As the TRGA season heads to Forest Hills in LaCrosse, the only virtual certainty is that there will not be a train delay at the oldest course in the area. That's because construction of the tunnel is complete. Now golfers will walk under the tracks train or no train.
For this season only, Forest Hills is playing to a par of 68 compared to par 71 in the past. Hole number one has been shortened to a par 3. And the 18th hole, which was a par-5, is also a par 3. Next year, after construction of two brand new holes, par will again be 71.
Enough about the construction. The golf course is in wonderful condition and every bit as challenging as ever. I had a chance to play a quick round Wednesday morning. Fortunately I was hitting the tee ball straight. So I wound up with a decent amount of birdie chances. If you don't hit it fairly straight on Sunday, you will have your hands full. There are still plenty of mature trees to make recovery very difficult at times.
It seems like I say the same thing every week we hold a TRGA event. "What a beautiful setting for golf!" But Forest Hills might be the most scenic. After blading my bunker shot over the 7th green onto Bliss Road on Wednesday morning, I looked up at Grandad Bluff and felt more calm than I've ever been after an on-course disaster. The setting is just special. (I'm pretty sure that the Titleist ended up rolling into a sewer on Bliss Road. What's the ruling on that one?)