“Golf is the infallible test. The man who can go into a patch of rough alone, with the knowledge that only God is watching him, and play his ball where it lies, is the man who will serve you faithfully and well.” -P.G. WodehouseIn Mapleton just west of Fargo lies the Maple River Golf Club. It takes its name from the river that borders its north and west sides, a winding waterway that keeps the course verdant and the farmland around it so rich. Maple River Golf Club was originally designed in 1965 as a 9 hole course, but expanded to the full 18 in 2000. Now celebrating its 52nd year, the club is expanding its operation yet again while maintaining its core focuses on community and the love of the sport.
Maple River Golf Club is run by its general manager and head golf professional Dave Schultz. A three-sport athlete in high school, Fargo native Dave began focusing on golf exclusively in his freshman year at Colorado State and then year-round in the better weather at Texas Christian University. Dave played golf professionally for eight years after graduation, including three in the Nationwide Tour. While based in Fort Worth during his professional career, Dave quickly learned during his travels that your home course isn’t necessarily one near your home; it’s any one where you love to play.
“The most important thing is the people you’re around, not necessarily the ground you’re on,” explained Dave. “When you share a passion for golf with someone, all it takes is playing a few holes together and you’ve got a new friend. I’m thrilled to run a course in an area where folks truly love the game.”
Indeed, Maple River Golf Club’s mission is to offer itself to all who would like to play. That spirit is embodied right in the course’s humble motto: “The Club in the country.” “Golf clubs ought to belong to anyone who loves golf,” Dave added. “We run things here so that the most people can come to play. We set up our membership so that there is no minimum food purchase requirement. We never charge mid-year assessments, where you’d have to pay extra money halfway through the season just because we’d ask for it. Also, we don’t charge membership fees during all those months when Fargo’s too buried under snow to play. You don’t even have to be a member to play here. That’s how committed we are to offering our course to the public.”
This inclusive philosophy and the great length of last year’s golf season, which lasted from March 11th to November 13th, has permitted Maple River Golf Club to make some much deserved recent improvements. They used their last year’s success and record membership to heavily invest in their clubhouse. “A beautiful course should have nothing less for its front door, too,” said Dave. In addition to other recent improvements to the course, Maple River Golf Club has only just overhauled their 16th hole, which Dave admits had lacked a certain something, into a far more exciting challenge. This puts it in better company with their notorious 9th hole, arguably the hardest par three in the area with a 220 yard uphill shot from the back tees. If that sounds daunting, there is solace in the 3rd, where it’s very possible to sink a hole in one with only an 8 iron.
In keeping with their commitment to the community, Maple River Golf Club offers a lot of opportunities to golfers who haven’t yet visited to explore its grounds. Their early bird special, which is held until noon on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, lets newcomers play all 18 holes and rent a cart for only $25. Ladies night is every Wednesday at 6 PM, where for $9.99 they may play nine holes while enjoying a free drink. Over 50 ladies were taking advantage of that invitation every week by the end of last season. Finally, 40 to 50 pairs attend couples night every Friday at 6:30 PM, a great chance to befriend new people and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
“I was very lucky to have played professionally,” said Dave. “Now that I call Maple River home? Well, I’m still very lucky!”
When you have a bad day playing football, you might wind up with a 300 pound linebacker sitting on your head. When you have a bad day skiing, it could mean falling off of a cliff. But a bad day playing golf? That only means you get to play even more golf. Treat yourself to a round at Maple River Golf Club, currently open for its 2017 season, this summer or fall. Located at 3666 163rd Ave SE in Mapleton, it’s only a few minutes west of Fargo, making it a perfect getaway at any time.
By David Scheller