Course Winter Hours – Open all Winter
The winter hours have started at Deerfield Golf Course 5621 Shelley Road, Rockford.
They are open Wednesday - Saturday 8 am to 7pm and Sunday Noon to 7 PM.
Exciting Golf Simulator Leagues started on Nov 16th, 2016 ~
sign up now for a favorite tee time.
Get your membership early and save! Call 419-363-9400.
Deerfield Golf Course Winter Hours – Coincides with New Ownership
by Sheila Baltzell
The Deerfield Golf Course has changed hands. Taking over the operation from the original builders and owners Jerry and Phyllis (Ross) Now are their daughter and son-in-law, Kris Now Black and Chuck Black. After 25 years in the golf business and 58 years of marriage, there has been much excitement in the change-over as Kris and Chuck have added to the business offerings.
First of all, the Deerfield Golf Course has expanded the usual golf season into winter team leagues with a new simulator game. The “Golf Simulator Room” of the club house is now out-fitted with technology ~ golf at any of the “major golf” course all winter long. Play with your own group of family or friends or go onto the Internet using Deerfield’s Optishot and play other teams. Tournament action is also available through Optishot. Kris says t-times are available anytime or book a bachelor or birthday party in the room and entertain with golf. There are other activities to enjoy like poker and cards. Let SandWedge Cafe' cook for your group by purchasing off the menu. Gift cards are available for your favorite golfer.
Optishot also has available a Golf Coach System that can be loaded onto your iPad, and it analyses a player’s swing.
Rather just practice? Use Optishot’s Driving Range.
The closest offering of this golf technology to Rockford is Ft. Wayne and Decatur. Tee times for 18 holes on Optishot is $15 for 30 minutes plus $10 for each 30 minutes after that. Renting the system for 18 holes for an afternoon get-together runs from 2 to 4 hours.
The Golf Simulator Leagues are now forming - play is anytime. The league is $25 for 18 holes ~ play whenever they are open.
Second of all, they have remodeled the club house and added a new menu of food. The spacious area offers plenty of room for parties and gatherings of golfers. The SandWedge Café’ Menu includes 9 different panini sandwiches including the Eagle – fried egg, ham, pepperjack cheese and Jalapeño pepper jelly on an English Muffin, muffins, soup, baked potatoes, hot dogs and chili dogs, Kidz Meals, specialty and regular coffee, pop and daily specials. Kris cooks at the SandWedge Café’ year round.
Helping their parents out at the golf course are their son Ross Black (greenskeeper) and daughter Stephanie Black Stroh (everything from bookwork, cooking to running the simulator), Ross and Chuck take care of the 30 golf carts. Longtime employee, Tim Shaw (club house) has stayed on now that Jerry and Phyllis have officially retired.
The story is interesting on how Deerfield Golf Course came to be. Kris recalls her dad, an avid golfer, always saying he was going to build a golf course when she was a young girl at home. He golfed every morning before work in Van Wert and loved it. He kept his eyes open for appropriate property, and when a 230 acre dairy farm of rolling hills in 1988, near their home on State Route 117 came available, he knew it would be the perfect place. There were barns and buildings, a milk house, pond and stands of trees. Jerry, not really knowing how to build a golf course, went to the Rockford Library and borrowed books on how to build greens and holes complete with irrigation/drainage.
Click on smaller thumbnail pictures below to enlarge.
At the time, the couple, in their early fifties, and working at factory jobs (he a tool and die maker and she a sewing machine operator), took on a whole new life with the purchase. They bought a truck, back hoe, bulldozer, a pan and other earth moving equipment. “Overall, we moved more than 550 yards of dirt,” said Jerry. “Today there are 5 ponds all with underground irrigation and drainage.”
At the time, Jerry and Phyllis hired Warner Bowen, as a golf course consultant, to help them map and plan the golf course and surrounding area for a housing development. The late Roy Thompson served as their surveyor and more home building lots have opened for sale with the Blacks taking ownership of the Golf Course. The first tee, fairway, and green were mapped-out, and by 1991 they had succeeded in building 3 holes, one at a time. Jerry laughs about the payment system of a coffee can nailed to a picnic table, but just like in the film Field of Dreams, he built a golf course, and golfers came to play. They built holes 4 and 9 next., learning all the while as they went along.
During this time they had razed several buildings, including an old farmhouse, which they lived in for 6 years. The old milkhouse was a useful piece of property and stands today as the club house with a cart shed attached. There were many deer that came onto the property or passed through, and eventually, the name Deerfield was selected as an appropriate name for the Golf Course. The barnyard became a cement parking lot. They bought a few carts and advertised golf outings which quickly became popular.
By 1995, they had 9 holes completed (5,6,7,8 were last and all located in the back green). Phyllis laughs about coming home from work and immediately going to work at physical labor on the golf course until sundown stopped them. Jerry was able to retire in 1989, and the golf course soon became his full-time job.
Kris and Chuck today invite the public out to see the remodeled club house, join a league and try the new simulator room for your next party. Call 419-363-9400 for more information. Congratulations to Jerry and Phyllis on a happy retirement.
Click on smaller thumbnail pictures below to enlarge.
|©2004-2016 Web Works Services, LLC.|