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Recreation

Robert Dofflemyer III got his start in golf right here in Boone County.

Robert was a star golfer at Belvidere High School before he went on to earn a college scholarship to play at Lewis University in Romeoville on the south side of Chicago.

The college junior picked up his first club at the age of 3. As he got older, Robert honed his skills on Swan Hills, Timber Pointe Golf Club and Beaver Creek Golf Club. In high school, Robert racked up many honors including NIC-10 All-Conference four straight years; regional champion as a senior; NIC-10 MVP and 2A All-State honors as a junior. He won the 2011 Chick Evans Junior Amateur Championship.

“I really like courses in the area,” says Robert, who won the Rockford Men’s City Tournament in 2013 and two other local tournaments last year. “Timber Pointe is very challenging and Swan Hills is nostalgic – it brings back so many memories for me when I played there as a youngster. We’re fortunate to have the number of quality courses that we do. Not every city can say that.”

Swan Hills Golf Course, 2600 Gustafson Rd., Belvidere, opened in 1995 and offers one of the Midwest’s most desirable courses to play, with 168 acres of meticulously maintained fairways and greens and a completely tree-lined property. A creek runs through Swanhills and comes into play on several holes along with three ponds that challenge the accuracy of any golfer. The course has 16 sand bunkers that demand a little skill or luck. Number 8 is the course’s signature hole, nestled in a stand of trees, a creek just in front of the tees and all along the right.

Beaver Creek Golf Course, 19619 Le Roy Center Rd., Capron, is a good challenge for golfers of all abilities. The course opened in 1997 on 60 acres in rural Boone County. The nine-hole course has a total yardage of 3,033 yards with a creek winding throughout the course that comes into play on five of the nine holes. There are four sand traps and large greens. Beaver Creek has four holes over 350 yards.

Timber Pointe Golf Club, 5750 Woodstock Rd., Poplar Grove, is one of the most popular golf courses in northern Illinois. Situated on 160 acres, the course has five sets of tees on each hole, bent grass tees and greens, bluegrass fairways, 40 acres of established timber, 50 bunkers, four areas of water including a wildlife pond with cattails and plenty of prairie grasses, native grasses, and wildflowers. There’s also a golf shop, practice facilities and The Grille restaurant.

In addition to great golf, Boone County offers many types of parks and recreation from a simple stroll or bike ride down the Long Prairie Trail, a border-to-border, 12-mile trail, to a cool and inviting swim at Belvidere Park’s William Grady Pool, which even has a separate, gated toddler pool.

Enjoy the Rivers Edge Recreation Center, which offers four recreation rooms, a full-size gym and a 35-foot-high climbing wall. Belvidere Park offers 105 acres containing six shelters, basketball, tennis and volleyball courts as well as ball diamonds, playgrounds and a fishing pier.

The Park District has just opened a new Special Recreation Center dedicated to our NASR program which helps residents with special needs to be able to have recreation in their lives. The District is also in the process of redeveloping Doty Park with a full size outdoor ice rink and warming shelter that will serve residents who enjoy outdoor ice during the winter. Youth and adult hockey programs will soon be available as well as tournaments and special events while giving our youth a place to learn how to ice skate.

Prairie Fields Sports Park is located on Business Route 20 between Fairgrounds Road and McKinley Avenue. It has six soccer/football fields, baseball diamonds, a walk/run/bike path, a playground, restrooms and a parking area. More development phases are planned for the future.

The beautiful Kishwaukee Riverfront Path extends from Belvidere Park through the downtown district. Residents can access boat and canoe launches through the Park District. The Park District also offers residents recreational programs and events, including preschool and after-school activities for children and adults.

The Boone County Conservation District (BCCD) owns and manages a total of 3,500 acres. The District has dedicated the Nature Center located at 603 Appleton Road as the Roger D. Gustafson Nature Center. The BCCD continues to provide a wide range of educational, recreational and cultural programs on a year round basis. Conservation areas offer a range of opportunity for recreational activities such as bicycling, hiking, wildlife observation, canoeing/kayaking, picnicking, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

Other area parks include the Capron Lions Park and the Poplar Grove Lions Park, both located in the northern part of the county. Nearby Rock Cut State Park offers more than 3,000 acres of land available for fishing, hiking, swimming, camping, snowmobiling, and horseback riding. Residents can take advantage of area golf courses, a driving range and numerous campgrounds.

Looking for a workout or just to have some fun? There are a number of fitness clubs and recreation centers in Boone County. The Belvidere Family YMCA has been serving the community for 110 years. The Y offers a heated, indoor pool, sauna, wellness center, gymnasium and various classes and recreational leagues for adults and youth. Scholarship programs are available for those in need.

And do not forget about the bowling alleys in Boone County. •

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