The Mill Valley Golf Course had its beginning at a dinner party in the winter of 1915-16. However, before further steps could be taken to form the club, World War I intervened, and nothing was done until the spring of 1919. At that time, 40 charter members elected a Board of Directors and the first president, Frank Bostwick.
The first document involving real estate was a lease signed by Hugh and Ida Boyle for a 100-acre parcel from which the Country Club could purchase 42 acres at the rate of 500 dollars per acre. Within a month's time, another document was signed for the purchase of 24 acres at 350 dollars per acre, along with the site of the clubhouse for $15,000. A few months later, the remaining 18 acres were purchased for 500 dollars per acre.
The course opened for play in 1919. The course was laid out by Dad Clark, a greenskeeper and professional golfer. His son, Bob Clark was the first professional employed by the club.
Membership grew in the 1920's to 140, far from the projected total of 300. Virtually all of the memberships were from Mill Valley as Belvedere and San Rafael each had a club and course. The depression in the 1930's caused the demise of these golf courses as well as one located in Sleepy Hollow. Mill Valley held on until 1938 although membership had declined to only 38 members. The property improvements were appraised at $40,000 and the members voted to offer it to the city for $25,000. The city voters approved the purchase on the third attempt, January 29, 1939.
Since the public course's operation by the City of Mill Valley, some financial assistance had been needed in the past. Generally speaking, however, its operation has been self-sufficient and provided revenue to the Park and Recreation Department each year.