Hall of Fame
Biographies of inductees in the Rockford Golf Hall of Fame, which opened in 2005.
2018   2017   2016   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010   2009   2008   [2007]   2006   2005   
2007 Inductees
Brad Fowler

Brad Fowler coached the Rockford East boys golf team for 36 years before retiring in 2002 and has instructed youth and adults at Elliot, Ingersoll and Sinnissippi golf courses in the summers for the Rockford Park District for the past 27 years (as of his election in 2007). Fowler is a charter member of the Illinois Golf Coaches Hall of Fame and has conducted golf clinics for the Illinois Coaches Association.

Fowler was a six-time conference coach of the year at East under three different names, winning when the conference was known as the Big 9, NIC-10 and NIC-9. He has conducted National Golf Foundation clinics in seven states.

Fowler creaated a player's Personal Performance Profile and Individual Performance Average, both of which were published in 1975 by the National Golf Foundation and which continue to serve as models throughout the United States to document golfers' progress.


Dave Claeyssens

Dave Claeyssens has been the manager or co-manager for golf services for the Rockford Park District since 1979. During that time, Rockford's golf courses and programs have won many awards. In 1985, Golf Digest honored Rockford for having the best junior programs in the nation for public courses. In 1998, the magazine rated Rockford No. 1 in the nation for affordable, quality golf in a mid-sized city.

Claeyssens started out as the assistant pro at Bel-Mar Country Club in Belvidere. He also helped run the Rockford Pro-Am the its first three years, when it was held at Elliot from 1977-79. He started the Mixed Doubles and Rockford Senior men's tournaments, as well as the area youth tournaments in the 1970s. He was also the first golf pro at Aldeen, before Duncan Geddes took over.

Dave was chosen twice by the Tiger Woods Foundation to teach with Tiger at youth clinics and has been the guest speaker at three national PGA seminars.

Junior Golf Association of Greater Rockford

The Junior Golf Association of Greater Rockford donates free clubs to needy children and helped build the Ingersoll Learning Links four-hole course for beginners. It helps develop young golfers to become competitive, honest and good people, wrote Lizzy Blomgren, in one of three nominating letters for the organization. The organization raised $1 million for junior golf programs in its first seven years, before its 2007 induction.

The JGAGR was instrumental in twice bringing the Tiger Woods Foundation to Rockford, provides volunteers every year for the Rockford Pro-Am and developed and built The First Tee program and youth practice center at Patriot's Gateway.


Mike Johnson

Mike Johnson is accomplished as a player, a coach and a Park District instructor. He won the Rockford Men's Golf Classic four times in seven years, from 1974-80. He also won the Winnebago County Amateur twice and also won the Ballard. Johnson, 62 at the time of his 2007 induction, also has won numerous senior titles.

Johnson has also coached Christian Life to three Class A state tournament berths, and two sectional titles, in the last five years before his induction. He was named Illinois High School Golf Coach of the Year in 2005.

Mike also has volunteered as a rules official for numerous youth and adult tournaments and teaches youth lessons for the Park District.

Golf stories
Other sports stories