Two Rockford Park District Golf Courses Closing Early

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Rockford's Dennis O'Leary can hit the links anywhere, but it's Sinnissippi Golf course that holds a special place in his golfing heart.

"It's a nice nine hole course, beautiful course, lots of challenges, with the hills and trees; a fun place to play," O'Leary said.

A place, that along with Sandy Hollow golf course, will be closed a month early, on Oct. 4. A combination of factors, from a five percent dip in rounds to planned course construction, played a role in the early shutdown.

"It's tough on the golfers, the staff, they play work everyday, it's like a family, and its hard to close ‘em early. It's a disappointment," Claeyssens said.

Park leaders say the newer stateline courses are driving Rockford golfers away.

"All courses, whether the new ones or the old ones, they're all having their struggles, there's just too many courses and not enough golfers," Claeyssens said.

But even with Rockford's greens not pulling in as much green during the last decade, loyal customers like O'Leary remain, disappointed with the early closings, but prepared to hit the revamped links in 2005.

"I like the course just the way it is. If they change it, it's going to screw me up, I won't know where everything is anymore," O'Leary said.

The park district says they hope with better luck, more golfers will return to the tee box next year, and again drive numbers above par.