Forest Hills Golf Course working on repair projects

IF, and WHEN, Coulee Region golf courses ever open for the season, players will see a couple of changes at Forest Hills Golf Course in La Crosse.
Forest Hills general manager and PGA professional Keith Stoll says repair projects were required after the July 2017, downpour that dumped more than 7 inches of rain on the historic 18-hole course below Grandad Bluff. While other courses also suffered major damage, Forest Hills may have received the worst.
A waterway between the 12th and 15th fairways, created a washout about 3 feet deep. Springs beneath the ground already caused problems in the area, according to Stoll.
"It's primarily not a playable area, but an area where you might have to play a stray shot from," he said. "Springs were pushing water up before. We were working on fixing that area anyway, so this is expediting the project."
Stoll said work crews hope to place 1,000 feet of 4-inch drainage pipe and 100 feet of 8-inch drainage pipe in the area as soon as possible. The area will then be seeded and roped off as new grass grows in.
The old dike behind the tee on the 14th hole is also being repaired, according to Stoll.
"We needed some bigger equipment to do it," he said. "We had a contractor out there almost all winter."
Les Manske and Sons received the low bid of $38,000 for the projects, according to Stoll, adding that insurance money and funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will cover the costs.
Stoll said the contractor removed almost 7 feet of silt behind the dike where it broke and then rebuilt the dike creating a larger area for water to collect.
"The longterm fix will be really really good. We're doing stuff now to prevent something like that happening again in the future," Stoll said. "Hopefully, it will be a moot point by summer."
Stoll is hoping to have the project completed this spring once the snow melts and the course dries out. However, he was quick to add that it all depends on Mother Nature.

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Ryder Cup returns to Minnesota in 2028

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL - The PGA of America announced today that Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, MN, will host the 47th Ryder Cup in 2028.
Hazeltine, site of the U.S. Ryder Cup Team’s 17-11 victory in 2016, will become the first American venue to host a second Ryder Cup.
Four English courses have hosted multiple Ryder Cups: The Belfry (1985, ’89, ‘93, 2002); Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club (1961, ‘77); Royal Birkdale Golf Club (1965, ’69) and Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club (1933, ’37).
Officials from the PGA of America and Hazeltine will gather on April 10, in Chaska to discuss the return of the Ryder Cup, which comes little more than 18 months after the completion of the 2016 event.
Designed by Robert Trent Jones in 1962 and enhanced by his son, Rees Jones, in 2002 and 2005, Hazeltine National Golf Club takes its name from nearby Lake Hazeltine. The par-72 layout blends the rolling hills, lakes, mature woods and prairies of the Upper Midwest and is consistently ranked amongst America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.
Hazeltine began its tradition of hosting major championships more than 50 years ago. Beyond the most recent Ryder Cup, it has hosted the U.S. Women’s Open (1966, ’77), the U.S. Open (1970, ’91), the U.S. Senior Open (1983) and the PGA Championship (2002, ’09).
Hazeltine is also scheduled to host its third women’s major championship, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, June 18-23, 2019.
To learn more about the PGA of America, visit PGAMediaCenter.com, follow @PGA on Twitter and find us on Facebook.
 
FUTURE RYDER CUP SITES
(as of Spring 2018)
2018 - Le Golf National, Paris, France
2020 - Whistling Straits (Straits Course), Kohler, WI
2022 - Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, Rome, Italy
2024 - Bethpage Black, Farmingdale, NY
2028 - Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, MN
2032 - The Olympic Club, San Francisco, CA

SOURCE: PGA of America

Golf's modernized rules released

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J., USA, and ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND – The USGA and The R&A have unveiled the new Rules of Golf, to be implemented Jan. 1, 2019. The USGA and The R&A finalized golf’s new Rules this month after an extensive review that included a request for feedback from the global golf community on the proposed changes.
Golfers can now access the official 2019 Rules of Golf by visiting RandA.org or usga.org/rules.
The process to modernize the Rules began in 2012 and was initiated to ensure that the Rules are easier to understand and apply for all golfers, and to make the game more attractive and accessible for newcomers.  
While the majority of proposed Rules remain intact in the final version, several important changes to the initial proposals and further clarification of many Rules were incorporated. The most significant adjustments made following review of the feedback received from golfers around the world include:
* Dropping procedure: When taking relief (from an abnormal course condition or penalty area, for example), golfers will now drop from knee height. This will ensure consistency and simplicity in the dropping process while also preserving the randomness of the drop. (Key change: the proposed Rules released in 2017 suggested dropping from any height).
* Measuring in taking relief: The golfer’s relief area will be measured by using the longest club in his/her bag (other than a putter) to measure one club-length or two club-lengths, depending on the situation, providing a consistent process for golfers to establish his/her relief area. (Key change: the proposed Rules released in 2017 suggested a 20-inch or 80-inch standard measurement).
* Removing the penalty for a double hit: The penalty stroke for accidentally striking the ball more than once in the course of a stroke has been removed. Golfers will simply count the one stroke they made to strike the ball. (Key change: the proposed Rules released in 2017 retained the existing one-stroke penalty).
* Balls Lost or Out of Bounds: Alternative to Stroke and Distance: A new Local Rule will now be available in January 2019, permitting committees to allow golfers the option to drop the ball in the vicinity of where the ball is lost or out of bounds (including the nearest fairway area), under a two-stroke penalty. It addresses concerns raised at the club level about the negative impact on pace of play when a player is required to go back under stroke and distance. The Local Rule is not intended for higher levels of play, such as professional or elite level competitions. (Key change: this is a new addition to support pace of play).
“We’re thankful for the golfers, administrators and everyone in the game who took the time to provide us with great insight and thoughtful feedback,” said Thomas Pagel, USGA Senior Director of Rules & Amateur Status. “We couldn’t be more excited to introduce the new Rules ahead of the education process and their implementation.”
David Rickman, Executive Director – Governance at The R&A, said, “We are pleased to be introducing the new Rules of Golf after a collaborative and wide-ranging review process which has embraced the views of golfers, Rules experts and administrators worldwide. We believe that the new Rules are more in tune with what golfers would like and are easier to understand and apply for everyone who enjoys playing this great game.”Major proposals introduced in 2017 that have been incorporated into the modernized Rules include:
* Elimination or reduction of “ball moved” penalties: There will be no penalty for accidentally moving a ball on the putting green or in searching for a ball; and a player will not be responsible for causing a ball to move unless it is “virtually certain” that he or she did so.
* Relaxed putting green rules: There will be no penalty if a ball played from the putting green hits an unattended flagstick in the hole; players may putt without having the flagstick attended or removed. Players may repair spike marks and other damage made by shoes, animal damage and other damage on the putting green and there is no penalty for merely touching the line of putt.
* Relaxed rules for “penalty areas” (currently called “water hazards”): Red- and yellow-marked penalty areas may cover areas of desert, jungle, lava rock, etc., in addition to areas of water; expanded use of red penalty areas where lateral relief is allowed; and there will be no penalty for moving loose impediments or touching the ground or water in a penalty area.
* Relaxed bunker rules: There will be no penalty for moving loose impediments in a bunker or for generally touching the sand with a hand or club. A limited set of restrictions (such as not grounding the club right next to the ball) is kept to preserve the challenge of playing from the sand; however, an extra relief option is added for an unplayable ball in a bunker, allowing the ball to be played from outside the bunker with a two-stroke penalty.
* Relying on player integrity: A player’s “reasonable judgment” when estimating or measuring a spot, point, line, area or distance will be upheld, even if video evidence later shows it to be wrong; and elimination of announcement procedures when lifting a ball to identify it or to see if it is damaged.
* Pace-of-play support: Reduced time for searching for a lost ball (from five minutes to three); affirmative encouragement of “ready golf” in stroke play; recommending that players take no more than 40 seconds to play a stroke and other changes intended to help with pace of play.
Presented in digital, text-based form today, the new Rules will also now be translated into more than 30 languages and readied for final delivery via print and digital formats, including searchable Rules of Golf official apps developed by the USGA and The R&A.
Three important publications, to be distributed this fall, will help players as well as officials and provide interpretation and guidance in how the Rules are applied:  
* The Player’s Edition of the Rules of Golf: An abridged, user-friendly set of the Rules with shorter sentences, commonly used phrases, and diagrams. Written in the “second person,” The Player’s Edition is intended to be the primary publication for golfers.
* The Rules of Golf: The full edition of the Rules will be written in the third person and include illustrations. It is intended to be a more thorough version of the revised Rules.
* The Official Guide to the Rules of Golf: This “guidebook” replaces the Decisions book and will contain information to best support committees and officials. It includes interpretations of the Rules, committee procedures (available Local Rules and information on establishing the terms of the competition), and the Modified Rules of Golf for Players with Disabilities. It is a comprehensive resource document intended as a supplementary publication.
More than 30 “how-to-apply” videos and a summary of the principal changes are now available at usga.org/rules. Additional educational tools will be released in September.  
Players are reminded that the current edition of the Rules of Golf (2016) must be applied when playing, posting scores or competing for the remainder of 2018. The Rules of Amateur Status and the Rules of Equipment Standards were not part of this review process.

SOURCE: USGA and The R&A   


Form your team for Forest Hills Monday Night Golf League

Get your team together for the Forest Hills Golf Course Monday Night 9-hole golf league.
Teams will be made up of 4 to 8 golfers. Four-person teams will play
weekly, but having a couple of alternates is always a good idea, according to course officials.
League fees are $100 per team, with 100 percent of all fees paid out in cash at the end of the season. The season will be broken up into 3 mini seasons.
Nine-hole league handicaps will be used for all scoring. Two score cards are required to have a handicap. Players have the option to turn in score cards before the start of the season to establish a handicap. After the season begins, only Monday night league play counts toward handicaps. Men play white tees, while women play red tees.
Weekly $10 team fees include skins game and a team game paid out. A different team game will be played each week.
The first 12 teams to enter and paid, fill the league.
The league season is May 14, through Aug. 27, with 6 p.m. shotgun starts each week for the 15-week season.
Team members can be added or changed anytime throughout the season.
Green fees with one-time $25 players club membership are 9 holes with cart $23, plus tax. Green fees without a players club membership are 9 holes with cart $29, plus tax. Carts are required for all players.
For more information, call 608-779-4653, or go to http://www.foresthillsgolf.org/.

USGA revises playoff format for all Open championships

LIBERTY CORNER, NJ – The United States Golf Association  announced a revised playoff format for all four of its Open Championships – the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Senior Women’s Open.
Each championship will implement a two-hole aggregate playoff in the event of a tie at the end of 72 holes of stroke play, effective with the 2018 season.
“We know how important it is to everyone in the golf world to see play conclude on the Sunday of a major championship, and to award the trophy to the champion,” said USGA CEO/Executive Director Mike Davis, who made the announcement prior to online player registration for each USGA Open Championship, which opens next week. “After receiving input from a variety of constituents, including players, fans, volunteers, officials and our broadcast partners, it clearly came across as something that everyone valued, and would benefit from.”
“There is no right or wrong way to determine a winner in stroke play, but we’ve seen over the years how the aggregate playoff has served us well in both the U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open,” Davis added. “Two holes will allow a player to recover from any single mistake, and at the same time, provide a memorable, and perhaps dramatic, experience for all involved.”
In all four USGA Open Championships, the two-hole aggregate playoff will be used to break any ties after 72 holes of stroke-play competition. If the playoff results in a tie, the tied players would immediately continue to play off hole-by-hole (sudden-death format) until the champion is determined.
In its 117-year history, the U.S. Open has had 33 playoffs that have employed 18- and 36-hole formats. There have been 12 playoffs in U.S. Women’s Open history. A three-hole playoff was held for the first time in 2011. The U.S. Senior Open, which held a three-hole playoff for the first time in 2002, has had six playoffs in its championship history.
Online entry applications for 2018 USGA Open Championships will begin in the first week of March (https://champs.usga.org/index.html).
 
2018 USGA Open Championship Schedule
May 31-June 3: 73rd U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek in Shoal Creek, AL.
June 14-17: 118th U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, NY.
June 28-July 1: 39th U.S. Senior Open at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO.
July 12-15: First U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, IL.

SOURCE: USGA