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Snow and ice delaying area golf course from opening

LA CROSSE, Wis. - This time last year, golfers were already out playing rounds at several courses in the area.

This year, snow and ice are still keeping courses closed.

Last April, Forest Hills golf course was already a month into its record season for business.

For now, the trains are just about the only thing rolling through the course.

"We are definitely a little behind schedule at this point," said Keith Stoll, general manager of the golf course.

The conditions are even making things hard for crews to do maintenance work.

"With the frost coming out of the ground, everything's just wet and soggy," said Stoll. "We don't want to create damage out there, so we're pretty much walking the golf course, cleaning it at this point."

"We're just waiting for the weather to cooperate," said Jay Odegaard, Parks and Recreation supervisor for the city of La Crosse.


Last month, the old clubhouse was demolished.

Now, the weather is keeping the city from turning the area into a lush green space.

"Obviously, we have to get all of the frost off the ground, and now that the snow and ice is all leaving us, we can get in and clean up the debris that was left behind after the majority of the building was taken out," said Odegaard.

Odeggard said the ground also needs to thaw before they can replace the 120 ash trees removed from the course this past winter.

While the changes are slow to come, Odegaard and Stoll said once the improvements are finished and the course is finally open, it will be a good season for business.

"I think it's going to be a very positive impact," said Odegaard.

"I think to some degree we never get to add more days to the calendar, so it's certainly going to set us back just a little bit, but it all kind of shakes out," said Stoll.

"I always think the next season is going to be the greatest season. We can make it up, there's still time."

The landscaping project itself will cost anywhere from $6,000-$10,000and should be finished by early summer.

The trees have been ordered, and planting will begin once the weather cooperates.

The city plans on replacing about 70 trees, each one costing upwards of $100.

On average, Forest Hills is usually open by the beginning of April.

Stoll is still hoping for an opening date within the month.

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