The curious name at the Deacon’s Lodge has its roots in some family history for designer Arnold Palmer: “The King” named it after his father, “Deek.”
The course itself emphasizes many of Minnesota’s noted natural features across its routing, including forests and the banks of both Lynch and Shaffer Lakes. One curiosity occurs later in the round, however, during hole Nos. 13, 14 and 15, where large swathes of sand occur. You haven’t actually traveled to the North Carolina sand hills, but the sprawling nature of this layout may make the round seem like a similar distance; the course is spread out across more than 500 acres.
Palmer may have understood the amount of competition in the Gull Lake region and acted to set Deacon’s Lodge apart with the distinctive sand features. It worked: Golf Digest frequently features the course among its Top 100 public options. The course was previously part of the Grand View portfolio, but was purchased by the Breezy Point group during 2012.
I played 36 here last week. It is a difficult track and Palmer himself would struggle to keep it under 80! But absolutely great course!
Very nice course. Large sprawling holes that have been carved into the landscape. Hard to get a flat lie anywhere on the course. Very well maintained, you could putt the ball from 50 yards off the green if you wanted. Many picturesque holes abound if you play here. A lot steep drop offs in front of the greens that could cost you multiple strokes. Top two course in the area.
Beautiful course in a beautiful area with an opportunity to spend a vacation day smiling about how wonderful your day was. Deacon's Lodge is also a place to cry at the end of the round that you failed to pick the right tee's to play from and the course brutalized you and your in the bar area paying off the rest of the members in your group.
Length and accuracy are tantamount to making a good score. Numerous run off areas and waste bunkers can greet a drive that you thought was a good shot only to find yourself scrambling to make par. Keep it in the fairway and you are sure to enjoy the scenery and wildlife that abounds around you.
Numerous holes have a risk/reward element and depending how you're playing, the opportunity to try and challenge the hole for the big reward await you.
One of the very best clubhouse environments in the Lakes Area with a log cabin feel with outstanding food and service.
In my opinion Deacon’s Lodge is one of Palmer’s best designs. It starts on the first hole, a long big sweeping dogleg right with a forced carryout of the gate! Oh, and the green is perched on the edge of a hazard. The first par 5 is only reachable by accurate big hitters. For the second shot favor the left side of this split fairway. Pay attention to the yardage to avoid the waste ravine left front. The first par three is mid-length with a couple of deep bunkers right, of course there is also one left. The 4th is a tight par four. There is a lake to the right and prime swampland left that extends obscenely into what one would expect to be the fairway. If your tee shot is in play the rest of the hole should be straight forward. The dogleg right 5th is a pretty hole, unless you block your drive or approach into the lake. The 6th is a gimme par three, couple of bunkers front left and false front right, but at 115 yards, what could possibly go wrong? On the other hand, the dogleg right number one handicap 7th has a myriad of possibilities for bad stuff to happen. A long par 4 one will be tempted to cut the corner but this increases the odds of not making it and then being blocked out. Better to play left and have a long approach. The 8th is a scoring oppty. Hit it straight and then attack the pin. The front ends with a super par 5. Of course, as a hooker I have a predisposition for right to left holes. The preferred tee shot is a high draw starting down the middle. Surprisingly, the same type of ballflight can get you on in two. A high draw and the ball will catapult onto the green.
The back starts with a good birdie oppty. A short dogleg left favor the right side of the green as the contour will push your approach hard left. The 11th is a mid-length non-memorable par 3. The 12th is a classic risk/reward hole. Slight dogleg left that is quasi-driveable. Go for it? Or go home? From the tips you will need about 270 to carry the waste area. If you lay up, well, how exciting is 7 iron/7 iron? Hopefully, you kicked butt on 12 s 13 is a butt kicker. Off the tee favor the left. This green should be called Twiggy. Enough said, par here is awesome. The 14th is a good birdie oppty, favor the left off the tee. The 15th is the longest par 4 and a tough hole that tilts left. I hate to talk about where to miss as, in my opinion, this is loser think, but short left is about your only chance to save par. The 16th may be the best birdie oppty coming in. Favor the right off the tee and hit an attack iron at the pin. The 17th is a long par 3 and is probably the signature hole. An all carry par 3, with bunkers front right and left and the lake behind the green, goof luck making par if you don’t hit the green. A reachable par 5 brings you home. For you big hitters, a greenside bunker left and grass swale right. Good luck and have fun!!