We have visual confirmation.
And almost nothing else.
Not every search for a Minnesota lost golf course results in a treasure trove of information or a fascinating, revealing road trip to a long-lost resting place of greensward.
Sometimes, dead ends are the order of the
day month year.
In late 2016, I came across an image of an old golf course in the Lake Mille Lacs area. The inscription on the postcard is self-explanatory:
Beyond the fact that this golf course once existed, I’m afraid, months later, that I still know nothing (insert your own punchline). Multiple calls to the Onamia area and other searches turned up almost no information on the former golf course near the site of what is now the BayView Bar & Grill. The only known modern-day connection to golf at BayView is that the bar and grill stages an on-ice tournament every year on the frozen surface of Lake Mille Lacs.
BayView — the bar and grill — advertises itself as having been in business since 1897, and in its early years as Bay View Hotel it operated a nine-hole golf course alongside Minnesota Highway 27, 4.5 miles northeast of downtown Onamia and just a couple of hundred yards east of Lake Mille Lacs’ Cove Bay. Judging by an ad in the January 1928 edition of “Fins, Feathers and Fur,” published by the Minnesota Fish and Game Department, the course was established in the mid-1920s. The course featured sand greens, as evidenced by the postcard image. I have no idea when the golf course ceased to operate.
The magazine ad is shown below. And below that is a 1938 aerial photo of the Bay View Hotel’s golf grounds.
And that’s all I got.
As always, further information about this lost golf course is welcome.
Notes, September 2017: A Minneapolis Tribune story from April 13, 1930, noted that work was nearly completed for the opening of play (presumably for the 1930 season) on the Bay View Golf club links at Onamia, according to A.W. Gustafson, owner. “A large number of Twin City golfers and others from this vicinity,” the newspaper noted, “are expected today.”
Also, an ad in the June 29, 1941, Minneapolis Tribune confirms that the golf course was still operating.