History of Maple Valley

Making your final turn down into Maple Valley Golf & Country Club, most are awestruck at the sudden terrain change of the scenic Root River Bluff Country cradling Maple Valley.

White limestone bluffs rising to 100 feet above, and the Root River winding around, you truly believe you have just entered a hidden valley.

The natural rolling terrain, mature tree-lined fairways, and natural water hazards help to make Maple Valley one of Minnesota’s most sought-after and photographed courses.

This was the vision, 31-year old Wayne Idso had in 1961, when he read an article in a farm periodical suggesting farm acreages be taken out of production and re-vitalized as recreational possibilities.

Wayne researched the design of golf course architecture. Contacting the National Golf Foundation, a representative visited the site and sanctioned the plan. The property was hilly and heavily wooded. With the help of his wife Suzanne and their children, Wayne took their second-generation family farm and started construction of the Maple Valley Golf and Country Club in May 1963.

The course opened for play in 1964, with 18 holes, 6915 yards, and daily green fees of $1.50. The price went up to $2.00 on weekends and holidays. Memberships sold for $35.00. (A few charter members still enjoy that initial membership price.)


Three major and many minor changes have occurred over the years to Maple Valley's layout. The first major change was in the early 70’s when holes 4, 5, and 6 were moved across the Root River.  In the mid-70’s, some of the back-nine holes were brought down off the hillside and after the 1978 floods, which devastated the Rochester area, we moved all the holes on the back-nine to the same side of the river.

In 1990, Wyane started the construction of his 2nd course, St. Charles Golf Course, St. Charles, MN. Another Beautiful 18 hole, par 72 course. Since then,Wayne has helped with the development and construction of two other courses; Cedar Valley in Winona, MN and Riverview Greens in Stewartville, MN.

Until his passing 2013, Wayne could be found out on the course everyday. He just loved all aspects of the golf business but especially the people he would meet. Suzanne still works everyday, either behind the counter or maybe out sprucing up a flower bed.

In 2005, one of their children, Eric and his wife Karen Idso purchased Maple Valley Golf and Country Club. Eric has worked fulltime at Maple Valley since 1982. Karen, employed by the Mayo Clinic fulltime, works at the course as much as possible. Their son Tyler now works at the course full-time as the superintendent and enjoys it as much as his father and grandfather have.

So, please join us for a round of golf at Maple Valley Golf & Country Club where we have taken great pride in our course for generations.

To visit the St. Charles Golf Course website Click Here

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