The oldest golf course in Durham, N.C., has undergone a $500,000 restoration, with new putting surfaces, signage and golf cars. The pro shop has also been upgraded and a new Niblick’s Grille has been created.
Hillandale Golf Course, the oldest course in Durham, N.C., is set to reopen on August 2 after undergoing a $500,000 restoration with new and improved putting surfaces, and updated features such as new and improved signage on the course and new golf cars for rent.
The club’s pro shop has also undergone a makeover and is open now for the sale of clubs and accessories, as well as offering a golf library for those interested in learning more about technique or golfing history. Hillandale GC is now also home to Niblick’s Grille, a new dining option offering burgers, sandwiches, and more.
In re-opening ceremonies beginning at 10 a.m. on August 2, Durham Mayor William V. “Bill” Bell and other local and national dignitaries will make remarks discussing the historic and economic impact that Hillandale GC, affectionately known as the “granddaddy” of Durham and Research Triangle Park area golf courses, has had on the area, and will then participate in an official “tee off.”
At 11 a.m., representatives of Amerazil Golf, which operates Hillandale for the city of Durham, will join those from the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce in a ribbon-cutting ceremony that will include the release of 100 biodegradable balloons, to celebrate the 100 years of golf that Hillandale has provided to the community.
To complete the festivities, a Family Fun Day will take place until 1 p.m. Activities will include golf course tours of the recent improvements, a putting contest, a visit from Wool E. Bull, face painting and other kid-friendly activities, free clinics on the driving range, and food options including The Parlour Ice Cream Truck. At 1 p.m., tee times will officially begin.
“The course needed [the improvements and changes],” says Karl Kimball, co-founder of Amerazil Golf and a retired PGA Tour golfer. “If we want to be competitive, we have to understand that our golfers deserved so much more from the course.
“From start to finish, this is going to be a transformation of the Hillandale experience,” Kimball adds. “Customers deserve to have an experience that recognizes they are valued and appreciated. They will get that at Hillandale now, like they have never gotten it before.”
Even with the improvements, Amerazil says it is trying to hold costs down for the playing public, with the maximum cost of a round with a cart not likely to exceed $42. “We think we’re making the course worth what people have been asked to pay all along,” Kimball says. “A round of golf is entertainment, and it shouldn’t be limited to those with deep pockets.”
Hillandale will also continue to strive to bring the game to everyone through Adaptive Golf, a program that bridges the gaps between the existing ability of the player and the game in its traditional form. Hillandale also provides junior golf clinics and camps for children starting at age 5 up to age 16.
Additionally, Hillandale will continue to support its H.E.A.R.T.S. Club (Hillandale Embracing A Really Tough Situation), a partnership with the Duke Children’s Hospital Pediatric and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit. The program exists to help families—children and parents alike—have an easier path through the struggles of fighting a monumental battle, Kimball says.
Built on land donated by John Sprunt Hill in 1911, Hillandale has seen nearly 1.7 million rounds played since 1960, with a current average of around 40,000 rounds per year.jobs