The Wilderness at Fortune Bay, Tower, Minnesota - One of the Best New Upscale Golf Courses in Minnesota
The Wilderness Golf Course is part of the Fortune Bay Resort Casino, located a few hours north of the Twin Cities. The course is situated atop high granite ridges, amid woodlands of white and red pines and thick evergreens, and around the picturesque shores of Lake Vermillion and the land surrounding Fortune Bay. There are also five ponds on the course and six holes bring water into play.
The 18-hole, par-72 course, which opened in 2004, was designed by Jeff Brauer and plays to a lengthy 7,207 yards from the tips, with a USGA rating of 75.3 and a slope rating of 144 on Bent grass. From the Blue and White tees, the course play to 6,772 and 6,147 yards respectively.
Many of the holes are located on a high granite ridge, making for stunning views of Lake Vermilion and the surrounding woodlands. The course also features many boulders throughout, some of them chest-high, as well jagged outcroppings of granite, the occasional big log, multi-fingered sand traps, and knee-high grasses. It's not uncommon to find some of these hazards splitting a fairway in two, making golfers choose carefully their route to the hole, where the greens tend to be big and undulating and often feature multiple tiers.
Some of the more noteworthy holes include No. 2, a long and challenging par-4 that's also quite picturesque. With the tee boxes located atop a granite ridge, the view of the fairway and the green is stunning. The left side of the fairway is defined by a large, white outcropping of ledge rock, while the right side is bounded by cedar and spruce trees, creating a "Northwoods'' flavor.
Hole No. 5 is a short par-4 that sits atop the highest point on the course. From the high elevation, golfers will see Lake Vermilion in the distance, as well as their path to a green that features a five-foot-deep swale through its center.
Hole No. 13 is the signature hole at The Wilderness, and is another short par-4 that plays to only 340 yards from the longest tees. This is the only hole located along the shores of Lake Vermilion, and it provides another picturesque and challenging hole with a carry over the water.
One feature that is particularly pleasing to golfers is the GPS system and elaborate onboard computer screen found on golf carts. The system can tell golfers the exact distance to the pin, yardage to the front and back of the green, distance required to carry a hazard, and so on. It will even pinpoint the position of the other carts on the course, which is handy for knowing if the group ahead has moved safely out of the way.
The Wilderness has garnered several awards and accolades since opening, including being named one of the "Best New Courses to Play'' by GOLF Magazine. GolfWeek listed the course on its Top 40 list, while Golf Digest ranked it among the "Best New Upscale Public Course'' in 2005.
Practice facilities at The Wilderness include a driving range with target greens and a Bent grass fairway that's 300 yards wide, a 13,088-square-foot practice putting green, and a special bunker practice area.
The resort also features other activities, such as swimming, biking, hiking, fishing and boating, a fitness area, and dining at the upscale Tamarack Dining Room and more casual fare at the Bay Street Deli.
Read about other Tower tourist attractions:
Review, comment, or add new information about this topic:
Discuss this city on our hugely popular Minnesota forum
|Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses|