People who play golf love it, but those who don’t play don’t want to be left out.
Meeting planners can easily incorporate golf into their meetings and conferences in many ways: with scramble-style tournaments or putting challenges, or with less-formal options such as driving ranges, golf simulators and even a new take on the sport, foot golf, which is played like golf but kicking a soccer ball instead. These Heartland golf clubs and resorts are doing all they can to help planners take advantage of their golf options and to make the most of golf outings for attendees.
Grand View Lodge Golf Resort and Spa
Grand View Lodge Golf Resort and Spa marked its 100th anniversary last year, but the resort boasts a modern spa, three golf courses, eight dining options and new conference facilities. The historic lodge in Nissawa, Minnesota, sits on the banks of Gull Lake, surrounded by towering pine trees, about 150 miles north of the Twin Cities.
“When you walk into the main lodge, we have the big moose head, the stone fireplace — it’s warm and inviting,” said director of sales Cindy Baysinger.
Grand View has 270 keyed units that range in type from 12 renovated guest rooms in the historic lodge to nine-bedroom vacation homes. The resort has more than 25,000 square feet of meeting space, with banquet seating for up to 450 guests. The Gull Lake Center opened in 2009 with several flexible meeting rooms, the largest a divisible 6,400-square-foot ballroom with an adjoining patio. In the rustic Norway Center, the 2,200-square-foot Norway room is the largest space.
Grand View has three golf courses: The Pines, with 27 holes; The Preserve, with 18 holes and a remodeled clubhouse; and the relaxing nine-hole Garden course. Groups can also sign up for a round of Crazy Golf or nighttime Glow Golf.
In the summer, groups can dine on the beach, have a Minnesota beer tasting, rent pontoon boats and take a guided fishing trip. In the winter, groups can do ice fishing tournaments or compete on golf simulators.
The Innsbrook Resort is a 7,500-acre gated community with 100 lakes about 55 miles west of downtown St. Louis, and groups that choose to gather and golf there get a taste of lake living.
The resort rents out about 30 condominium units but also recently added two corporate homes on the lake for overnight stays, in-home meetings and other catered events. Any “group that stays here overnight is treated as a property owner; they can use the trails and tennis courts, the pool — everything,” said Innsbrook communications manager Cassandra Langley.
The Aspen Center sits on a hill overlooking 150-acre Aspen Lake, and “every room has a view, and each of them has a deck,” Langley said. The 2,700-square-foot Aspen Room’s stone fireplace reaches to the vaulted ceiling’s timber beams. Among the six other spaces are a boardroom, a 1,660-square-foot conference room and the recently renovated Foxfire Lounge, with a bar, a dining area and large windows.
The Innsbrook golf course has 12 lakes, 30 sand bunkers and a clubhouse that offers additional function space. In addition to golf, groups can arrange, through the resort’s stables, for horseback trail rides, hayrides and carriage rides. Guests can also catch concerts at the amphitheater and swim in the outdoor pool and lazy river at Charette Creek Commons, which opened in 2016.