West of Brainerd there’s an old course that has new owners.

Ernie and Katie Rose bought The Vintage Golf Club in Staples and its 270 acres with 18-holes of championship golf.

“We just really love the people up there and the area,” Ernie Rose said. “We kind of fell in love with it a year or so ago when we bought a place up there. It just kind of reminded me of growing up in Australia and there was good access to the golf course. That’s what I want for the people there, to be able to have a fun, nice experience when they go out to the course and to have a welcoming experience. I know the course has a lot of history and tradition and I want to get back to that to get the course in the best shape we can.”

Ernie Rose was familiar with the Vintage only slightly before purchasing it. He says he still hasn’t played a round of golf there yet.

“I have a golf academy in the cities that helps high school kids go on to play college golf, so I was aware of how good the high school team was up in Staples-Motley,” he said. “So I heard of the course and it was kind of random that we bought our property so close to the golf course and when I found it was up for sale I thought it would be a good fit to try and give back to the community a little bit.”

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Ernie Rose owns and is a golf instructor at his own golf academy in Eden Prairie. Prior to that, he worked at Windsong Farms Golf Club in Maple Plain.

Katie Rose and Ernie Rose at the Vintage at Staples Saturday July 3, 2021. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch
Katie Rose and Ernie Rose at the Vintage at Staples Saturday July 3, 2021. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

He plans to spend Memorial Day to Labor Day at a property he owns in Motley.

“It’ll be fun to connect with everyone in the community and get the course in the best shape we can,” he said.

As well as having his own golf academy, Rose served as the University of Minnesota golf coach from 2007-2009.

“We had some good years there,” he said. “We had some good teams on the men’s side and the women’s team got really good as well.”

He also played competitively on the Australian Tour from 2001-2009.

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Rose hopes to bring his experience on tour and as a college coach at The Vintage.

The Vintage is getting a new pro to take some responsibility off of long-time Vintage pro Bill Israelson. Rose said Israelson has been a good man to have around to learn about the course he just bought.

“Bill is just a fun guy to be around,” Rose said. “He is so upbeat. Bill kind of told me that when he was my age he started to get involved with the course and that it was a fun career for him. It’s fun to have him around and his knowledge and expertise.”

The goal is to make The Vintage a family environment. Rose said his mom will be helping out in the clubhouse this summer.

Golf is in Rose’s family as his father-in-law is John Harris who played on the PGA Tour and has played on the Champions Tour for the past 17 years.

Ernie Rose at the Vintage at Staples Saturday July 3, 2021. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch
Ernie Rose at the Vintage at Staples Saturday July 3, 2021. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

“We have a history in our family with golf,” Rose said. “My father-in-law will spend a lot of time with our kids and teach them the game this summer on the range at The Vintage and golf is a big thing in our family.”

Rose’s wife Katie played a role in the purchase as well. Katie played high school golf at Edina and her team won the state championship.

How Rose met Katie was actually caddying for her dad on the Champions Tour for two years.

“My wife is a very good golfer and we like to get out and play as much as we can,” Rose said. “We have four kids now, but we plan to bring all the kids out on the course this summer.”

Another goal Rose has is to bring people together through golf.

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“When you come in The Vintage we are all the same,” Rose said. “There’s no one who is higher or lower than anybody else and that’s what I love about the game. We are all level and all playing the same course.”

The hope is for The Vintage to become more of a destination than it already is.

“We want people to come up from cities as well as from Brainerd to come play,” Rose said. “But I really want this to be a part of the community as well. We’ve had a lot of excitement from the community just from the management side.”



CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or conrad.engstrom@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.