Eden Guides is in the business of life-changing experiences. Its team of outdoor enthusiasts takes people on voyages and expeditions up mountains, under coral reef ecosystems, and to locations in need of humanitarian aid. Recent trips have offered a chance to safari on the Serengeti and view the migration of more than 500,000 gazelle and zebra or scale two of Mexico’s highest peaks, the volcanoes El Pico de Orizaba and Iztaccihuatl. Closer to home, courses on outdoor skills, led by guides with certifications from the American Mountain Guides Association and as wilderness EMTs and first responders. Leave-no-trace, backcountry cuisine, and intro to backpacking classes all ensure that hikers and climbers know how to survive in the wild without needing to barter with the local bears.
Since first opening its doors to fishermen in 1898, Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge has remained a family-operated and award-winning resort focused on providing customers with a memorable stay. Up to two adults will receive a two-night stay in a second-floor Golf Course Studio ($410) located on the Alec’s Nine course, which offers queen and double beds, a twin sofa sleeper, a refrigerator, a coffee maker, and a private deck. Two 18-hole rounds of golf ($90) on a scenic course make for a fun-filled morning or afternoon as players soak in the striking, woods-lined terrain on foot. Additionally, visitors can dine in style or nosh on tasty sandwiches, thanks to quality dining options, or check out resort attractions such as nearby Paul Bunyan Land.
Nestled in the scenic Brainerd Lakes vacation area, Wildwedge Golf & Mini Golf challenges golfers of all ages and skill levels with a verdant, evergreen-lined nine-hole course. Before teeing off, sharpen your strokes on Wildwedge's expansive driving range, fortified with artificial turf. Once you've greased your swing, traverse the lush, well-kept greens, towing clubs in a convenient pull cart along well-manicured fairways overlooking placid ponds brimming with gumbo. With holes that range from 75 to 170 yards, players can hone their iron and short games or practice yelling "fore" to startle fellow golfers. Wildwedge's newly built clubhouse offers breezy patio space to unwind with a beer, and mini golf and a new maze (not included with this Groupon) entertain youngsters.
At a certain point, the Rum River's slow, meandering current bends around a corner on its journey south, almost stopping entirely to soak in the view of Stones Throw Golf Course. In addition to the two holes directly on the Rum River, the course features O'Neill Brook, which babbles into play on six holes, and ponds that await on four more holes. The omnipresent water hazards, along with tight tree lines that form fairway chutes through dense forests, force players to demonstrate control over ball placement and enough self-control to leave portable-party-starting slip 'n' slides in their golf bag. In an effort to further beautify the grounds, the course received a major overhaul in 2000, with 11 new holes added.
Course at a Glance: