Work begins on new Forest Hills Golf Course practice range

Golf may be in the waning stages of another season, but there is still plenty of action at Forest Hills Golf Course in La Crosse.
A brand, spanking new practice range is in the beginning stages of development at the 118-year-old layout below Grandad Bluff on the eastern edge of the city.
Forest Hills has been without a range ever since a major renovation of the course three years ago, which included a tunnel beneath the railroad tracks, so players weren't delayed by trains passing through the course.  
"So far, they have just cut trees and removed underbrush on the right side and the back of the range," said Keith Stoll, PGA professional and general manager. "We're hoping to see the poles go up soon."
While a wet, miserable October delayed construction, Stoll said the pace will pick up once Les Manske and Sons bring in their big equipment.
"Then it won't take all that long, probably around two weeks," he said. "That's our goal anyway."
The new range faces north, along the left side of the first hole, according to Stoll. It stretches to about 250 yards.
Manske will build the tee and then it will be seeded. However, golfers will be hitting off mats to begin the season next spring.
Tall nets will line the east side and the end of the range.
"We hope to have the poles for the nets set yet this fall," Stoll said.
A 20-foot high net will be placed along the back of the range for about 200 yards, with 50-footers along the east side, according to Stoll. He added that target greens will eventually be built, but not next year.
Forest Hills has gone through several face-lifts through the years. The original range was never in the best location to begin with as players had to hit over the railroad tracks to even reach the practice range. The old small teeing area had mats, too.
The new range will be much better. First and foremost, it is located on the east side of the tracks.