Goony Golf opens for final season

Staff Writer
Since 2013, I have primarily covered the Anoka-Hennepin and Spring Lake Park school districts as well as the city of Spring Lake Park for ABC Newspapers.

Spring Lake Park’s Goony Golf has opened for one last season, an abbreviated one with sale of the property scheduled to go through in mid-July.The miniature-golf courses and video arcade on the property at 1066 County Highway 10 have delighted families for decades.

The business first opened in the late 1970s, and current owner Pat Hovanetz and her husband bought it in 1984.

Jim Hovanetz had always wanted to own his own business, and when he approached the owners after a round of mini golf with his family, they said that they were looking to sell, Pat Hovanetz recalled.

So they went for it. The Hovanetzes scooped up the property and over the years made a few changes. They eliminated a water slide to install a third 18-hole mini-golf course, which has a higher level of difficulty.

Jim Hovanetz managed the business day-to-day, and Pat Hovanetz helped with accounting at night and on the weekends with her own full-time investment banking career.

Goony Golf is home to many iconic creatures: A bear in Twins gear, green dinosaur, slithering snake and more. Humpty Dumpty is Pat Hovanetz’s favorite.

“I just think he’s so cute,” she said.

Jim Hovanetz died in 2011, and Pat Hovanetz and their children decided to put the property up for sale several years later.

Dominium, a developer based in Plymouth, Minnesota, expressed interest in the property and intends to build a 194-unit, four-story affordable senior housing complex.

“It’s really going to be a nice addition to that Old Highway 10 corridor,” Hovanetz said. “I think it’s filling a definite need.”

She anticipates a closing date sometime in early July.

Goony Golf has traditionally hosted a parent-child golf tournament during Spring Lake Park’s Tower Days celebration. The tournament was called off last year with the property on the market, but with the sale all but finalized, Goony Golf will host one last tournament during the June celebration. Parents and children are invited to enter, and this year, as are parents and their adult children who participated in tournaments years ago.

Goony Golf is currently open to the public on weekends with fair weather. Later in the season, the golf course will open weekday evenings as well. Hours will be updated on Goony Golf’s website,

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