Changes being made to this year’s Greater Rockford Golf Classic

It will be a one weekend, 54-hole tournament for both the men and women.
Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 2:36 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Some of the areas best will take to the links this weekend for the Greater Rockford Golf Classic. However, it won’t look or feel the same as it once did.

“I think it brings in a lot more people in playing 54 versus 72,” said golfer Brian Silvers.

“People don’t have to change around their plans and whatnot, they can just stick to one particular weekend,” said 2021 Men’s City Champion TJ Baker.

“We’ve ran the tournament this way for over 20 years, so just trying to shake things up a bit,” said Ann Bloomfield, Sandy Hollow & Sinnissippi Head Golf Professional.

Gone, for now at least, will be the four course, two weekend format. This year, the tournament will take place on one weekend over three days.

“Just tried to change the format to make it a little more playable for everybody,” explained Bloomfield. “A lot of people with families said it was hard to miss out on two weekends. So, just trying something different.”

It’s not the only change being made this year. The women will go away from match play and move to stroke play like the men. Something Bloomfield said the younger girls are more used to.

“I think that was one of the concerns as well. Some of the ladies didn’t want to pay the full price because if they got knocked out in the first round, they were done. So this will ensure that they get to play all three days and all three courses.”

The men’s and women’s city championships begins on Friday at Ingersoll. It then moves to Sandy Hollow on Saturday before the final round at Aldeen on Sunday. While some golfers like Baker were surprised by the change, they welcome it.

“If you have a good stretch then you’re alright, if you’re on a bad stretch, you get penalized,” said Baker. “That’s what a golf tournament should be, I think.”

“I like the four days myself,” said Silvers. “But let’s be honest, everyone travels, everyone has vacations, and maybe this is the best thing.”

The condensing of the tournament to one weekend also means a different strategy for golfers.

“Definitely takes a lot more concentration and just overall good golf,” said Baker.

“If you’re not playing well, you’re going to be gone early,” exclaimed Silvers. “Where the break before, would let you go home, recoup and get your swing back in order. So now, if you take off early and you’re strong, you’ll probably finish strong. But you don’t have time for a shaky start.”

96 golfers are in this year field, including 12 women. The Rockford Park District said it’s seen an uptick in participants because of these changes.

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