LOVES PARK, Ill. (WIFR) ----- Lovers of the links come together, fighting to save their favorite fairways and greens as a Rockford Park District golf course hangs in the balance.
"It's just historic for Rockford, and it's a signature place of Rockford golf and for the Park District," said Chip Block.
Packing into Mercyhealth Sportscore Two, Stateliners came together, fighting to keep Sinnissippi Golf Course open.
"It's the oldest golf course in Rockford, there's so many people around here, all of us, this is where we started playing golf, this is where we learned to play," said Block.
For some Save Sinnissippi committee members, the fight for the beloved course is personal.
"I was born and raised in Rockford. I'm 50 years old; I've been in Rockford for more than 40 of my life. I live right down the street from Sinnissippi Golf Course; it's where I started to play golf with my dad when I was a kid. I still play there now in the afternoons, when I can. It's just a great place to play," said Block.
Group founder Jim McDowell says he understands that financial concerns are pushing the Park District to reconsider its Rockford footprint, but he knows the cause is bigger than a trip to the links.
"It's my backyard, I grew up there, I've got a lot of memories there, but so does Rockford. So does generations of Rockford, it's part of our community and it's an integral part of our park system, which is again essential to our community and our kids, our children," said McDowell.
Looking ahead, those with the group say the “We Love Sinnissippi” event is only the beginning.
"The community wants to keep our fabulous system operating, and so, we're ganging together to do something about it," said McDowell.
Organizers say they hope events like these will spark more opportunities to help the Park District achieve financial viability for the course.
Discounted golf memberships for 2020 are still available for purchase until February 29th.