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The Classic Golf Digest

The Classic at Madden’s Named One of ‘America’s Top 100 Greatest Public Courses’

The Classic at Madden’s Named One of ‘America’s Top 100 Greatest Public Courses’


A True Classic

The Classic at Madden’s was recently recognized as one of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses by Golf Digest. Since 2003, The Classic has been receiving national recognition in this ever-evolving category. This year, The Classic was ranked #59 and is one of only 3 courses in Minnesota that made the list (The Quarry at Giant’s Ridge, #31, and The Wilderness at Fortune Bay, #72).

Here’s what Golf Digest had to say about The Classic:

“The Classic is a genuine amateur architect design, although course superintendent Scott Hoffmann consulted with veteran course architect Geoff Cornish as well as others in creating The Classic at Madden’s. It’s beautiful but not for the faint of heart, a hilly course with some narrow, pine-lined fairways and occasional challenging shots over water from sidehill or downhill lies. But, like other multiple course operations such as Bethpage and Cog Hill, Madden’s has easier alternate layouts for high-handicappers.”

Brainerd golf course - The Classic

Over the Course of History

The Classic at Madden’s has been delighting golfers from all over since 1997. Jack and Jim Madden acquired the land on which The Classic is built during the Depression Era as payment for the sale of a lakeshore property. In the early 90s, Scott Hoffmann, golf course and grounds superintendent since 1974, was entrusted with the project of designing the course. He was assisted by a distinguished team of consultants, including renowned golf architect Geoffrey Cornish, former US Amateur Champion and MN native John Harris, and former MN Golf Association Executive Director Warren Rebholz. The Classic was designed with the goal of providing everyday golfers with an accessible course that replicated the look, feel, and challenges of courses that tour players often see. Work on the course began in 1993, and the entire process took about four years. The course was completed in 1996 but was given another year to grow in and mature before officially opening in 1997. Since then, The Classic has become a decorated course; in 2003, The Classic made its debut on Golf Digest’s Top 100 Public Courses and has been rated 5 Stars since 2007.

This year there were 12 new entrants onto the list, making for stiff competition, and we are very pleased that The Classic remained on the list. When you play at The Classic, make sure to tell your friends you’ve golfed at one of America’s Top 100 public courses!

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