ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Last year, the Rockford Park District revealed Sinnissippi Golf Course was operating at a deficit. Administrators threatened to close the course. A local community stepped up to try to save it.
Awareness efforts seem to be working with more golfers hitting the greens. Group members say they have high hopes to stay open.
“That’s what Sinnissippi is all about. Meeting new people, people coming together, having fun. Trying to shoot under par,” said Eli Parker and Dennis Oblinger.
New golf buddies Eli Parker and Dennis Oblinger hit the links at Sinnissippi Golf Course Tuesday afternoon. But time is running out for those trying to keep the 9-hole course open.
“The board will be making announcements again, it’s that time of year so they haven’t told us where we stand. But revenue is up, rounds are up, the course is in fabulous condition,” said Jim McDowell, one member of ‘Save Sinnissippi Golf Course.’
‘Save Sinnissippi Golf Course’ has been hard at work the last eleven months and trying to get more golfers to tee off at Rockford’s oldest golf course. Last year, the Rockford Park District found Sinnissippi’s Greens ended the year in the red with a $120,000 deficit. But things are looking up.
“As of August, we’re up 15% compared to last year.The park district has informed us that we’re profitable so far this year,” said Chip Block, the organization’s co-chair
Those fighting to keep it open say the course is where many area golfers have taken their first swings.
“It’s a better course for the youth and beginners because there’s no water to lose your golf balls in. There are no sand bunkers to cause you problems. It’s not as tree-lined as it used to be,” Block added.
Dennis Oblinger, a newcomer the the sport, agrees.
“[I] bought my first set of golf clubs and I’m just learning the game. It’s an aggravating game, frustrating, but it’s really fun but it’s nice to be out here and in the nice weather,” Oblinger said.
The short course makes it easy to squeeze a game in.
“You can do it in an hour and a half; you can get around 9 holes really quick. So even if you take a long lunch or get up early in the morning or want to stop after work and get a quick 9 in, it’s just an ideal place,” said McDowell.
If you want to donate more than just a round of golf, Sinnissippi Golf Course is allowing people to sponsor holes. For more details on how you can help, click here.