Fall Golf At Giant's Ridge
by Diane Ambro
As summer winds down our thoughts turn to the changes that must be made for golfing in the fall. Two gloves instead of one, jackets, rain gear, sweaters and sometimes even toques. Of course there's going to be a few more lost balls as the leaves, colorful little creatures that they are, become perfect shrouds for our balls to nestle under as though seeking cover from the colder temperatures.In spite of the sad realization that the golf season is rapidly waning,
there are still some great days ahead for fabulous fall golfing. One of the best places to enjoy the fall colors is at Giant's Ridge in Biwabik,MN.
Located just a four hour drive south of Thunder Bay, this area is one of my favorite recreational areas. The golf is among the best in the country and both the Quarry and the Legend golf courses consistently receive top accolades from Golf magazines in Minnesota and all across
the US. Again this year, Golf Digest magazine awarded them 4 and a half stars as one of the "Best Places to Play" in the US. Golf Digest ranks the courses based on input from thousands of golfers from all over America and The Legend and The Quarry are two of the few public courses that have been given four and a half stars, a ranking that is usually reserved for more upscale private courses. Having played both courses several times, I have to agree that they definitely deserve the high ratings.
There's more than just golf in the area and bikers and hikers will be happy to learn that a new bridge now connects an existing portion of the Mesabi Trail at Giant's Ridge to the town of Biwabik. By the end of the year it is expected that hikers and bikers will be able to travel
on a paved trail from Giant's Ridge to Grand Rapids. The route is paved for approximately 82 miles. Maps of the Mesabi Trail are available on their website at www.mesabitrail.com
Meanwhile back at the golf courses you can expect to enjoy superbly conditioned fairways and greens. After golf you might want to visit the newly renovated Wacootah Grille at the Quarry clubhouse where you can dine on their new menu, enjoy a refreshing drink inside or outside on their scenic patio overlooking Lake Mine.Giant's Ridge has many fall specials coming up such as their August Hot Deal. On Wed. Aug. 29th and Thurs. Aug. 30th, energetic golfers can
play 36 holes at one or both of their courses for a special rate of $60 US for the first 18 holes and only $40 US for the second on the same day. You can play the first round on one course in the morning and play the second round at the other course later that same day. The cost
includes a Giant's Ridge playbook, golf cart and unlimited driving range. People are urged to book tee times early by calling 1-800-688-7669.
The high season ends on Sunday, Sept. 15th and on the following Monday, Sept. 16, post season rates come into effect. It's the perfect time to try out one of both of these courses while they are still in tip top shape at reduced rates. It would be a shame to drive down there and not
visit the third fantastic course in the area, the Wilderness at Fortune Bay. The Wilderness, like the Quarry and the Legend were designed by award winning Golf Course Architect, Jeffrey Brauer. Jeff's innovative use of the unique terrain on the Iron Range has made this area a mecca for golfers who want to combine the peaceful solitude of wilderness and the challenge of a variety of golf courses. Fortune Bay Resort boasts a casino, large hotel ( currently being expanded) and golf course on Lake Vermillion. It is located just north of Giant's Ridge,
about a 40 minute drive away. There are also plenty of great public courses in Virginia and Eveleth for golfers who can stay a few days.Giant's Ridge is the perfect getaway for the whole family, golfers and non golfers. The Lodge has a workout room, swimming pool, hot tub and a
spa to relax in for a post exercise massage. The villas across the road can accommodate large or small groups. There are several great restaurants in the area and too many bars to count in the small town of Biwabik where you can mix with the locals for some Karaoke or live
As an investigative journalist who will stop at nothing to provide readers with valuable information, I visited several of these bars. As soon as I remember which one I liked the best, I'll let you know. I may need to check them out again on my fall visit just to be sure that I give an accurate and honest opinion to you, the readers. Stay tuned.