Watch | Celebrating 25 Years of The Classic at Madden’s
25 years ago, in 1997, The Classic at Madden’s opened to the public. Rated in America’s Top 100 Greatest Public Courses (#59 in 2019) and given 5 Stars by Golf Digest, The Classic at Madden’s is a state- and nation-wide must-play course.
Building a Classic
What started as some open land and an idea soon became a nationally-recognized and award-winning golf course. Madden’s golf course and grounds superintendent since 1974, Scott Hoffmann, was entrusted to design The Classic. He was assisted by a distinguished team of consultants, including renowned golf course architect Geoffrey Cornish, Former US Amateur Champion and Minnesota native John Harris, and former Minnesota Golf Association Executive Director Warren Rebholz, as well as the owner Brian Thuringer. The building of the golf course was a patient process, completed over four years and primarily done in-house. Though the course was playable in 1996, ownership wanted to give the course a full year to grow in and mature. Finally, in 1997, The Classic at Madden’s opened for play and has been at the top of the game since, receiving numerous awards and recognition.
The Classic at Madden’s was designed with one main goal: to be the best Minnesota has to offer. A classic approach and minimalist philosophy guided the overall design of The Classic, and no detail was overlooked. The course works flawlessly with the land, having moved only 50,000 cubic yards of dirt during construction. Consultant John Harris gave tournament perspective to enhance shot values of the tee that require working the ball left, right, and varying distances without forced carry.
Traditional touches like wooden flagsticks, rakes and a caddie program give players a tour-quality feel. Details like foursome maximums and a beverage stations in lieu of beverage carts ensure distraction-free play. With the sustainable choice of electric carts, not even the hum of a golf cart will disrupt The Classic golfer. Service is provided on the front side of the clubhouse, so once you’re heading to the first tee, it’s just you and the course.
Design Team Panel Discussion
Hear from Scott Hoffman, Brian Thuringer, and Executive Director of the Minnesota Golf Association Tom Ryan on the history of The Classic, the design process, and what the future holds for The Classic and the state of golf.