Green Crest opened in 1972, but its story started long before that. George and Delene Harter bought the original 79-acre farm in 1950 and initially raised hogs and grew crops on the property. In 1969, Mitch and Richard Harter shared an idea with their Dad that the family needed to make a transition from farming into the golf business.
With zero expertise and simply a willing spirit, the journey started. It was then that they purchased more property to get Green Crest to the 110 acres it is today, and embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. Investing everything they owned, securing a small loan, and having very little to no equipment, they set out shaping and seeding a golf course.
The first two years were long hours, hard work, and insanely difficult. In 1971, they seeded most of the course and as if God was smiling on them, a light 3-day rain made the entire place turn perfectly green. Finally, they were able to open 9 holes! Then they suffered an unexpected blow when George got sick with cancer and passed away shortly after being diagnosed. Eventually, all 18 holes opened in 1972, and the family business was finally open to public golfers.
Looking across its landscape today, it would be hard to imagine that almost every tree on the course would eventually be planted by Mitch and Richard. Every building on the course was influenced by their hands, the fireplace in our clubhouse built from the rock layer they found when digging out the bottom of the lake on hole number 15. Richard had expertise in engineering and mechanical skills, and Mitch would become the Head Superintendent and use his agronomy knowledge to continue to improve the course conditions.
Both men would, in time, become excellent heavy equipment operators. And, as business grew and they were able to purchase better earth-moving equipment, the landscape of Green Crest would begin to change. Skid loaders and bulldozers would allow them to obtain more water by digging bigger lakes, shape the course with mounds, and make new teeing grounds. Bunkering has been constantly added, and eventually a better irrigation system was secured to allow for better playing conditions.
As we celebrate 45 years of success in 2017, it is fun to look back at their amazing journey. As a third generation operator, it is my aspiration to carry on their legacy, and leave my own impression on this property for my children to enjoy as well as the many public golfers who enjoy the course each year.
— Jason Harter,