They're more than just for decoration, though. They signal just how many wetlands, ponds, creeks and hazards players have to hit over to keep their ball - and their score - alive on this top 100 track, one of the anchors of Brainerd, a golf and lake destination three hours north of the Twin Cities.
Water crosses the path of players on at least eight holes. That doesn't count all the hazards and woods lurking along the fairway should you hit it crooked. Some of the large, circular white-sand bunkers look like they belong at Augusta National. It's an impressive routing done by course superintendent Scott Hoffman, who is essentially a one-hit wonder as an architect.
The Classic at Madden's sets itself apart from other top courses in one of the Midwest's 10 best golf destinations with its commitment to service. Players who want a pure golf experience can walk with a caddie. If walking isn't your thing, forecaddies are available, too. Either way, taking a caddie is a memorable way to enhance an already memorable round.
Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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