This is the Truth About Soldiers Field Golf Course Charter

Myth: Soldier’s Field Golf Course cannot be closed by law!

Over the weekend, many people said online that the Soldier’s Field Golf Course existing in perpetuity is a requirement when given to the city. They were primarily responding to this story through a friend and colleague, Curt St. John of KWWK.

Rochester must close Soldiers Field golf course now! The Rochester Department of Parks and Recreation is updating its plan for Soldiers Field Park, and I think the only option is to close the golf course and turn that area into something more residents would use. Read more: Rochester must close Soldiers Field golf course now!

The truth: there is no such provision in any law, covenant or charter


I reached out to Jenna Bowman, Director of Strategic Communications and Engagement for the City of Rochester, Minnesota, to find out, and here’s what she had to say…

“Checking with the parks team – there is a plaque which highlights the land donation for the entire space – including the area in which golf is present. There are no restrictions on the park with respect to potential use/reuse. The plaque notes that it was dedicated to the youth of Olmsted County.”

“The plaque highlights that it was dedicated to the youth of Olmsted County”

If you wanted to press it, I guess the only things that couldn’t be done with the park are making things for adults.

Soldiers Field Golf Course Fun Facts

  • In 1924, the American Legion in Rochester, Minnesota purchased pastures from Dr. Graham (as at Graham Park and Graham Arena, but not Graham Crackers) and created a golf course.
  • In 1925, the Legion transferred ownership to the City of Rochester.
  • The first course had only six holes.
  • In the past, there was substantial crude. But a labor shortage in 1942 meant they couldn’t handle it, so it was scrapped.
  • For the same reason, they eliminated 17 sand traps in 1943.
  • Bridges appeared in 1935, but floods caused them to be replaced several times.
  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Soldiers Field golf course and grounds in 1934.*

* Humble-Brag – The founder of KROC-AM, traveled to Washington DC to convince the President to come to Rochester and honor the Mayos, and faced endless roadblocks until they find his doctor, who had ties to Rochester. Click play.

As always, if you have a comment, complaint or concern about anything I’ve written here, please let me know: [email protected]


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List of events and entertainment in Rochester on July 4, 2022

Denise W. Whigham