The Classic Golf Course at Madden's Resort

The Classic, revisited

by Mark Sculati

Two true tests of any golf course are how it stands up over time, and how changes are made to make the course better (see Hazeltine National after their first US Open and the infamous cow pasture line.) A great course must maintain its standing, while a poor course must remedy the situation, both fine lines in the golfer's eye. In the case of The Classic at Maddens, a great course has maintained its standing as one of the top courses in the state. Hailed by Golf Digest in 1997 as the  "Third-best new upscale public course in North America," The Classic has done nothing to lose that ranking over the past two years.

Practice area
Many players from Minnesota have traveled to Las Vegas or Arizona at one point or another and had a golfing vacation. One such well-known course in Las Vegas is Angel Park. Imagine (I’ve done this) walking in and paying your green fees of about $110.00, getting your receipt and walking out to the practice range to hit a few balls. A man asks for your name (I figure he’s checking the tee time sheet to make sure I belong) as you walk on the range . When finished, you head off the range and are stopped by the same man asking for your name again – why does he want my name again, I wonder? That’ll be $12.00 he says. What? Are you kidding me? I just plunked down $110.00 and you can’t even let me hit a few measly balls? That scene will never happen to this golfer again. Fast forward to The Classic. Imagine getting on the range and as per usual hitting a couple of fat irons to begin with. Messy club? No bother, just hand it to the 12 or 13 year old standing behind you with the white towel waiting to clean your club after every swing. It was a beautiful thing, and about as far from Vegas as a guy could get. The practice putting green was immaculate, with contours like you will face on the course, a nuance missing at most courses where flat practice greens rule the roost.

The course
Some upscale golf courses make things difficult due to layout, length, etc. Not at The Classic. With five sets of tee boxes there is truly something available for every level of handicapped golfer. Where does one begin when everything is perfect? The immaculate fairways await you as you stand on the teebox. Just off the fairway and into the second cut? No bother as the Classic’s generous secondary cut is about as good as most golf course's fairways. Towering trees line the secondary cut but the grass is mowed for easy finding of the ball. You may have to punch out, but that is better than a lost ball. This setup allows for beautifully lined holes, but doesn’t kill the average golfer’s wayward drive. This aspect makes the round just that much more enjoyable. The Classic is different in that it strays from the traditional layout and has five par fives, five par threes (three on the back) and eight par fours. There is nothing like standing on a tee and looking at a beautiful par three, and The Classic has five of them. Surrounding the par threes and lying throughout the rest of the course are 55 of the prettiest Pebble Beach-like sand traps you’ll ever see. Golfers want consistency with sand traps and that’s exactly what you’ll get at The Classic--pure white sand that looks pleasing to the eye and inspires confidence once you’re lying in one.

Final analysis
This golfer, along with the Minnesota Golf Page staff, has traveled throughout the country and played many so-called "upscale" courses. The problem with many of them is that you are treated as a number: as in give us your money and leave us alone. The Classic treats you as if it is their honor and privilege to host you, rather than the "you should be honored to play here" attitude found at many courses. For that reason alone, this course should be visited and enjoyed.

Course note: The Classic has reversed the order of the nines, making the previous number 10 the new number one, and vice versa. This speeds play as the more difficult original number one now falls in the middle of the round.

Click here to visit Madden's web site.
Click here to read our first review of The Classic, posted in 1997.

Hole Rating/Slope 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out
Tour 75.3/139 540 173 379 409 420 543 213 440 436 3553
Black 73.3/137 530 168 321 402 401 528 188 420 424 3382
Blue 71.6/131 505 151 295 386 371 510 172 413 406 3209
White M 69.2/125
L 74.5/134
486 131 282 369 360 448 155 341 343 2915
Par dot_clear.gif (46 bytes) 5 3 4 4 4 5 3 4 4 36
HC dot_clear.gif (46 bytes) 15 17 13 11 1 9 7 5 3 dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)
Red 69.1/122 376 101 165 327 306 371 83 326 332 2387
HC dot_clear.gif (46 bytes) 7 13 17 11 1 3 15 5 9 dot_clear.gif (46 bytes)
Hole 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In TOT
Tour 470 448 218 638 217 419 535 159 452 3334 7109
Black 466 346 195 594 205 402 522 156 441 3327 6709
Blue 450 327 185 582 175 362 493 146 426 3146 6355
White 442 304 170 557 160 352 471 134 335 2925 5840
Par 5 4 3 5 3 4 5 3 4 36 72
HC 12 16 8 4 6 10 14 18 2
Red 372 283 140 497 90 324 397 80 313 2496 4883
HC 6 16 8 2 14 10 4 18 12