Our History


What was once 120 acres of farm ground now lies one of the most beautiful 18-hole golf courses in Iowa.  Spring Valley Golf Course started in 1979 as a 9-hole course with the help of golf course designer, Bob Patruka.  The early years of Spring Valley were very difficult due to an economic tailspin and high interest rates.  This caused the corporation to fail, and the Gerald and Jeanne Berte family to step into ownership.


With very little play in the beginning, it was hard to make improvements on the golf course.  That is when the Berte family realized the only way that they would survive would be to do things 1st class at all times.  The owner, having a construction background, played a key roll in the future success of Spring Valley.  A greenhouse was constructed and the beautiful flowers started to come to life due to the countless hours of Gerald’s wife, Jeanne.  The Berte family began planting many trees and creating landscapes full of shrubs and perennial flowers.  Behind the clubhouse, a pond was dug that has a beautiful rock waterfall, lily pads, and Koi fish.  With these course improvements, the people started to come.  New equipment could then be bought and the well-defined grass came to life.  All of this work vaulted Spring Valley into course of the year in the late 80’s.  The increased traffic and the need for more, the Berte’s decided to expand to 18 holes. 


In  1989, the back nine was started.  In order to build a course that was affordable, the Berte’s would have to do all the work themselves.  With the help of some friends, by the fall of 1990, the course was finished and opened.  After many years of increased business, the clubhouse was becoming too small.  In 1997, the clubhouse was expanded and fully remodeled to facilitate larger crowds.


The golf course today has matured into a place known for its beautiful scenery.  There are around 10,000 annual flowers a year, maturing trees, neatly striped and watered fairways.  There is even a bridge that resembles hole #12 at Augusta, Georgia.  There are many ponds and creeks that run throughout the layout of the course.  Renovating of the bunkers took place over many years.  Spring Valley is one of very few courses in the state of Iowa with sand of this quality.  This sand is very bright in color and from a golfer’s perspective, extremely soft.  Once you reach the putting surface you will find undulating and fast putting greens.


Over the years, Gerald and Jeanne’s children worked along with them in maintaining this beautiful golf course. In 2000, they decided it was time to ease out of the business.  They sold the golf course to their son and his wife, Curt and Christie.  While under new ownership, the goals stayed the same; keep making improvements.  One of the first things was to continue with more automatic fairway waters to keep the fairways looking green no matter what Mother Nature had in mind.  The renovation of the 17th hole has been one of the best improvements to the course.  The view from the tee in the early morning hours is one to behold.  Hundreds of large rocks line the pond shoreline and a very large bunker is all that is between the water and the green; which makes for a very interesting tee shot. Probably the most difficult change has been the changing around of the course hole layout.  While #1 and #10 have stayed the same, the rest of the holes flip flopped.  The main reason was to change the 18th hole from a par 3 to a par 4.  Though confusing at first, it sure has made play now move more freely on the course.   Many more bunkers have been added and some not to the golfers liking; like the new bunker on #3, which has an 8ft wall between you and the green.  Today there are 34 bunkers on the course and more to come in the future. 


2006 was a year that will never be forgotten by the Berte family.  What started out as just a headache for Gerald Berte in January quickly became much worse in the summer months.  Gerald spent much of the early summer in and out of the hospital in Rochester, MN, with little to no reason why he was sick.  Then in July, he ended up back in the hospital and died on August 26th at the age of 62 from an unknown cause.  He was an exceptional husband, father and grandfather, and had an incredible passion for his golf course.  He will be greatly missed by his family and friends, and his legend will live on forever through his maturing golf course forever.


The main goal for 2007 was to create a memorial in memory of Gerald Berte that would make him smile from heaven.  His love for the sound of moving water inspired Curt to create a breath taking view from the 1st tee.  A new elevated blue tee overlooks many landscape walls, a waterfall that spills into a creek and snakes its way to a pond below.  A patio was added so people could sit and enjoy the view and reflect on their round of golf.  The project began on Memorial Day, and was completed in August in time for the memorial tournament in Gerald’s memory.  The project could not have been completed in time without the help of family and friends.