By Doug Halberstadt
There’s no doubt the term March Madness is most closely associated with college basketball. In northern Illinois, it can also apply to the opening of golf season. As soon as the mercury reaches the 40-degree or higher mark and the last snowflake disappears, it’s not uncommon for the diehards to start making their way to the driving ranges and practice centers.
The good news is we can now transition from the range to the course. The Rockford Park District and the Winnebago County Forest Preserve have either already opened up one or more of their courses, and weather permitting, will have all of them open prior to the end of the month.
In Rockford, golfers can get the 2011 season started at Elliot and Aldeen. Elliot opened last week, and Aldeen was scheduled to begin play yesterday (Tuesday, March 22). The other park district courses are scheduled to open as follows:
March 29: Sandy Hollow Golf Course
March 30: Ingersoll Golf Course
March 31: Sinnissippi Golf Course
Both the Macktown and Atwood Homestead courses opened last week, and information regarding the exact opening date for the Ledges was unavailable at press time.
For those golfers still wishing to get in a little more practice before actually taking to the course, the Rockford Park District is hosting their 2011 golf season kick-off event at Riverside Community Bank this Saturday (March 26) from 9 a.m to noon. There will be free food, a chance to win a four-course season golf permit, areas to test your putting skills and PGA professionals will be on hand to answer any last-minute questions.
For more information about any of the Winnebago County Forest Preserve courses, you can call (815) 877-6100. Further information about the Rockford Park District courses is available by calling (815) 987-8800.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the March 23-29 issue