Hall of Fame
Biographies of inductees in the Rockford Golf Hall of Fame, which opened in 2005.
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2008 Inductees
Bob Reitsch Sr.

Bob Reitsch Sr. has been a huge part of the Rockford Pro-Am's continued success at a time when so many other pro-ams have folded. Kenny Perry, when asked in 2008 why he keeps coming back to the Pro-Am, even in a year when he is No. 2 on the PGA Tour money list, said: Bob and Bob (Reitsch Jr.) put on a great show.

Bob worked on the original Pro-Am (1977) and has been on the board since its inception, siad longtime Pro-Am Tournament Director Judi Sheley. They (Bob Sr. and Bob Jr.) are just very friendly people and have this great relationship with the pros. They walk up to the practice tee of a major tournament and the pros recognize them and invite them under the ropes.

It's a little hard to have a Pro-Am without the pros. He (Bob Sr.) was absolutely the person to do it.

Butch Pegoraro

Butch Pegoraro shot 147 to win the 1967 IHSA state title for Rockford Boylan. He went on to play Big Ten college golf at Illinois, where he was a three-year starter, and also won several local tournaments, including the Men's City. He then turned pro and has been the head PGA pro at Forest Hills Country Club for 27 years.

As of 2008, Pegoraro and Chris Stoops of Freeport (1984) are the only area golfers to win a boys state high school title since Rockford West's Ken Scott in 1952.

Pegoraro has instructed many of the area's best players, including 13-time Women's City champ and fellow Hall of Famer Salley Wessels. Eleven of his former assistants have gone on to become head pros elsewhere, including Aldeen's Duncan Geddes and Mauh-Nah-Tee-See's Ed Slattery.

People ask me what got me interested in becoming a golf pro, said Geddes. I had taken a lesson with Butch and I got to thinking 'this is what he does for a living.' I was a kid. I never thought about a job. Maybe I should look into this. He's meant a lot to me.

Shirley Dommers

Belvidere's Shirley Dommers won the Illinois Women's Amateur five times between 1957 and 1974. She also won the Iowa State Amateur in 1946 and the Illinois State Senior Amateur four times between 1976 and 1983.

Dommers and fellow Hall of Famers Salley Wessels and Kay Rossmiller combined to win three State Am titles between 1974 and '78, but Dommers never played a match against the other two. Because Dommers lived in Belvidere and played out of Bel-Mar, she was ineligible for the Rockford city tournament in her prime, an event won 13 times by Wessels and nine times by Rossmiller.

That bothered me a little bit, but not a whole lot, Dommers said. I felt that was a tournament for women who lived in Rockford and golfed in Rockford.

Dommers almost didn't play golf. She wanted to play tennis. But her dad encouraged his young daughter to give golf a try. If, after 12 lessons, she didn't like the sport, she could return to tennis.

I took the lessons and the rest is history, said Dommers, who also won the Women's International Championship in both Italy and Switzerland in 1954.

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