Country Club Becomes “Home Away from Home”

Northland Uncovered: Northland Country Club

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In this week’s Northland Uncovered, we take you inside a private country club with views stretching along Lake Superior.

“It’s one of the nicest clubs in the state,” said Warren Askeland, who has been a member for 60 years.

The club has a panoramic view of Lake Superior that has kept golfers on the course for more than a century.

“It’s so good that you won’t have to worry about going someplace else,” said Askeland.

“It’s a special thing. There aren’t many courses, especially in the Midwest, that have been around this long,” said Gregg McCall, who has been a member for 15 years.

Northland Country Club is host to some of the best views in Duluth, thanks to an infamous course designer Donald Ross.

“This golf course is just an absolute hidden gem that a lot of people don’t know about,” said Jennifer Webster O’Connor, the PGA Head Golf Professional at Northland Country Club.

Ross has put his name on more than 400 courses across the country.

“We’ve hosted western amateurs, we’ve hosted, on a national stage, we’ve hosted the women’s open for the USGA in 1956,” explained Webster O’Connor.

Around since 1899, this club has had three clubhouses on the same property.

Fires in 1918 and 1973 brought down the first two.

Eight years ago, the new clubhouse was built.

“I mean yeah it’s new and updated, but it has the same feel of the old one and you don’t feel like you’re in a brand new building,” said McCall.

It’s not the clubhouse or course that makes this place home.

“I come over here for happy hour almost every day,” said Askeland.

Askeland joined the club because of his dad.

“I made a lot of friends here. Still have several of them,” he explained.

Now an honorary member because of his age, 99, Askeland likes to hang out with the “younger guys.”

“The guys in their seventies and eighties, they entertain me over here,” Askeland added.

He still remembers when the course had six holes on the other side of the road where Duluth East now sits.

“I never saw the course when it was on that side except when I was walking home from school I’d see where it was, where it had been,” Askeland explained.

McCall also grew up in Duluth and spent many years on the course before becoming a member.

“I started here in the early ’90s as a caddy, took over as the director of caddies my years through college and then joined as a member right out of college 15 years ago,” McCall said.

Now, he enjoys the club with his family.

“I ended up getting married and have 5 children now. Now, the reason we’re members is a little different. A lot less golf and a lot more pool, tennis and eating here as a family,” said McCall.

Families take in not just a game of golf, pool time, or a tennis match, but friendships that’ll last a lifetime.

“There’s a lot of young families that weren’t here 20 years ago when I was growing up,” said McCall.

Northland Country Club plans to get golf simulators this winter so they can have golf leagues year round.

If you’re interested in becoming a member, head to the Northland Country Club website for more information.  

You can also contact Ryan Bauers, membership director, at (218) 525-1941.

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