Caroline C. Morris
Tee time, anyone? Golf has been a popular warm-weather pastime here in La Crosse for over a hundred years. This undated postcard, most likely from the late 1930s or 1940s, shows off the clubhouse for the La Crosse Country Club, the area’s premier location at the time for a day on the links. The club, originally located on land just east of Losey Boulevard that it leased from the city, was a swirl of social activities and athletic tournaments in the early to mid twentieth century.
The La Crosse Country Club hosted weekly golf and tennis tournaments, including several regional tournaments that drew competitors from all over the state. Competition for tee times was fierce enough that by 1936 club rules restricted women and children from playing during certain coveted hours, such as Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings. Presumably the club’s executive committee felt that men’s access to the greens was important enough to require special protections.
It was not just about the golf and tennis, though. From May 31 to October 31 of each year, the club also scheduled a full social calendar with weekly bridge parties and luncheons, monthly “Dinner Dances,” and a special after-church dinner served promptly at 1PM every Sunday.
Membership was open to any resident of La Crosse who was willing to pay the initiation fee and yearly dues. In 1936, a family membership cost $50 with a one-time initiation fee of $30. Green fees were $1 daily, and a caddy would set you back 25 cents for nine holes. The prices sound good now, but $50 was nearly a month’s salary for La Crosse’s working-class folks in 1936.
In 1994, the La Crosse Country Club moved to Onalaska, and the golf course on Losey Boulevard reopened as a municipal golf course named Forest Hills, which remains open to the public.
This article was originally featured in the La Crosse Tribune.