THE GRAND OPENING OF ROYAL GOLF CLUB
By R.J. Smiley
On Saturday, May 19, golf junkies will be introduced to the only offspring conceived by Arnold Palmer and Annika Sorenstam, the King and the Queen of golf.
For golfers, May 12 will over-shadow Mother’s Day and fishing opener. On that Saturday morning avid golfers may reserve their tee time for the Grand Opening of the Royal Golf Club. (Royal Golf Club allows players to make a tee time 7 days in advance.) Golfers may call the pro shop at 651-505-9070, or book online at royalclubmn.com to reserve their place in history. Due to Mother Nature’s stubborn weather patterns for the past year, the limited number of grow-in days has caused the delayed opening of one of the most historic golf events in Minnesota.
The idea for the Royal Golf Club was created in the mind of Hollis Cavner, one of golf’s movers and shakers, who stitched together the old 3M owned Tartan Park Golf Course property with the King and the Queen. Since early last fall, Cavner has paced the halls like an expectant father. The long overdue “golf course baby” finally has a delivery date. The golf course is not completely mature – but it is very playable. With perfect greens and unique undulating tees, golfers will ignore the few areas of ‘ground under repair’ as they enjoy the splendor from every angle.
On their first trip around this wonderful track, golfers will be awed by each unique vista created by tee shots played from elevated tees to generous fairways below. Mature trees, that were only saplings when Tartan Park was born, beautifully frame each hole. These dramatic vistas display a look of Minnesota’s frontier past in a 21st century environment. With a variety of tees designed to fit every swing speed, golfers may play a golf course meant for their game.
The golf course is an incredible blend of green grass, blue water and trees, whose colors morph as the seasons change. The 26 sand bunkers thrown in create splashes of white throughout the blues and greens. The free flowing tees, most not perfectly level, will give golfers an unusual challenge as they work their way around the golf course. The over/under bet will be on the number of 3-putts the first time around on the severely undulating greens. There may even be a few 4-putts on the caterpillar like 13th green.
It is hard to believe that the Royal Golf Club is a success prior to the first round being played. Arnie’s, the spacious restaurant named after the King, fits beautifully into the completely remodeled clubhouse. Opened last fall, Arnie’s has created a strong following of loyal customers. Word has already gotten out about weddings overlooking Horseshoe Lake. Nearly all available wedding dates have already been reserved in 2018. If you would like to hold your wedding at the Royal Golf Club, you might have to wait until next year.
The Royal Golf Club management team planned the facility to contain every element necessary for a perfect company or charity golf outing. Ample parking, a wonderful golf course with historic roots and superior food and beverage make the Royal Golf Club a tournament planners dream. A limited number of dates are still available for outside golf events for the 2018 golf season.
The cozy Golf Shop, located on the ground floor overlooking the outdoor seating for Arnie’s, is packed full of logoed souvenir merchandise. Every first time golfer will want to walk away with a prized cap, golf shirt or sweater. That piece of memorabilia will be the subject of conversations during the next round with your favorite group.
During the Grand Opening, golfers and guests will be invited to drink a toast to the King and Queen. Not champagne, but an Arnold Palmer, the combination of iced tea and lemonade that Mr. Palmer made famous.
To create an even more festive atmosphere during the Grand Opening, the Royal Golf Club has scheduled some seldom seen Arnold Palmer memorabilia. There will be a Cadillac once owned by Mr. Palmer himself. The proud owner might even let golfers pose for a photo. In addition to Mr. Palmer’s automobile, the Royal Golf Club will feature the Blue General, the Toro golf course tractor that was used when Mr. Palmer shot one of the now famous Pennzoil TV ads back in the 1980’s. The tractor, with a history of its own, has been beautifully restored and contains a huge Arnold Palmer autograph. It is worth a trip to the Royal Golf Club just to see this unique sports treasure.
Set your alarms, and book your tee time early on Saturday morning May 12, 2018. You will never get a second chance to play the Royal Golf Club on opening day.