipped onion rings and an ice cold tap beer sound? For dinner, a New York Strip Au Poire, Baked Potato, and a fine bottle of Rutherford Ranch Cabernet!! Or….Butternut Squash Ravioli and a nice glass of our Hess Chardonnay! I am confident you are going to enjoy the updates and additions we have made.  We have also added a few new wines to our Wine List.  As soon as the new menu is finalized, it will be viewable on our website.

Dan Miller, our ‘all around great guy’ Pro Shop Attendant, has been busy doing a remodel in the bar area of the restaurant, and it looks amazing! Of course it will have a new look but most importantly improve the flow in the bar area to help us serve you more efficiently.

We are also all set for our ‘Night on the Patio’. This will be Wednesday nights starting on June 6th continuing through September 19th.  We will be having a dinner feature with live music on the patio! This summer it will be first come, first serve for patio seating on Wednesday music nights, so I encourage you to come early to enjoy the evening!

I am really looking forward to our 2018 season!

See you soon!!
Darlene Simonson 


My name is Doug Sperry, and I am the new Executive Chef of the Wilderness at Fortune Bay. I am thrilled to be back home in Minnesota and look forward to an amazing season. I have spent over 30 years in the culinary field, most recently spending 8 years with a golf club in California. Prior to moving to California, I was employed with Fortune Bay Resort and Casino. I have truly missed the beauty of Northern Minnesota and the friendliness of the people and could think of no better place to live.

My culinary mantra has always been focused on preparing quality foods simply, and with our new menu you will see this with a decidedly Northwoods flair. From choice hand cut steaks and traditional walleye, house smoked ribs and a Northwoods twist on comfort food with our venison meatloaf there will be something for everyone. And don’t miss our special events where myself and my staff can showcase our talents. Stay tuned for our full menus and special events dates coming soon!

I am looking forward to meeting everyone shortly!

Doug Sperry

Aprils Newsletter