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This course is closed, sold and has been converted into a vineyard.
I am posting this as an epitaph to the creators. A marvelous couple with the last name Bosic. It saddens me that I remember his name, Jack, but at this moment I cannot remember hers! I always called her Mrs Bosic. She was a grand lady with the bluest eyes I had ever seen to that point in my life.
Once a year, I look at the course via Google Maps and was shocked to discover the vineyard. I no longer live in California having left it in 1975.
Jack Bosic was a professional golfer who ruined his leg in a motorcycle accident. He and his wife moved to Lodi in the mid 1950s. They decided to open a golf course and found this property which was an automobile wrecking yard with much junk. They came to Lodi Union High School seeking a couple of high school students to help construct the course. I was selected to help and immediately learned how to run a fork lift and large Caterpillar, removing all the old wrecks.
Then, once Jack had plotted the property for the nine holes, we dug, pushed, dragged tons of dirt to create the greens, sand traps and tee boxes for the course. The soil was mostly clay and impossible to dig by hand. I will never forget working in over 100 degree weather digging post holes and trenches for plumbing pipes all over the course.
Mr Bloggett, an old carpenter, was hired to convert a cow barn into bath rooms. My best friend, Charley, and I removed half the barn by hand and helped with the electrical and plumbing (using code books!). Then we constructed a "club house".
I dug a small lake on hole number three and stocked it with catfish, bass and sun perch. I worked there every day when I was not in school. After we were able to have grass growing all over the course, it was time to learn how to mow with three different types of mowers.
The greens had to be mowed at 5am (9 of them plus putting green in front of the club house). Then I would head off to school. Watering was done in the evening and night so after school I would head back and water till 10pm.
Jack would often take out a club and a dozen balls, I would watch him put all 12 balls within a three foot circle at 100 yards. He was good! He taught me to play the game when we had a few spare moments.
They needed a vacation, so I managed the course the summer of 1961 for 91 days, straight, during college break. I was always welcome to work any moment I was in town.
The players who came to our little course were wonderful and it was like a big family. If I was out working on the course, while managing alone, a bucket was at the club house that asked the players to put their greens fees in, and take out change if needed. At night, it always tallied out correct.
The small lake! The second summer Jack said I could have 10% of all the balls I found in the lake. Using a pitchfork, I waded the lake thumping my way with the fork. I picked up 2540 balls! So, I was able to have an inventory of over 200 balls which I kept for years! They became so old, they exploded where ever they had been cut on their way into the lake. Back then, they were wound rubber under tension.
After my third summer working there, they sold the course and made a few holes for Jack on the southside of Lodi where they had a home. I graduated college and moved on.
Two wonderful people made a remarkable contribution to my life and I will always have the fondest memories of Forest Lake Golf Course. I know this epitaph will not last long, but while it exists, reflect on how long that little course lasted. I am 72, I helped build it at 17, roughly fifty years have gone by.
Oh, I did shot-a-hole on the original sixth hole on December 10th, 1960, it was in the paper, and I still have the clipping.
Thank you for reading this far and may your life be blessed.
Hazeltine National Golf Club