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Ground broken for new clubhouse at La Crosse’s Forest Hills Golf Course



The city of La Crosse broke ground Wednesday for a new addition to the Forest Hills Golf Course.

A covered shelter and pavilion are being built to replace the former clubhouse that was demolished 10 years ago. The project is being partly funded with private donations from users of the course, along with the general public.

Forest Hills general manager Keith Stoll said at the groundbreaking many changes have been made to the facility, which used to be the La Crosse Country Club. He added that the pavilion may be the biggest change of all.

“Change is happening because of the spirit of this wonderful group of people who believe in this great game, who believe in this city, who believe in this golf course, who want to help us make sure this golf course is here for generations to come,” Stoll said.

Designs for the pavilion project are displayed at the Forest Hills Golf Course groundbreaking on March 27, 2024 (PHOTO: Brad Williams).

Philip Gelatt, co-chair of the Pavilion Building Committee, talked about the long history of golf at the site, going back to the 19th century.

“The first golf was played here in 1894, on what would be Scoots Miller’s pasture land,” Gelatt said.

The golf course officially opened in 1900, and it’s said to be the third-oldest golf course in Wisconsin. It was the city country club, until being moved to its current location on Marcou Road.

The project is a downsized version of the original plan, which was to cost around $3 million. The new shelter is expected to seat about 150 guests when completed.

About 90% of the funds have been raised for the project, which is expected to be done by fall. To donate to the project, contact Dave Clements, who is leading the way on fundraising.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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