August Newsletter

We have finally been getting some summer weather with less rain.  Always a good thing when in the golf business.  The story this year has been the condition of our golf course due to the extended winter we had that resulted in the most winter damage the course has ever seen.  So, as you can imagine, the question I receive most is: How is the condition of the course & greens?  That is a difficult question to answer as each person has a different opinion on acceptable conditions.  One person may say things are great, another may say things are good and understand why, and another may say worst conditions ever.  However, I would say the vast majority of people have enjoyed the course this year, have been very understanding and supportive and had a great experience.  The course is not in its normal, excellent condition this time of year but it has made great improvements since the course opened in May.  Vince, our Superintendent, has done a great job with pictures and explaining the process that will get the course back into shape.  Unfortunately, this takes time and our ultimate goal is to create a solid root system before winter returns that will help insure good conditions next year. 

So, what is my answer?  Having been here for 11 years, I am probably one of the most critical.  I know how beautiful the course is and what kind of condition it normally is in.   I would give the course a fair rating or in grading terms a B.  The course is very much playable, much of the course is in good condition and we do put the pin locations in the best areas.  Plus, our staff is here to assist in providing a great overall experience.  Would I play the course in its current conditions?  Absolutely!  Still can’t beat the beauty, scenery, golf course, casino, hotel, marina and the service we provide!

Final Chip & Sip event – Thursday, August 30th!  Call the golf shop for more details. #218-753-8917
Hope to see you soon and have a great rest of the summer!

Happy Golfing!

Ryan Peterson

As we all know, this season has been one of challenges-not just for us but for many facilities in this part of the state that experienced the same long, screwy winter we had.  Sad to say that here we are in August and we still are discussing damage from months ago but it is, simply, what it is.  I have a few photos to share to show a technique we use and how well it works.

The technique is called hex plugging.  We remove hex shaped lugs from our nursery and install them on the damaged part of a putting green to assist in recovery.  The practice is time consuming and requires a great deal of patience to do properly.  Most of this work was and continues to be performed by Danny Hilmas, who has be valuable in his performance of this chore.  Other crew members have assisted as well.  The results to date are shown in the photos below:

16 Green June 26, 2018

16 Green July 31, 2018

To date, we have installed hundreds of these plugs throughout the golf course and will continue to add more as we can around the heavy play we have been receiving of late and when labor permits.  This process has been ongoing and will continue over the next few weeks.

Seeding on damaged fairways has taken hold and continues to establish, like the picture below shows:

18 Fairway August 3, 2018

Most fairways are showing a similar kind of recovery and should continue to improve on a daily basis.  We had two waves of fairway seeding throughout May and June.  Lots of work.  The seed catch on most was good though there were a few instances, like on 6 fairway, where heavy rains after we seeded washed some of the seed away and slowed establishment.  A little rain is good, heavy rain events not so much.

As a comparison, we intentionally left the driving range fairway alone to function as a control to show the comparison with what this area would look like if we did nothing.  We will seed these weak areas of the fairway later on this season when conditions are optimal for establishment.

“Untreated Driving Range Fairway” August 3, 2018

The difference in the areas is striking and shows that what we are doing is working.  There is no overnight solution to this kind of recovery.  Just hard work and patience. 

I had alluded to some heavy rain events earlier.  The later part of June and early part of July were abnormally wet with rain forest like conditions.  On July 11th and 12th we received close to 4” of rain (the usual monthly amount for July).  The result was the following on the 1st fairway:

1 Fairway July 12, 2018

This was truly a mess and took all day to cleanup with a group of people including the pictured Assistant Superintendent Trevor Rintala.  A result of this rain event was also the thorough washing out of bunkers that took a crew of 8 two entire days to repair.  Not fun.  I find the picture below useful in showing just how heavy these rains were:

2 Fairway Bunker July 11, 2018

The drainage system underneath this lake (about 4’ deep) was simply overwhelmed by the volume.  The rain fell in a short period of time.  The water was gone within a few hours but the damage to the bunker took some doing to make right again.  A tough stretch of time for the crew but in their usual manner, they soldiered on.  I love this group.
On a related note, our crew recently sustained a substantial loss when my assistant Trevor Rintala-the before pictured silt cleanup guy on the washout picture-found a position working at a golf course in Hawaii.  Trevor had been contemplating a change for well over a year, as these winters were taking a psychological toll on him (as they do to many that live here).  I am sure that smoked turf and raking silt off a bentgrass fairway helped him in making a decision to move over 3900 miles away.  We will all miss him greatly.

I hired Trevor over 15 years ago as a seasonal golf course maintenance employee who had never worked on a golf course before in his life.  He had hair then.  Blessed with an inherent competence, intelligence, sense of humor, and ability to work with anyone, Trevor moved up through the ranks, went to turf school in New Jersey, and functioned as my right hand man for over a decade.  Best assistant I have ever had the honor to work with  (there have been many over the years) and while the entire group will miss him, I cannot help but feel immensely proud that he was able to put himself in a position to make such an exciting change in his life.  Vaya con Dios Amigo.

Trevor and Vin 8-1-2018

See you on the golf course,

Vincent Dodge


Wow, the summer is going fast!  We have two months left to our season. It has been a great year.  Thank you to everyone who has been loyal guests of ours.  We do appreciate you! 

We have spent some time looking at some of our best sellers for dinner this year, and the favorites are the Walleye Dinner, Ribeye, Filet, Chicken Marsala and the Cedar Smoked Salmon.  If you have not tried any or all of these you still have time!  Like we said, you have two months.   We am sure we could help you find the perfect cocktail, beer or wine to enhance your dinner.

We had a great night here on Saturday.  We hosted The SnoShoe Annual Dinner.  What a fun time!  Our staff butler passed the appetizers, our guests enjoyed a great meal followed by some amazing dessert choices.  Pat Cunningham from Phillips Wine and Spirits was here to sample a few different cocktails.  He served up the Revel Stoke Pineapple Whisky with sour, Revel Stoke Apple Whisky with cranberry juice and a Douglass and Todd Bourbon Old Fashioned. This was a nice addition to the evening. 

Thank You Bogey Boys and your guests for a great night!

August 16th is the Indian Summer Classic here at the Wilderness.  We have a full field of golfers that will enjoy a round of golf and will be having dinner here at the Wilderness Grill.  So the dining room will be closed for the evening.

October 1st is Ladies Gold Day.  This is another fun day to play the Wilderness.  Ladies you will start your day with coffee, juice and rolls.  When you are done with your round you will be treated to a nice lunch.  Make sure you get your team signed up and enjoy a great day here at The Wilderness!

Upcoming Wednesday’s Night on the Patio:
August 15th – Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, Red Beans and Rice with music by Mel Annala. Mel is an acoustic six and twelve string guitarist/vocalist. An interpretive performer of "timeless" Americana, folk and rural roots music. "Mel Annala has put together a solid collection of songs that we all know and love.”

August 22nd – Pulled Pork, Coleslaw, Corn on the Cob and Dollar Buns, music will be provided by Pat Surface. Pat’s music was formed to produce acoustic music that is still pure and true and always respectful of its roots. 

August 29th – Hawaiian chicken, Grilled Pineapple and Fried Rice, and The Diva’s will be our music for the night.  THE DIVAS are a musical performing trio with keyboard, guitar and percussion to enhance the 3-part killer harmony.

Mark your calendar and make plans to joy us on Wednesday nights.

Thank you again for a great year so far! Hope to see you all before the year is up.

Darlene Simonson & Doug Sperry

Director of Sales & Marketing

Time is flying! We only have 2 months left of our golf season. If you have not been to our course yet this year please join us! These next two months are the best time to play our course as we continue to improve our course conditions and have warm weather then the leaves start to turn and the course is gorgeous! I'd say the best of summer and fall!

Social Media
If you have not seen our Win-It-Wednesday posts on Facebook and Instagram please make sure to follow our pages for chances to win FREE rounds of golf at The Wilderness! Typically all you have to do is like, comment and share the post depending on what the posts says to do. These will continue to the end of our season so make sure you start following early to increase your chances! We alternate between Facebook and Instagram every week. Next Wednesday, we will be posting on Facebook.

Here are our last Win-It-Wednesday posts on Facebook and Instagram.

Activities at The Wilderness Click here or on any of the photos below

Hope you are having a great summer!

Rachel Indihar