Rockford Pro-Am Pulls The Plug On 2021 Tournament
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizers of the Rockford Pro-Am to cancel the tournament this year, thoughts and planning started on the 2021 Pro-Am.
Now, they'll have to focus on the 2022 Rockford Pro-Am, because next year's event has also had to be cancelled.
The Rockford Pro-Am, for those who were unaware, holds the distinction of being the longest-running, free-standing (not attached to the PGA or LPGA) pro-am in the nation. 2019's Rockford Pro-Am was the 43rd playing of the tournament, with the 44th and now 45th having asterisks next to them in upcoming Rockford history books.
The pro-am was started as a fund raiser for the three Rockford area hospitals in 1977 - Rockford Memorial Hospital, St. Anthony Hospital and SwedishAmerican Hospital and was initially hosted by the Rockford Country Club from 1977-1996. This was changed to being a benefit for non-profit organizations, three picked per year by the organizers.
During those 43 years, the Rockford Pro-Am has raised millions of dollars for local charities, not to mention providing great entertainment from big stars and some of best golfers on the professional circuit.
People such as:
- Arnold Palmer
- Bob Hope
- George Burns
- Lynda Carter
- Gary Player
- Chi-Chi Rodríguez
- Lee Trevino
- Nancy Lopez
- Fred Couples
And that list goes on and on.
Scott Nicholas, the President of the Rockford Pro-Am Board of Directors, made the announcement on Monday.
In an email, Nicholas says the event relies heavily on social interaction and the financial support of businesses in the community to conduct a successful event. Because of the pandemic and the uncertainty moving forward, the Pro-Am canceled the 2021 Rockford Pro-Am. Nicholas says they're looking for ways to remain active in the community.
"We are not going away. We fully plan to come back stronger than ever when our world gets closer to normal, whatever that will look like. In the interim, we are going to explore ways to offer regular on line auction items, trips, dinners, etc, to remain active in the community," Nicholas said in an email on Monday.