Remember Gretchen?

by Kevin Turnquist

You may think that you’ve never seen Greenhaven Golf Course, but I’m willing to bet you’re wrong. Traveling up Highway 10 to get "Up North" you may have noted a fading billboard of Gretchen Carlson, Miss America 1989. Perhaps your eyes teared up a bit as you recalled the stirring violin solo that clinched the title for her. Suddenly you saw some golfers walking down a lush fairway stuck between the highway and a small lake. That was Greenhaven.

Wondering about this golf course has been a Minnesota tradition for decades.The front nine has been around since the 1930’s, the back since the 50’s. Our own band of golfers/fishermen/aging jocks had passed this course countless times before we actually played it. Once we did, though, Greenhaven became one of our regular courses.

Please Repair Ball Marks In Fairway
If Greenhaven has one outstanding feature it would be the quality of its fairways. They always seem to be in excellent shape, even during dry spells. During our recent round much of the rough was brown and sun-baked but the short grass was soft and cushioney to a point where drives often stopped a short distance from a very visible ball mark. Greens were in average shape with several continuing to show evidence of winterkill even in mid-June.

Greenhaven is not a particularly difficult course (slope 122). It isn’t real long either (6074 yards from the whites). There are only four water holes and not too much other trouble. Terrain, while not flat, is only modestly rolling. Nonetheless, it is a nicely balanced, enjoyable course to play. The par five, 522 yard fourth hole is the most memorable (and not just because it’s the one that you see from the highway). Each of the initial shots offers options ranging from very safe to balls out risky, depending on how much of the water you think you can carry. Sad to say, experience has tempered our enthusiasm for attempts at 250 yard traverses across the open water. The other three par fives, at 486, 479, and 494 can sometimes be reached in two. The five par threes average a little under 175 yards. Par fours average about 360 yards.

No golf widows allowed
The clubhouse is nicely appointed with year round restaurant and banquet facilities We were a little surprised to see a wedding party stroll through the bar at four o’clock on a Saturday afternoon, but this made more sense the longer we thought about it. Is there any better place to truly assess a person's character than on a golf course?

Greenhaven doesn’t accept credit cards. Rates are $23 on weekends for the general public and tee times can be reserved starting at nine a.m. on Thursdays. Season pass holders get a dollar off and can make weekend reservations on Wednesday evenings.

The driving range is minimalistic--basically a big net stretched between two telephone poles. But a bucket of balls is only a dollar-fifty. Greenhaven Golf Course definitely deserves more than a passing glance at 65 miles per hour. Recommended.

  White Red

Distance

6074 5363
Rating 68.7 70.8
Slope 122 122
Greenhaven Golf Course
2800 Greenhaven Road
Anoka, MN 55303
612-427-3180
Location: Anoka, MN
Drive from TC: About 25-30 minutes from either downtown
Difficulty: Average
Par: 71
Green fee: $23
Carts: $21