August Newsletter

August is here and winter is not far off.  Amazing how fast our summers go by!  It is not over yet though, still some great days of golf left.  Fall golf, in my opinion, is the best time to play.  Weather can be a little cool, frost is always a possibility but the fall colors and comfortable temperatures make for a great day of golf.  So, don’t worry, if can’t find time to visit us this month come see is in September or October.  Don’t wait too long because snow will be here before you know it.   
Labor Day weekend is coming vast and we are a proud supporter of the Folds of Honor Foundation through Patriot Golf Day!  Over the holiday weekend there will be opportunities to win rounds of golf and other prizes.  All monies raised for the foundation support military families with educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members.  A great opportunity for us to give back to those that have given so much!
The Wilderness is tucked away in the northern part of the Iron Range and is the perfect getaway especially during these challenging times.  A few things we are doing to help keep everyone safe are requiring masks in the clubhouse, sanitized golf carts, and sanitizer stations just to name a few.  To see a complete list of steps we are taking and what to expect check out our website.
We do have some scheduled events before season ends that may be of interest:
Ladies Golf Day – Monday, September 28th
Vermilion Club Open – Saturday, October 3rd
Grand Finale – Sunday, October 11th

For more information or to sign up, call the golf shop at 218-753-8917.
Happy Golfing!

Ryan Peterson

We’ve reached the dog days of summer and fall is right around the corner...I once heard August described as the Sunday of Summer.  So let’s take advantage of our last fading moments to get in a few quality rounds.  
It’s said that everything balances out, and for as dry as June was, July evened it out quickly.  Over 8 inches of rain in 15 days left us pretty sloppy.   While brown and dry may not be aesthetically pleasing, it beats the heck out of wet and soggy.   Wet conditions lead us to the dreaded “cart paths only”...and while CPO can be a four letter word around the golf world.  I really wish that golfers would understand that I, as well as, many other golf course superintendents don’t do this lightly.  No one wants to put carts on paths, especially us, crews work tirelessly to provide the best playing surface as possible.  We want to show off the course in it’s best light, however sometimes it’s just absolutely required with the soggy conditions.  The fairways here tend to hold water, it comes from a combination of the lack of sand in the root zone combined with heavily clay and rocky soil.  Surface drainage and catch basins are our only option which leads to heavy wetness around the basins.  Heavy cart traffic would lead to hours and hours of damage repairs, plus a poor fairway product.  It’s with that in mind that we choose to go CPO, when we do.  

While we are hitting the tough subjects, let’s go ahead and grab onto the third rail of golf course maintenance...greens speed.  <Too slow!!>  <Too fast!!>  <These pin locations are terrible!!>  Ever since Johnny Miller uttered the now infamous word, “stimpmeter,” golf maintenance has never been the same...and while I’d venture to say that most golfers don’t know what a stimpmeter looks like, it certainly is a huge topic of conversation.  We’ve all heard on TV that greens are running (pick a number) and that is the main determining factor to the greens condition or quality for that matter. The thing that Johnny (and others)  never talked about, is that you have to have a “number” that fits with greens design, condition, and most important, the clientele.  While I’ll be the first to admit we came out of the gates a little slow this spring (pun totally intended), we have really started to settle in on a good, smooth, and quick putting surface.  A surface that fits the major contours of these greens as well as the amount of play and the resort golfer looking to enjoy a nice 4:20 hour round.  There are many who will disagree and we can discuss this until the snow falls.  
(Whoosh) that, that is behind us.  Let’s talk about some fun things.  July saw our first “Pizza and divots party.”  The staff worked until dark filling fairway divots and eating frozen pizza.  We tried to answer the age old question, which is better Dave’s frozen pizza or Lotzza Motzza...speaking of which, I don’t think we ever came to a conclusion

This month we recognize a true gentleman...the OG himself...the longest continuous Wilderness Maintenance employee, Dave Pike. Pikester to his friends, Mr. Pike to many.  Mr. Pike has been with the Wilderness for 15 seasons.  Dave Pike grew up here on the Range, born in Ely and graduated from Babbitt.  Mr. Pike has impacted many lives in his 34 years of teaching elementary for Gilbert and Eveleth. Not only in the classroom, but on the hardwood and baseball diamond, Mr. Pike was there for the kids and head coaches alike.  One fate filled morning in 2005, Mr. Pike, looking for something to do in the summer, stopped by the golf course.  While the plan was for just one season...we all know ‘the best laid plans”.  15 years later, Mr. Pike is still enjoying working outside and comradery that comes along with working with a small group of people.  Courses like the Wilderness don’t get to where they are without people like Dave Pike.  We thank him and if you see him, you should too.  
WOW!!...a lot to digest there.  Labor Day is quickly around the corner...and the end of summer will be upon us.  Let’s get out and enjoy our last few days of summer.  

As always, we look forward to seeing you on the 1st tee and keep it between the trees.  

Give us a follow on the Wilderness Golf Maintenance Twitter Page @WildernessGCM



Fresh mint… Juicy blueberry…. Is that a blueberry mojito?! If you have stopped by lately, chances are you have heard about the new cocktail menu. Our team put together some great new drinks perfect for the patio on a hot day. Be sure to ask your server which is their favorite on your next visit.
The last few weeks we have also made some exciting new changes to the menu. My personal favorite of the new items is the fresh pasta, made in house by Bryan and his team, which was added to the dinner entrees. Also, a delicious corn soup featuring walleye cheeks and fried green tomatoes topped with shrimp were added to the starters for both lunch and dinner. Yum! 

See you soon,

Kendra Swanson

The Wilderness Grill Facebook & Instagram Page



We bid farewell to Maude and wish her well on her next adventure in college. She was a back server and stepped in where it was needed.
The kitchen has been hitting its stride with all the scratch cooking we have been doing. From brining brisket for corn beef to all the sauces for every dish. The flowers are blooming, and we are getting ready for the 16th Annual Indian Summer Classic, which I am excited to serve native foods such as Red Lake walleye with Nett Lake rice and corn locally sourced. The corn this year has been exceptional. We have incorporated it into several dishes from savory to sweet. They will not disappoint! Ricing season started a couple days ago and I will hopefully be thrashing rice next week…Miigwetch
Chef Bryan Morcom



Do you ever have those days where it feels like you've never swung a club and nothing you do will fix it? I have those days too. Here are some helpful tips to follow on the course. These are the tips that we should read, re-read, and read a third time just to make sure it's down in our minds. You can find these words of advice and much more online at

Tip #1 - Stop thinking too much. This will help tremendously on and off the golf course. Thinking is allowed during your practice swing, but just walk up and hit the ball. 

Tip #2 - Swing for right field.  I’m a baseball fan and a huge believer in this one.  Too many times during my lessons I see people come over the top in a figure eight motion.  Pretend you are at home plate swinging for right field with an in-to-out motion (for right handed players).
Tip #3 - Don’t look up!  This means you will never see a good shot, metaphorically speaking.  Keep looking at the ground even after the ball leaves the club face.
“It took me seventeen years to get three thousand hits in baseball. It took one afternoon on the golf course.” - Hank Aaron

Michael Freeman
218-753-8917 Ext.7894



TRAVEL UPDATE: If you are traveling down HWY 169 please allow yourself 20 extra minutes due to construction.

Through the month of July we had 4 hole-in-ones! 
7/10/2020 - Dennis Olson from Hugo, MN | Hole #17 with a Ping i200 from 144 yards (WON: $10,000!)
7/17/2020 - Josh Zajicek from Saint Paul, MN | Hole #12 with a Titleist PW from 138 yards
7/18/2020 - Chet Masserano from Pylmouth, MN | Hole #12 with a Callaway Pro 7 from 156 yards
7/18/2020 - Joey Lindberg from Woodbury, MN | Hole #12 with a Taylormade 8 from 156 yards

*Photos are in the same order as listed above.

Rachel Indihar

P.S. 'Click' on the photos below for more information.