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Golf course’s clubhouse changed the local banquet scene

This table kept winning table prizes — blue poinsettias — at Business After Hours hosted by the Albert Lea Tribune in December 2012 at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club. – Tim Engstrom/Albert Lea Tribune

This table kept winning table prizes — blue poinsettias — at Business After Hours hosted by the Albert Lea Tribune in December 2012 at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club. – Tim Engstrom/Albert Lea Tribune

No. 19: Wedgewood Cove

The ability of Albert Lea to host banquets changed in May 2009 when the clubhouse at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club opened.

Before, the largest space was the now-closed Elks Lodge, and the low-light, fraternal atmosphere there didn’t quite fit the environment sought by companies, nonprofits and many professionals. Meanwhile, the local hotels generally had medium-sized spaces. The community lost many opportunities to host banquets to nearby cities.

Since then, Wedgewood Cove has been a leading gathering space for Albert Leans and can serve about 500 people and, unlike many banquet locations, features a wide social area outside the banquet hall. Banquets offer audio-visual equipment, wireless Internet and even bean bag tossing, if the renter of the room desires it.

The building offers 38,000 square feet with a fine dining restaurant, upscale bar, golf pro shop, kitchen and offices. Most people encounter the 19,000 square feet on the main floor. A geothermal field heats and cools the whole place.

The restaurant has a popular pasta night every Tuesday.

From the clubhouse, people have views of the 18-hole golf course and of Pickerel Lake. Residential lots along the course are being sold, and every now and then a new house is built.

On the golf course side, near the practice green, is a patio that is popular place to relax outdoors in the warm months.

The course, owned by Jerry and Gerry Vogt of Mrs. Gerry’s Salads, is generally devoid of trees and can be described as a links course, but it has more obstacles than found on a typical links course. There are 14 ponds and 56 bunkers, plus a generous amount of rolling hills.

The course was designed by Garrett Gill and Jonathan Schmenk of Gill Design Inc., located in River Falls, Wis., and it was built by Duininck Golf of Prinsburg. It is far lengthier than area courses and totals 6,993 yards from the back tees, 6,594 yards from the blue tees, 6,261 yards from the white tees and 5,806 from the gold tees.

There are four par 5s and four par 3s on the par-72 course. The greens are moderately sized and were built to USGA specifications with a sand base.

 

25 favorite places 

The Tribune staff compiled what it feels are the 25 favorite places of Albert Leans. The results will be published over the course of the coming month. What will be No. 1? Agree or disagree, it will be enjoyable to mull over and discuss. Send feedback to letters@albertleatribune.com.