Breezy Point Resort - Deacon's Lodge
|Palmer M: 74.1/143||444||540||188||419||433||115||432||374||543||3488||373||196||340||450||534||452||375||200||535||3455||6943|
|King M: 72.3/140||415||520||164||399||415||108||412||338||533||3304||357||183||320||422||512||427||362||174||525||3282||6586|
|Combo M: 71.6/133 W: 78.0/137||399||520||164||354||415||108||385||338||533||3216||329||183||320||380||512||413||362||174||525||3198||6414|
|Deacon M: 70.0/130 W: 75.9/134||399||462||144||354||400||91||385||326||480||3041||329||176||295||380||475||413||343||144||495||3050||6091|
|Lodge M: 66.7/113 W: 71.9/125||369||455||128||281||370||86||317||290||459||2755||282||145||252||326||412||329||322||133||408||2609||5364|
|Winnie W: 68.5/118||340||405||107||261||313||81||296||271||401||2475||243||132||232||294||385||305||246||108||346||2291||4766|
Golf Advisor: Top Courses in Minnesota
Deacon's Lodge - The Brainerd Lakes Area Crown Jewel
The Good: Named after his father Deke, this Arnold Palmer signature creation is widely considered one of his best public designs in the entire United States. When you step onto the grounds of Deacon’s Lodge, you can certainly understand why. A miraculous, tree-wooded landscape awaits, yet the layout is extremely spacious and fair for all levels of golfers. Much more of a “secluded” feel compared to many of the other more parkland Brainerd area tracks, this has the impression of “Up Northwoods”. As well-conditioned as any course of the 8 Minnesota courses I’ve played. Excellent Par 4 variety with several alternating doglegs and holes that require both precision and guts. Superb, yet “gettable” Par 5’s and a solid quartet of Par 3’s that only rivals The Classic in Brainerd Lakes. Beautiful clubhouse and patio dining area; a quaint rustic feel adds to the charm. Robust practice area & on-course amenities including several bathrooms. The service and staff are absolutely outstanding. One of the better values, even with its $125 fee, in all of Minnesota.
The Bad: While the greens putt extremely well and aren’t too fast or slow, they didn’t hold approach shots as well as we had hoped. The back nine is excellent, however the closing hole is fairly benign and unmemorable. No GPS on the carts is a bummer.
The Verdict: Deacon’s Lodge is THE premier public course in the Brainerd Lakes area. The ambiance, conditioning, and playability of the course is unparallel to the other public facilities that I’ve played. A true Palmer masterpiece indeed.
Best Hole(s): The difficult Par-4 6th is one of the best risk/reward holes in the entire Brainerd area. A conservative drive can be made to the left of an expansive hazard, or the long hitter can try to drive the entire hazard and have a wedge in. The Par-3 17th is the most photogenic hole on the course and is an excellent pre-finale to one of the best public golf experiences I’ve had in a long time.
So slow needed to leave before finishing
I tried Deacon’s Lodge after a number of years not playing it. I have always liked the course. However, Deacon’s Lodge still suffers from lack of course rangers to help with pace of play. We quit after it took almost 4 hours to golf 13 holes. There were only 2 groups on the last three holes. No ranger in sight. They also allow fivesomes that really holds up play.
Great day of golf at Deacons!!!
Perfect conditions and friendly staff proved to help the enjoyment and scoring at this premier golf destination. If you visit the Brainerd Lakes area and play one round of golf... play Deacons Lodge!
We were staying at Breezy Point Resort so we decided to splurge and play here. Price varies on what time you play. We paid $80 for a tee time after 2pm. The course was beautiful. 5 sets of tees so you can play anywhere from 7000 yds down to 4500 from the reds. I played the gold tees. I can see where it would really be tough from the black/blue tees. Lots of crooked lies and large undulating greens. Wide fairways but if you miss it's in the woods or the tall grass. It's advertised as the only Public Arnold Palmer design in the US so had to play it once. My only complaint was the pace of play. The starter told us that there was a 5-some in front of us but they were keeping a good pace. Well, the front 9 was fine but the back was terrible! With just the 2 of us we played a different course on Tuesday in 3:17 and on Deacon's it took us 4:35. I don't expect to pay that kind of money and get stuck behind 5 people. They were doing a lot of drinking and spending time looking for balls! That was the only negative. The course wasn't busy so if we could have played through we would have been fine.
Morning glory at Deacon's Lodge
I dreaded that 5:30 a.m. alarm until I started driving from Brainerd to Deacon's Lodge 45 minutes north. The sunrise through the trees and the mists rising above the lakes painted a lasting memory of the beauty of northern Minnesota's lake country.
The round of golf was even better. I had forgotten how wonderful being the first group of the day can be. Off at 7:10 a.m., my foursome got pure conditions from start to finish. No divots on the tee boxes. Rolled greens as fast as I've played in a long time. Beautiful light for photography. The round felt like a backwoods adventure.
The course is a shot-maker's delight. I love the contrast between the sixth hole - a delicate wedge on a 118-yard par 3 - to the seventh - a brutal par 4 with a 200-yard carry to the fairway.
Playing from the right tee boxes is critical. We played the whites, where 6,000 yards sounds short until the harrowing approach shots over wetland gobble one ball after another. I had a plane to catch, otherwise I would have ended the morning in style with a drink and lunch at Palmer's Grille in the log-cabin clubhouse.
One of the better courses I think in Minn. It had a great layout, it was wide open when I played, greens were soft. One of my favorite rounds of golf, had a blast! It would be even better in the fall when the leaves turn!
Gorgeous Northwoods Course
What is there to say in reviewing a course that consistently ranks among the top courses in Minnesota and that has been rated among the top 100 public courses in the country by national golf publications? Perhaps just that in the case of Deacon's Lodge, the reality of the course is totally equal to the hype. The course is downright gorgeous, a true Northwoods Minnesota gem set among lakes and trees, so that every hole could be a cover illustration for a golf magazine. The fairways are firm and pristine, rolling, sloping, and undulating. You may not find a level lie during your entire round. The greens are generally large, moderately fast, with significant undulations and subtle breaks. Six sets of tees (including a combo) range from 6,943 yards to 4,766 yards. The course plays long, so you should swallow your pride and play from an appropriate length for your game. For the first time player, the starting hole is a true pleasure for the eye. Sweeping majestically from left to right, the 399 yard (from the white tees) par 4 requires a forced carry tee shot to reach the fairway. When you see what the sloped fairway does to your ball, you'll be better prepared for the holes to come. Almost every review of this course that I've read singles out the par 3 17th as one of the best holes on the course and notes that it was one of Arnold Palmer's personal favorite designs. While I agree that 17 is a beautiful hole, I think the deceptively short (91 yards from the white tees!) par 3 6th deserves some notice. The uphill shot to a slanted green protected on the front left by a complex of bunkers has to be precise, long enough to carry to the putting surface but not so long that it runs off the back or left. I could go on describing holes on this gem of a course, but probably the best thing for a prospective golfer to do is to check out the course tour on their website. The pictures and descriptions should convince you that this course is worth making the trip to play it.
Challenging & scenic
Generally enjoyable course but challenging. Greens were quick without being severe. Layout has some "unique" holes. Touches of Pine Valley, Pinehurst and Scotland scattered about, while still retaining the scenic beauty of Minnesota.
Staff was helpful and friendly.
Lunch in the grill was quite good with excellent service.
1 of my fav No. MN courses
D.L. is an Arnold Palmer design and would be considered a high end course. I paid $100 + tax to play. The overall facilities are excellent incl the practice area. The course itself is challenging but not impossibly difficult. The fairways are generously wide but there is a good chance you won't find your ball if you miss them. It gets more difficult as you approach the greens with deep bunkers, marsh and other hazards surrounding the greens. There are some fantastic views and the course condition is excellent. Greens are fast with a fair amount of slope. Worth the experience if your budget allows.
#2 Course in Minnesota
Regardless of which national publication's list you trust, I've played their respective Best in States---all of them---and while I personally feel The Wilderness is MN's best course, I have felt for the past 8 years that Deacon's Lodge is 2nd best. I love the courses at GR and MoGL, but this is Arnold Palmer's best design in America, and is neck and neck with Tralee in Ireland for his best global design. It obviously helps that the superintendent is excellent, that Mark Neva and his crew know how to run a golf facility and that Dave and his entire team at Breezy are among the best in the business… it makes this course a shoe-in for Top 100 in America… (and yet everyone seems to be missing the boat). Trust me, if you haven't played this course… do so and soon. It was in fantastic shape in June, and I'm playing it again tomorrow! A MUST PLAY for anyone visiting Brainerd.
Best in Brainerd
Brainerd is known for many good golf courses but Deacon's Lodge is head and shoulders above them all. This is apparent from the 1st tee box where you must land on what is essentially an island fairway and still having a long iron that must carry wetlands to the green. I didn't play well on this day but it didn't both me as this course was so much fun to play. I'd rank this in my top 3 public courses in MN trailing only behind The Wilderness & The Quarry.