Grand View Lodge - The Pines - Woods/Marsh
|White (W)||72||6159 yards||76.0||137|
|Gold (W)||72||5670 yards||73.0||131|
|Red (W)||72||5210 yards||70.7||126|
|Green M: 73.7/139||533||440||174||397||189||345||400||448||541||3467||501||204||370||351||175||527||451||418||426||3423||6890|
|Blue M: 71.7/135||525||417||159||365||171||328||358||426||500||3249||488||187||355||325||155||514||408||401||397||3230||6479|
|White M: 70.3/132 W: 76.0/139||515||395||134||348||152||316||347||389||490||3086||475||166||346||302||131||501||396||381||375||3073||6159|
|Gold M: 68.0/128 W: 73.1/133||500||343||134||348||152||316||306||333||444||2876||418||166||335||272||131||452||322||323||375||2794||5670|
|Red W: 70.6/128||390||338||110||300||139||271||301||328||439||2616||413||147||274||267||101||447||317||318||310||2594||5210|
Available FacilitiesMeeting Facilities, Banquet Facilities
Grand View Lodge (The Pines) - The Brainerd O.G. Still Delivers
The Good: The Pines, a 27-hole resort course affiliated with Grand View Lodge about 15 minutes north of Brainerd, is a solid Joel Goldstrand design that many consider the modern Godfather of the Brainerd golf boom. I played the Woods/Marsh combo, which is widely considered the best two-nine routing on the course. The Woods is the more scenic of the two nines, with two beautiful short, downhill Par 3’s and an eye-popping closing Par 5 9th with a pond (and wooden eagle nests) by the green. The Marsh nine is more sporty, with several downhill drives leading to uphill, tough approaches. Excellent short Par 4’s. Very good fairway and course conditions, as well as some of the most challenging, undulating greens in the Brainerd area. Nice, accommodating staff will ensure you have a nice, leisurely walk in the park. Freddy’s Grille is a decent little restraint inside the eclectic clubhouse. Nice GPS on the carts is a good touch!
The Bad: There are WAY too many blind tee shots for my liking. I tend to enjoy courses that are more of a “right in front of you” type of design. The greens are well-conditioned, but many are so undulating that they are almost unplayable. Overpriced at $110 peak season compared to other courses in the area. The bug life and flies on the course are unbearable.
The Verdict: The Pines may be the Brainerd O.G., but it’s been passed by the newer, modern courses during the late 90’s resort golf explosion. A fun, interesting course if you don’t mind several blind tee shots and a two-foot breaking putt on anything over 10-feet away.
Best Hole(s): The Par-4 6th is a beautiful, short Par 4 that has the most expansive view on the Woods nine and requires a precise short-iron approach to one of the longest greens on property. The Par-4 4th hole on the Marsh nine is one of my favorites in all of a Brainerd. A downhill precise drive is required to attack this hidden green from the tee box. A mesmerizing approach to a well-guarded green with a pond right awaiting errant wedges.
Classic Northern Minnesota Course
The Pines at Grand View Lodge includes three nine-hole tracks named Lakes, Woods, and Marsh. We played Lakes and Woods, so this review is limited to those nines. I should start by noting that there weren't any real lakes evident on the course, but there were woods all over, and there were probably more oaks than pines. That's about the only thing we found to object to on this course. The fairways were adequately wide, gently rolling, and in great condition. And, of course, they were lined with trees. So many trees that in order to speed up play the course has adopted a local rule that a ball lost in the woods is to be played as a ball lost in a lateral hazard. Take a one stroke penalty, but don't go back to the original spot and hit another ball. Although we didn't really get a feeling of great elevation changes, the rolling terrain results in several blind tee shots. Happily, the GPS provided on the electric carts shows the position of the carts in the group ahead, including yardage to each cart so you won't tee off until they are out of range. The greens were fast, but not excessively so. They were mostly large and slightly undulating. You can play a run-up shot to many of the greens. Having played a spectacular northern Minnesota course the day before, I wasn't really overwhelmed by the Pines. However, the course really is a very attractive track and stands on its own with several truly memorable holes. Two of these are among the shortest holes on the course. The par 3 7th hole on the Lakes nine plays to 148 yards from the white tees. There is water all along the left side from just in front of the tee all the way to the side of the long narrow green, and a steep hill borders the green on the right. A bailout to the right may hit a grassy part of the hill and run down to the green, setting up a birdie putt. However, part of the hillside is lined with timbers so if your ball happens to hit these there is no telling where your ball may end up. On the same nine, the 320 yard (from the white tees) par 4 5th is a little gem. You have a blind tee shot over a ridge and it's all downhill past the ridge. A water hazard lies at the bottom of the hill only about 220 yards away. Because of the elevation change your ball will go much farther, so a long iron or hybrid is all you should need to lay up to wedge distance to the green that is nicely sloped from back to front. On the Woods nine, the par 5 9th with water on the front left of the green is a visually appealing hole, but my favorite on this nine was the par 4 7th that plays 347 yards from the white tees. A deep ravine requiring a 180 yard carry covers the right half of what should be fairway, leaving only a narrow strip of fairway on the left. One member of our group failed to carry the ravine by only about three yards, which left him with a steep uphill lie and a precarious stance. Happily, he managed to make contact with the ball and not lose his balance. On the approach shot, you're faced with the big ravine's little brother protecting the right front of the green and a bunker just short of the green. It's probably better to be long than short, but if you're too long you'll have some work to get down in two. This was the first time I'd played this course, but next time I'm in the Brainerd Lakes area, it will definitely be on the agenda.