Madden’s – “Just Get Yourself Free, Hop On The Bus, Gus” – Paul Simon Lyric

By Mark Sheskey

Greyhound Lines had its origin in Hibbing, Minnesota in 1914 transporting iron ore miners from Hibbing to the Alice, MN mines. The motor coach has great history in Minnesota as does Madden’s Resort in Brainerd. Madden’s history began in 1909 when entrepreneur T.H. Harrison planned a Gull Lake resort and eventually built a golf course and hotel. The golf course was leased to the Maddens in 1920’s. Both Greyhound and Madden’s have Minnesota history.

So, how do these historical tidbits relate? Madden’s offers a motor coach golf tour to The Classic.

“Must Play” Golf Course: Madden’s Resort has been a destination of choice for organizations around the country and on the “bucket list” for many as a “must play.”

It’s the perfect time to plan this season’s golf getaway. The Classic at Madden’s provides a first-class golf experience. The professional layout and beautiful tree-lined fairways keep golf lovers coming back. In case you needed more reasons to golf at The Classic at Madden’s, here’s a stat: The Classic at Madden’s is the only golf course in Minnesota to receive a 5-Star, Top 100 rating by Golf Digest. Among The Classic’s peer group of Top 100 courses, the average peak-season greens fee is $193 for golf only and only 15 courses charge $100 or less. The newly introduced Motor Coach Golf Tour pricing starts at $129 for golf PLUS practice range, lunch, and travel from the Twin Cities – a great VALUE for a “must play” 5-star golf course.

Owner Brian Thuringer says his resort is a success because it meets guests’ demands. Thuringer believes resorts have to give guests what they want, which isn’t easy, because guests want more activities and amenities than ever before. “People are very demanding of service and activities, much more so than they used to be. And I think that’s where keeping up is very important”, Thuringer states.

Tourism officials say more and more, the key to success in the resort industry is size. A bigger resort is able to provide its guests with more to do. Madden’s is the biggest resort in Minnesota. It has room for almost 1,000 guests, and of course delivers 63 holes of golf. Quality is the No. 1 priority at Madden’s and they are always ready to introduce new recreational activities and to rebuild and refurbish accommodations to meet the standards of 21st century guests. The philosophy here is simply to provide the best that Minnesota has to offer.

Planning a Golf Trip is a Lot of Work: Most agree that the CHALLENGE of golf should be PLAYING GOLF – not planning! When it comes to golf trips, Madden’s new motor coach program, featuring premium commercial coaches, handles all the details of a customized golf itinerary, including transportation.

A very unique aspect of Madden’s Motor Coach Tour to The Classic is that the group can be picked up ANYWHERE the group wishes…the group specifies the pickup/drop-off location and the Madden’s motor coach will pick the group up. For 2012 they even have groups from as far away as Minot, ND and Winnipeg, Canada!

The program works like this: the group leader contacts Madden’s Head Golf Professional Glenn Hagberg with the date/s desired for their group of 40 or more golfers. The group leader specifies the pickup location….Madden’s takes care of the rest!

Not Madden’s First Bus Rodeo! The concept of motor coach trips is not new for Madden’s. In better economic times Madden’s offered luxury motor coach trips with their very own motor coach which carried the title of “The Classic Coach”. These were true luxury trips for small groups of 12-16 golfers originating mostly from the Twin Cities. These trips were suspended at a time when business budget allocations, particularly corporate entertainment, dried up after the 9/11 reversal of the economy.

The Classic Coach was first offered when The Classic golf course opened in the 1990’s. The bus was their own full sized, state-of-the-art coach configured with luxury amenities including two televisions, VCR, CD player, living room-type seating, complete kitchen and restroom plus on-board hostess with catered food and beverages. The Classic Coach was popular, primarily with major corporations, for entertaining their best clients with luxury golf-based outings. The Classic Coach was a perfect place for face-to-face business interaction and to get the formalities of a business meeting out of the way before an afternoon of fun on The Classic.

Madden’s Classic Coach is currently being refurbished and updated for luxury trips in the future.

Why a Group Golf Trip? What makes a golf trip memorable will always be the same laughing with friends, pursuit of the ever-elusive eagle, and being treated like the pros. Groups attracted to motor coach golf trips include: Golf Leagues, Member Clubs and Associations, Mystery Trips, Radio Station and Retail Store Promotions, Bar/Restaurants.

Example: Nevada Bobs in Duluth June trip: depart store 9am, arrive Classic 11:30am, 1:00 shotgun, arrive home 8:30pm. “The buzz about Nevada Bob’s Day on The Classic has been great!  With the normal greens fee over $100 the VALUE in this trip is great, not to mention the additional benefit of not having to organize and drive.” Ryan Bard, Nevada Bob’s Duluth

An Eco-Friendly Option: Madden’s is an industry leader in ‘going green’, Madden’s was awarded the “Sustainable Tourism Award” by Minnesota Tourism and Golf Digest’s exclusive “Green Star” Award.

To minimizing environmental impact, the bus is one of the best transportation options around. Airplanes are notorious for hefty carbon footprints and driving your own car isn’t much better (particularly if there are only one or two people in it at the time). Another consideration in favor of a motor coach is the recent spike in gas prices.

Stress… Everyone knows that reduced stress at tee time improves the potential of enjoying your round more. Recent studies by American Bus Association have also proven that bus trips are better for your health, compared to using your personal vehicle. Tests show that people who take the bus are 33% less stressed than those who use their cars. Bus trips are less stressful because you don’t have to deal with traffic plus travelers can read, socialize and relax. Many people also find the fact that someone else is in charge of the trip more comforting and less stressful.

Madden’s Motor Coach 2012 Offerings
Option 1: Spend the Day
Premium Motor Coach to/from customer’s pickup point, lunch, 18-holes w/cart at Classic, Practice Range
Starting at $129/person
Option 2: Spend the Night
Premium Motor Coach to/from customer’s pick-up point, one night lodging, dinner, breakfast, 18-holes w/cart at Classic, 18-holes w/cart at Madden’s Pine Beach East or West, Practice Range.
Starting at $199/person
Program prices vary with day of the week and peak season as well as distance from Brainerd.
Minimum groups of 40+
Packages Comp Group Leaders

The Madden’s Motor Coach Golf Trip Value.
Madden’s Golf Motor Coach charters are fully customizable. Madden’s offers the only motor coach golf trips in Minnesota and delivers the best golf experience possible. You’ll receive a great hassle-free golf value. With a motor coach trip you spend less time planning and more time playing!

A golf trip to Madden’s is the ‘full deal’ resort experience… it’s not staying at a Super 8, running to different courses. It’s sitting on the deck of the Golf Villas, overlooking Pine Beach East, talking over the day’s game with a nice scotch and cigar… or maybe fishing in the evening after golf in the afternoon with the guys. Bus tours leave the driving to someone else, saving on stress, eco concerns and costs.

“Just get yourself free, hop on the bus, Gus.”

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