The annual Kwik Trip La Crosse County Seniors Amateur Golf Championship is changing courses in midstream... literally.
The tournament is scheduled Saturday, July 29, at Forest Hills Golf Course in La Crosse. However, after Wednesday's deluge of rain that left boulders, logs, debris and mud on the 18-hole, historic course below Grandad Bluff, County Amateur officials have been forced to move the Seniors to The Golf Club at Cedar Creek in Onalaska.
The annual La Crosse County Women's Amateur, as presented by Pepsi-Cola of La Crosse, is also at Cedar Creek the same day as scheduled and will begin as scheduled at 7:30 a.m. The Seniors tournament begins at 10:36 a.m., with the last group leaving the tee around 1 p.m., according to Dave Cornelius, Cedar Creek general manager and PGA professional.
Cedar Creek, as well as other area courses, including Drugan's Castle Mound Country Club in Holmen, also suffered flooding and damage, although Cornelius assured County Amateur officials his course would be playable by Saturday.
"The golf course will be ready, excluding a few bunkers that have been contaminated, and will be played as ground under repair for the tournaments," he said.
Keith Stoll, general manager and PGA professional at Forest Hills Golf Course, was disappointed by the amount of damage to his course, but approached County Amateur tournament director Bob Lamb early Friday morning to offer options.
"We want the Seniors tournament to be a championship kind of tournament, not just an outing," Stoll said. "It's not fair to the players. I just don't see our course being in tournament shape by next weekend."
Stoll assured Lamb it was in the best interest of the tournament to move it to one of the other two County Amateur courses - Cedar Creek or Castle Mound.
There were conflicts with Castle Mound, as it has two major events on Saturday, so Cornelius stepped in to accommodate the Seniors tournament.
"We discussed several options, including canceling the Seniors, postponing it to Aug. 12, or 19, at Forest Hills," Lamb said. "We felt it was our best option to keep it on the same day and move it to one of the other tournament courses. Thanks to a lot of cooperation from a lot of people, we made it work."
"If the other places can get their courses in good condition and have the availability, I don't have a problem moving it," he said. "We have to think of the players first."
Lamb and Cornelius will do a walk around early next week to determine yardages for the Seniors and Super Seniors Flights.
"Senior players, especially the Super Seniors, can be assured the course will play shorter for them," Lamb said.
Tee times for the Women's and Seniors tournaments will be published by Thursday at boblamboutdoors.com and will also be available at Cedar Creek, Forest Hills and Castle Mound.
"It looks like we have another strong field this year, and we're happy we're able to play the tournament, despite the curveball Mother Nature threw at us," said associate tournament director Bruce Kaiser.
The 36-hole, Men's tournament is scheduled Saturday, Aug. 5, at Cedar Creek and Sunday, Aug. 6, at Castle Mound. Entry deadline is Monday, July 24.