The Ma Cal Grove Country Club clubhouse rose from the ashes after the fire on February 2, 2019, destroyed it. The new clubhouse opened last year during the second year of the pandemic.
Guests to the new clubhouse will first notice that the new clubhouse is set farther back from the road than the former building was. As a result, there is plentiful parking in front of the clubhouse.
When you first enter the clubhouse during the winter months, your eyes are drawn to the three large black curtains set up in the center of the room where golfers can practice their swing on the Trackman Golf stimulator. General Manager Christa Romportl explained that golfers can play on courses from all over the world and they are all accurate. Golfers can also play games like Closer to the Pin and Bullseye. The cost to golf on the stimulator is $35 per hour.
The club hosted a 10-week Trackman League this past winter. There were 11 teams consisting of two members each. Golfers would come in every week and golf for one hour. Romportl explained, “Since it is virtual, members did not have to come at any particular time, which allowed golfers to come in at their convenience.” At the end of the season, the country club hosted a Trackman party with food and drinks. If you are interested in being on a league next year, contact Romportl.
Romportl said, “People come from out of town to use the stimulator and play a round of golf.”
The club’s chef is 17-year-old Danika Holty. Holty developed a new menu featuring appetizers and entrees not available at area restaurants. The clubhouse also serves Spring Grove pop, eight white wines and four red wines, mixed drinks, and a cocktail of the week. To find out what the special is, visit the club’s Facebook page.
Appetizers include angus beef bites, garlic french fries, pretzel fries, and fried ravioli. The hamburgers are rumored to being the best in the region. Guests and purchase a regular hamburger to an Eagle burger to a Warrior burger to a Tornado burger and a Buckaroo burger, all served on a fresh bun made by the Caledonia Bakery. Next, turn the menu over for a wide selection of flatbreads, including a build your own flatbread. Other menu items include baskets and wraps, including a Miss Piggy wrap and Cuban wrap.
A young wife and mother shared her opinion of the food at Ma Cal Grove Country Club. She raved about the hamburgers noting that when she goes out to eat, she does not order hamburgers because they are not moist, but at Ma Cal Grove, that is not the case.
Weddings and special events are held at the country club. For example, work parties, retirement parties, and anniversary parties.
Future plans for the clubhouse include live music, sip and paint classes, and beer and wine tastings.
There are also new plans in place for the nine-hole golf course. Superintendent of Grounds Tyler Engen recognized club member Fred Arnold who joined the club after retiring from farming. Engen explained, “Arnold enjoyed playing every day and wanted to see improvements that would add to the game’s enjoyment. Before Arnold passed away, he worked with the board of directors and superintendent of grounds to select a golf course architect.” Minnesota architect, Kari Haug from Minneapolis, developed a master plan for the course that included the addition of forward tee boxes. Haug suggested that the club install the forward tees to help attract new golfers and retain older golfers. “Thanks to a donation from Arnold, equipment was purchased to aid in the construction of the tees,” according to Engen. “Ma Cal Grove plans to start the project this year. It is expected to take several years to complete, as the work will be done in-house.”
Tee boxes are where you tee your ball up at the beginning of each hole, offering different distances for golfers’ varied skills and abilities. Forward tee boxes are areas closer to the green for golfers who either don’t hit the ball as far (like beginners or seniors) or simply enjoy playing a shorter course.
The country club is open to the public. They also offer memberships.
Currently, the club has over 200 members. Benefits of being a member include discounts on golf course fees and venue rentals plus reciprocal agreements with other golf courses.
Winter hours are Thursday through Sunday. Lunch is from 11-2 p.m., and dinner is 4-8 p.m. Summer hours are open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Plans are to open the course in April. However, a date has not been set as yet.
Ma Cal Grove Country club is located on Minnesota 44 on the outskirts of Caledonia.