Appeldoorn’s On Mille Lacs
By R.J. Smiley
Chuck and Marilyn Appeldoorn own three businesses in the Mille Lacs Lake area. Two of the three are established golf courses on opposite ends of Mille Lacs. The 2018 golf season will be the fourth season in the golf business for the Appeldoorn’s who own Northwood Hills Golf Course south of Garrison and Fiddlestix Golf Course south of Isle. In addition to their golf operations they own Appeldoorn’s Sunset Bay Resort on the southeast side of the lake. The Appeldoorn’s view the proximity of Mille Lacs to the Twin Cities and Duluth as a very desirable travel destination. Far enough to feel like you went somewhere, but close enough to not spend a day in route.
Northwood Hills and Fiddlestix are on opposite sides of Mille Lacs and are two totally different golf courses. Each with its own beautiful style and unique offerings such as GPS carts. Northwood Hills Golf Course was created as an amenity to the post Mille Lacs land development in the early 1960’s and has matured beautifully.
As an avid golfer, Don Bohmer created a golf course that flows through the hills on the west side of Mille Lacs. The course features dramatic vistas of the landing areas on several holes, especially #2, #7 and #16 and also features Ohio white sand bunkers. With several unique holes, each golfer will find their own signature hole. Today, the fairways provide golfers with perfect turf conditions carved through the oaks and maples with hundreds of white pines to accent and define each hole. Patrick Reusse, Star Tribune sports writer and radio personality, once described the greens at Northwood Hills as Pinehurst-like with turtlebacks and shaved fringes.
Harvey Exsted developed Fiddlestix and designed the course creating a number of water hazards that come into play on many holes. “The sandy soil on the south end of Mille Lacs is perfect for growing grass,” Harvey said. Each fairway is lined with native pine trees that have grown and frame each hole beautifully. Thirty-one years after it was created, Fiddlestix is a true gem and was voted in the top 10 golf courses in northeast Minnesota by the Star Tribune. Play Fiddlestix once and you will want to play it again.
Three years ago, Chuck and Marilyn Appeldoorn hired Kristopher and Emily Boike to operate Northwood Hills. The Boike’s are a husband and wife team that complement each other very well. Kris is a PGA associate professional with experience as a golf operations general manager. Emily has years of experience as a food and beverage manager. They have worked at several resort courses, most notably Minnesota National Golf Course in McGregor.
After the first year Appeldoorns promoted Kris to Director of Golf for both operations. With Emily acting as food & beverage and general manager, Charlie’s Bar & Grill at Northwood Hills has increased business at their new clubhouse each year. With homemade pizza and great burgers, Charlie’s has become a favorite watering hole for locals and a great option to dine-in or carry-out for hungry travelers.
Kristopher wants to invite all senior golfers (50 and older), men, women and pros to the Mille Lacs Senior Open Golf Tournament on Thursday, September 13th. The shotgun start event will feature gross and net prizes for three different age groups in each division. Entry fee includes green fees, cart and dinner after the event. “This will be the third year for this fun season ending event and we want to fill the course. Tell all your senior golfing friends,” said Kris.
Fiddlestix Golf Course south of Isle would like to introduce their new Manager to the area. Laura Hollingsworth joins the Appeldoorn on Mille Lacs group with a strong golf and management background. Ambitious and eager, Laura’s goals are to create an environment that continues the legacy of being a top 10 facility with outstanding customer service. She invites women of all ages to join Fiddlestix for their First Annual Ladies’ Invite, Friday August 10th.
While a part of the Brainerd Lakes Area, golfers find that both Northwood Hills Golf Course and Fiddlestix Golf Course offer an economical alternative for golf while providing wonderful golf experiences. Contact Appeldoorn’s Sunset Bay Resort for more information regarding their Stay and Play Golf Packages.
Appeldoorn’s Sunset Bay Resort on the southeast side of Mille Lacs boasts the most beautiful sunsets across the big lake. In addition to spectacular sunsets, the resort has various accommodations to choose from including hotel rooms, several condo units, studio cabins and a reunion house. Their event center is perfect for weddings, receptions, corporate meetings and events, reunions and any special event you are celebrating. The resort provides both outdoor patio dining at Sunsets on Mille Lacs and the Dockside Bar right by the beach! The Mille Lacs area has so much to offer from walking trails, boating, wind surfing, fishing launches and several state parks just to name a few. Come join in and Do the Lake!!