Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Century Old Golf Course in Durham Reopens August 2

A lot has happened in the 100 years that Hillandale has meandered over a portion of Durham's landscape. Now, the course is ready for another long stretch of service to players and the community. 

On Thursday, August  2nd, golf lovers, families, and Durham history buffs can join in the festivities to celebrate the recent green’s restoration and grand re-opening of Hillandale Golf Course, Durham’s oldest golf course.

Located on Hillandale Road just to the South of I-85, the 18-hole course and putting green have undergone a $500,000 restoration with new and improved putting surfaces, and updated features such as new and improved signage on the course and new carts for rent. The Pro Shop has also undergone a makeover and is open now for those needing clubs, accessories and more, as well as a golf library for those interested in learning more about technique or golfing history. The Pro Shop is also now home to Niblick’s Grille, a new dining option which provides burgers, sandwiches, and more.

On August  2nd, beginning at 10 AM, Mayor William V. “Bill” Bell and other local and national dignitaries will discuss the historic and economic impact of this course on Durham, affectionately known as the “granddaddy” of the Durham and Research Triangle Park area golf courses.  Following their remarks, they will participate in an official “tee off.”

At 11 AM, Amerazil Golf, the City of Durham’s operator for Hillandale Golf Course, will join the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce in a ribbon-cutting ceremony and release 100 biodegradable balloons to celebrate 100 years of golf that Hillandale has provided to the community. 

Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, a Family Fun Day will take place until 1 p.m., which 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, as well as food, including The Parlour Ice Cream Truck.

Tee times for that day begin at 1 PM on the 2nd. Golfers can now book their tee times for that day online.

According to Karl Kimball, co-founder of Amerazil Golf and a retired PGA Tour golfer, the course had to undergo these recent improvements and changes. “The course needed them, and 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 said. "A visit to a golf course is no different than anything else. 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 all these expenses and enhancements, the maximum cost of a round with a cart will likely not exceed $42.  "We think we're making the course worth what people have been asked to pay all along. A round of golf is entertainment and it shouldn't be limited to those with deep pockets," Kimball said.

In addition to providing services for golfers, Kimball stated that Hillandale will continue to strive to bring the game to everyone through Adaptive Golf, which is 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, which is a partnership with the Duke Children's Hospital Pediatric and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit.  According to Kimball, the program exists to help families, children and parents alike, have an easier path through the struggles of fighting a monumental battle. The program name is derived from “Hillandale Embracing A Really Tough Situation.”  

For behind-the-scenes pictures of the work that has taken place this summer, visit Hillandale's Facebook page or follow their Twitter account.

Hillandale Golf Course is the “granddaddy” of the Durham and Research Triangle Park area golf courses. It is the oldest course in Durham and was built on land donated by John Sprunt Hill in 1911 - one of Durham's captains of industry and a notable philanthropist. Now, over 100 years later, the course is under new public ownership by the City of Durham with management provided by Amerazil Golf and its co-founders, Karl Kimball and Juliano Hannud. Approximately 40,000 rounds are played annually and nearly 1.7 million rounds have been played since 1960. The public golf course provides a challenge to golfers of all skill levels. As the oldest course in Durham, generations of families have grown up on the friendly fairways of Hillandale Golf Course. 

There are 10 golf courses in Durham.  Learn more about them, and Durham overall, online.

1 comment:

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