December Newsletter


Holiday Sale
Christmas is coming up fast and we still have our holiday golf shop sale going on with a BOGO free on clothing!  Not to mention, 10% added value on $100 gift card purchases. You still have some time left to swing by and find that perfect gift!  Or stop by and shop for yourself, I won’t tell anyone! For those that can’t get out of work to visit us during the week, we will be open Saturday, Dec. 15 & 22 from 10am-2pm. Click here for more information!
MN Golf Show
Before you know it, spring will be here and a great way to start the season is by attending the Minnesota Golf Show, February 8-10.  Stop by our booth to say Hi, see what’s happening for the season and don’t forget to wear your Wilderness apparel for a free gift!

Golf Cycles
Something new we are considering for next season is the Golf Cycle.  See the picture below! Playing a round of golf at The Wilderness on an electric bike could very well be the next best thing outside of playing the course itself.  Definitely a different experience. Let me know what you think! Would you play a round on it? I took it for a spin and definitely was fun! Click here to take our quick survey. It takes less than 10 seconds!

Have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!
Happy Golfing!

Ryan Peterson
You really cannot get through a single day without hearing something about climate change and the negative consequences of it.  Recently we have been experiencing powerful and frequent storms on the east coast, uncontrollable wildfires in California and unprecedented red tides in Florida.  Whether you believe that man is responsible for these occurrences or not, there is no doubt that we as human beings have an obligation to take measures to protect our planet to the best of our abilities.  Golf courses, over the years, have been demonized for environmental recklessness-many still believe that all we do is pollute and waste water resources.  While this may have been an issue years ago, at the present time university research and better education for turfgrass professionals has led to maintenance practices that are much more environmentally friendly.  In addition, a more stringent registration/regulation process has led to an overall reduction in the toxicity of products available for commercial use-especially on golf courses.  I am very proud to be a part of this evolution in golf course maintenance and we continue to enhance our environmental efforts through our membership in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf.

Bee, Hole #3-Wilderness at Fortune Bay

Declining bee populations have been evident nationwide of late.  The Wilderness at Fortune Bay has not applied an insecticide on turfgrass in the past three years.

The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP) currently has a membership of over 2300 golf courses in the United States.  The Wilderness at Fortune Bay has been a member since 2005 and has recertified on four different occasions since then.  Participation is this program has been both an excellent opportunity for us to access information and an inspiration for us to improve our efforts.  Our wash water and spill containment systems, recycling program, energy audit, electric and hybrid equipment purchases, reduction in irrigated areas, addition of butterfly habitat, and fertilizer usage reduction plan have all been a part of our commitment to the environment and to the ACSP.  Please see the following link for more information on the ACSP:

Turtle chilling out on drainage line.  Note white clover in out of play rough.  In areas where playability is not affected, we will let the clover take over to provide a pollinator for bees.

Our next effort will be to provide an environment for Monarch butterflies. I remember seeing these butterflies all over the place when I was a child but now I do not remember the last time that I saw one. Statistics say that their populations have declined by 90% over the past 20 years.  We at the Wilderness would like to do something about that with the Monarchs in the Rough program:

We have already been in touch with the administrators of the program and hope for their help in seeding an acre of the golf course with plants that allow Monarchs to thrive.  The area that I have in mind is the sliver of rough behind the 12th green running between the lake and the wood line.  A perfect, out of the way area that should be fun to prepare and seed.  As you can tell, these efforts to improve our environmental commitment are continual and, honestly, not very difficult to accomplish.  All it requires is a commitment to environmental conservation-something which the Wilderness at Fortune Bay has had since its inception.

Beaver, Hole #3-Wilderness at Fortune Bay

Have a wonderful Christmas season and a Happy New Year,

Vincent Dodge



As 2018 draws to a close we would like to take this opportunity to pass on our best wishes to you and your families, wishing a very Merry Christmas and the best for 2019. We also want to thank you for your business, it means a lot to us here at The Wilderness, and we certainly look forward to all the good times we are going to have in 2019.

We are hosting a few Christmas parties this year, and are excited to be a part of that. We want you to think about letting us host your party here. Book your next year’s Christmas Party now! When you book with us you have The Wilderness Grill all to yourselves, outstanding customer service and we are open to special requests and customization.

If your organization, sports team or school group is looking to host a party or have a fundraiser, consider The Wilderness. 

We have come up with some great ideas for your event, here are a few suggestions:

  • Breakfast Buffet ($12/person)
  • Fish Fry ($18/person)
  • Taco Buffet ($16/person)
  • Pasta Buffet ($16/person)
  • Dessert Fundraiser ($12/person)
    • Live action dessert station. Perfect for a Dessert and Wine Tasting Fundraiser
  • Hors d`oeuvres ($15/Person)
    • Seasonal Fruits and Berries, Domestic and Imported Cheeses, Vegetable Crudités, Petite Reuben, Swedish Meatballs, Prosciutto Pinwheels, Chicken Satay Skewers
    • Perfect for a Hors d` oeuvres and Wine Tasting Event.
  • Special Plated Dinners

If you are looking at doing something fun for your next fundraiser give us a call. We look forward to working with you! (218-753-7508)

We are looking ahead to next year. Doug and I are busy coming up with new menu ideas, Happy Hour Specials, we have our Wednesday Night on Patio menu all set. We are also considering having Smoked Prime Rib for a Friday and Saturday night special. Yummy!!

Speaking of Yummy! I want to share two of our favorite Christmas recipes.

Best Toffee Ever
Click here to print/save

“Chocolate and almonds top off a rich buttery toffee. A simple recipe that you could easily remember and whip up any time. I always get compliments and requests for more. Use any type of nut that you like in place of the almonds."

YIELD: about 2 dozen

  • 2 cups butter
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup finely chopped almonds


  1. In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the butter, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Allow to come to a boil, and cook until the mixture becomes a dark amber color, and the temperature has reached 285 degrees F (137 degrees C). Stir occasionally.
  2. While the toffee is cooking, cover a 12x17 inch jelly roll pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  3. As soon as the toffee reaches the proper temperature, pour it out onto the prepared pan. Sprinkle the chocolate over the top, and let it set for a minute or two to soften. Spread the chocolate into a thin even layer once it is melted. Sprinkle the nuts over the chocolate, and press in slightly. Putting a plastic bag over your hand will minimize the mess.
  4. Place the toffee in the refrigerator to chill until set. Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container.

Seriously….butter, chocolate and nuts…does it get any better?

Melting Moments 
Another favorite of ours!
Click here to print/save

This recipe for peppermint meltaways is very pretty and festive-looking on a cookie platter.
 And yes, they really do melt in your mouth! 

YIELD: about 2-1/2 dozen.

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch


  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 to 3 drops red food coloring, optional
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies

1. In a small bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in extract. In another bowl, whisk flour and cornstarch; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes or until firm enough to handle.
2. Preheat oven to 350°. Shape dough into 1-in. balls; place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 9-11 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
3. In a small bowl, beat butter until creamy. Beat in milk, extract and, if desired, food coloring. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread over cookies; sprinkle with crushed candies. Store in an airtight container. 

During this Christmas season of giving, let us take time to slow down and enjoy the simple things. May this wonderful time of the year touch your heart in a special way. Wishing you much happiness not just today, but throughout the New Year.
May your heart and home be filled with all of the joys this Christmas season brings. 

F&B Manager, Darlene Simonson & Executive Chef, Doug Sperry



Group Bookings
December is the time to book your golf outings for 2019 so get your requests in now! I am your one stop shop! I organize everything from your rounds of golf, shuttle, dining reservations, hotel rooms and more! To contact me, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 218-753-7803 for my direct line. 

Cross Country Skiing
Our cross country ski trails are almost ready to open! We just need about 4 more inches of snow. They will be open 7 days a week, regularly groomed and free! Bring your ski gear to The Wilderness and go around once, twice or however long you have time for! Follow our Facebook page for when our trails will be open or visit our website anytime.
Hole #5 - The Wilderness at Fortune Bay
Other Winter Activities on our Property
Our neck of the woods is a popular location for snowmobiling and fishing!

Fortune Bay is like a hub to several snowmobile trails and Lake Vermilion. 
The local snowmobile clubs groom over 60 miles of trails and stake/map over 60 miles on Lake Vermilion (Penguin Club-Tower, Timberwolves-Cook). Follow the Penguin's Facebook page to stay up to date on the snow and ice reports. They do a great job! If you are planning on staying at Fortune Bay, book your rooms early as the prime snowmobile season is just around the corner!

Great Walleye fishing can be found right on the edge of our bay! Fortune Bay even has heated ice house rentals for full and half days available. Click here for more information. 

2019 Golf Shows
Calling anyone around Minneapolis, Des Moines, Sioux Falls, Chicago, Milwaukee and Winnipeg areas!
Join Ryan, Kristen and I at the Minneapolis Golf Expo on February 8, 9, 10! Enter to win a Play & Stay package to our property. Wear your Wilderness logoed gear to the show to receive a NEW gift! As always, the logo must be visible from the outside of your clothing, not hidden. Visit for a video of the 2017 MN Golf Show! 

Ryan and Rachel at the 2018 Golf Expo in Minneapolis
Other Golf Shows:
Enter to win a Play & Stay package to The Wilderness at Fortune Bay at the following shows:

Des Moines: January 4, 5, 6   Click here for show website
Sioux Falls: February 9, 10   Click here for show website 
Chicago: February 22, 23, 24   Click here for show website 
Milwaukee: March 15, 16, 17   Click here for show website 
Winnipeg: April 5, 6   Click here for show website 

The package will be located at the Explore Minnesota booth. Hope you all can make it to at least one of these shows!

Wilderness Tree 2018

Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!

Rachel Indihar

As always, 'Click' on the photos below for more information.