Course Preview: Haven Public Golf Course

By Scott Behmer, Contributor

Green Valley, Az - Tired of playing those target courses where you never pull out the driver? Then Haven Golf Course in beautiful Green Valley is perfect for you. Best described as a "Grip it and rip it" design, every hole here exclaims: "Let the big dog eat." There's no doubt about it, this open style makes an ideal course for players of all skill levels. Here's a closer look.

Haven Golf Course
Water is a factor at the Haven Golf Course.
Haven Golf Course
If you go

Last Tuesday morning my friend Steve and I made the thirty-minute drive down from Tucson to Green Valley. Looking for cooler temps and a unique design we headed straight for Haven Golf Course. There we were fortunate to find both.

Walking into the pro shop we were greeted by friendly head pro Bob Floyd. He told us that the course was in very good shape and that the #1 tee box was open. Just what we wanted to hear.

Haven's most challenging hole is the slight dogleg right, 446-yard par 4 No. 14.

We chose a cart and drove to the practice green, which rolls very true to the course greens at 8.5 on the stimpmeter. There's also a dirt driving range for more pre-round preparation.

Haven offers three sets of tees. I played from the blues, measuring 6867 yards. Steve teed it up from the whites, measuring 6351 yards. Ladies tees are red and play 5588 yards.

The round opens with a dogleg left, 382-yard par 4. A fairway bunker at the bend, 120 yards from the hole, keeps players from shortening the hole. With a solid drive a short iron remains to the small uphill green guarded by two bunkers.

A birdie will get you off on the right foot, but the six-and-a-half-foot pins used here are deceiving from the fairway. The foot shorter pins make it appear that you have farther to the green than you really do.

Haven's #1 handicap hole is the straightaway, 585-yard par 5 #3. Two fairway bunkers loom on each side, eager to catch long drives. If you avoid the bunkers, your second shot can roll nearly to the green for an easy birdie opportunity or maybe even an eagle.

No. 7 is Haven's most picturesque hole. Measuring 160 yards, this par 3 plays over a sparkling blue lake to a green surrounded by large shade trees. A well-struck mid-iron should give you a chance at birdie. However, anything not on the green will leave a difficult up-and-down.

A chance to make up for a mistake comes on the 348-yard, par 4 #10. The fairway's wide open so just let it rip. Only a short iron or wedge remains to an uphill green protected by one front bunker. The key here is to keep your second shot below the hole so you can make an aggressive birdie putt.

Haven's most challenging hole is the slight dogleg right, 446-yard par 4 #14. The longest par 4 on the course is made even more difficult by playing into the afternoon wind. In addition to two fairway bunkers, trees line both sides of the fairway. Then a long iron remains to a large green surrounded by three bunkers. Par here is a great score.

The round concludes with a straightaway, 519-yard par 5. Unlike the other par 5's, though, large trees line the fairway and in certain places overhang into the fairway, protecting against shots at the large green. A left side fairway bunker also helps to cut out shots at the green in two. The best way to get there in two is to hit a low right-to-left draw. Still if it goes too high a tree will snatch it out of the sky.

Guarded by two bunkers, the green is difficult to hit even with a short iron from the fairway. It's a challenging finishing hole where birdie is possible but a double bogey is not far away, either.

Haven is a fun course to go out and just play golf. You don't have to worry about losing balls or counting penalty strokes; your score is purely how many times you hit the ball. So if you're looking for a course in a comfortable climate that everyone in your group will enjoy, Haven's the place.

A round is $19 with cart, $15 with cart after 11 am. Located off of I-19 at exit 63, go east to Abrego Drive, then head south. For more information call 520-625-4281.

Scott Behmer, Contributor

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