Numerous golf courses closed due to flooding damage

Forest HIlls Golf Course closed since Thursday

Flooding damaged homes and buildings all across our area this past week.

Other places, like golf courses, saw a significant amount of damage as well.

Forest Hills Golf Course in La Crosse was one of several courses closed this weekend due to flooding damage.

On what should be a beautiful weekend for a round of golf, Forest Hills Golf Course remains silent.

“The phone usually rings off the hook on the weekends,” pro shop manager Josh Larsen said.

That’s because late last Wednesday, several inches of rain broke the course’s man-made levee near the back of the course, severely damaging the course’s new holes that opened last summer.

“It was just starting to get grown in settled in and looking pretty good,” Larsen said. “To be honest with you, we all cried. We give everything we have on a daily basis, everybody here at Forest Hills to make this place the best we can. We take a lot of pride in this place and it was very disheartening.”

Since then, the course has been closed.

“We have 180 days to make money, and obviously weekends are prime time for us, so any time we lose a weekend, you’ll see it in the numbers,” Larsen said.

But the in days since, volunteers like Bruce Simones and Ken Hanson have spent their weekend making sure the course gets back into shape.

“It’s not a matter of why, it’s almost just like you have to do it,” Hanson said.

“I’m a little selfish, I want to get this place back open. I miss my buddies at 8:15,” Simones said.

It’s that spirit that helps golf managers stay positive.

“I’ve been here since 2007, and there were people in the door yesterday that I’ve never seen at this golf course before wanting to know where they can rake and help out. It’s great to have a community that’s behind you,” Larsen said.

And they are confident that very soon, at least part of the course can reopen.

“We have a great superintendent, a great grounds crew, and a great community behind us,” Larsen said.
Monday, volunteers from WisCorps, as well as the city will be out to help repair some of the damage.

It’s not clear how much the damage will cost the golf course.

Forest Hills isn’t the only golf course closed this weekend. Both Fox Hollow and Cedar Creek are closed due to flooding damage as well.

Forest Hills Golf Course expects the front nine holes will be open either Tuesday or Wednesday.

It’s not clear at this point when the back nine will reopen.