2018 Winnipeg Golf Expo: Part One

This years edition of Winnipeg’s Golf Expo returned to a familiar site at the Red River Exhibition fairgrounds.  The show, which is put on by the NGCOA (National Golf Course Owners Association) of Canada, brings together regional golf related courses and  businesses to showcase their products to the Winnipeg Market.

The show this year had course and destination locations from Minnesota, North Dakota and Manitoba.  As well as the golf courses, there was also demo range with Titleist, Cobra, Taylormade, Callaway and Ping showing off their 2018 releases.

The great thing about the show is that there are so many different destinations being represented and most, if not all, are within a 6 hour drive of Winnipeg, MB and Grand Forks/Fargo ND.  Here are some highlights from the American exhibitors at the show:

The golf division of Explore Minnesota, aptly named Explore Minnesota Golf, represents golf courses throughout the state, with a number of them in the rich fishing area of north central Minnesota. Their website is a great tool in helping plan a trip to golf and stay in Minnesota.

Located in the Brainerd Lakes region of Minnesota, Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge is a family friendly resort that offers a wide range of activities and lodging options. Like a lot of Minnesota resorts, the golf and fishing go hand in hand. The lodge has a full service marina as well as an 18 hole course and a nine hole par 3 course.

Thumper Pond, situated in Ottertail MN, is a golf and conference center located northwest of Fergus Falls, MN. The course and conference center has and RV park, all suite hotel and a indoor water park, complete with a hot tub for the adults.  A great promotion the course is running for the 2018 season is that juniors under 12 play for free after 3pm with a paying adult.

Located near Brainerd, MN is Madden’s on Gull Lake.  Madden’s, a favourite with Manitoba visitors, is a full service resort that features one of Minnesota’s top rated courses, The Classic. The resort has a total of 63 holes (3-18 hole and a nine hole short) and is the only public course in the state to have seasonally available professional caddies.

Warroad Estates is a 18 hole course located in Warroad MN, just south of the Canadian-US Border.  Warroad is on the southwest side of The Lake of the Woods, a world renowned Walleye fishery.  Warroad itself might be one of the most under appreciated towns in Minnesota, and routinely gets overlooked by travelers.

Cragun’s Resort, located on Gull Lake (same as Madden’s), is a full service resort with 45 holes on their Legacy courses.  The proximity to Brainerd, MN as well as other resorts make it a popular starting point for weekend trips to the area. Besides the two 18 hole courses, the resort also features a reversible nine hole par three course.

Located in the northeast part of the state by the town of Tower, MN is the Wilderness at Fortune Bay.  The Wilderness is consistently ranked as one of the top resort courses in the USA and is also Audubon Certified as a cooperative sanctuary.  The course is part of the Fortune Bay Resort, which is owned and operated by the Bois Forte Band.

In Grand Forks ND is the Arnold Palmer Signature Course, King’s Walk Golf Course.  King’s Walk GC is located on the south end of the city, not far from the shopping hub of 32nd Avenue South. The course has a phenomenal practice facility and the course can be extremely challenging if the prairie winds start to whip up.

Seeing all these courses gets the juices flowing a bit faster wishing it was summer already.  We hope to visit several of these highlighted courses in the next several years and bring with it in depth reviews as well as highlights of the courses, resorts and all that they have to offer.