History of Maple Valley
Making your final turn down into
Maple Valley Golf & Country Club, most are awestruck at the sudden terrain change from Rochester to the scenic Root River Bluff Country. Cradling this public course is the Root River with large white limestone bluffs, rolling terrain and many mature trees. The vision of a 31 year old farmer in 1961 would turn this property into one of Minnesota's most sought after and photographed courses.
In 1855 James Marshall was one of the first to purchase this land after Minnesota became a U.S. Territory. Soon after, a part of it was sold to George Green who would dam the river to operate a saw mill in 1856. The upper property would become crop land and the lower would be for pasture and wood. The land would exchange many hands over the years until 1945 when Torval and Minnie Idso purchased it from Walter McBride. They farmed the property with their three son's until 1960 when one of their son's, Wayne, began purchasing the property.
After reading 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 and realized he was farming the perfect setting. Contacting the National Golf Foundation, a representative visited the site and sanctioned the plan. Much of the property was hilly and heavily wooded. With the help of his wife Suzanne and their six 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.
There's been many changes over the years to Maple Valley's initial layout. In the late 60's some of the back-nine holes were brought down off the hillside. This was before cart use and was just to hilly for walking. Around this time, he would also install a tow rope and ski area that operated for about five years. In the early 70's the front nine got its major change when holes 4,5 and 6 were moved across the Root River. After the 1978 floods, which devastated the Rochester area, Wayne moved all the holes on the back-nine to the same side of the river.
In 1990 Wayne started the construction of his 2nd course, St. Charles Golf Course in St. Charles, MN, another beautiful 18-hole public 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.
In 2005, one of their sons, Eric and his wife Karen Idso purchased Maple Valley Golf and Country Club. Eric has worked full-time at Maple Valley since 1982. Their son Tyler now works as the superintendent along with his wife Courtney as our event coordinator, both enjoy it as much as his father and grandfather have.
Until their passing (Wayne 2013 and Suzanne 2014) both could be found daily at the courses. They loved every aspect of golf but especially the people they met.
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.
Maple Valley Golf and Country Club
8600 Maple Valley Road SE
Rochester, MN 55904
Wayne and Suzanne Fall 1963
Spanning the Root River
1990 St. Charles construction begins
Great Grandkids learning the trade