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Ohio-based Architect Continues to Shine
The world of golf course architects is filled with talented designers, iconic names like Tom Fazio, Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye. Less known to the general golf public, but revered by industry insiders, are names like Tom Doak, Gene Bates, Bob Cupp, Robin Nelson and Jerry Pate.
Arthur Hills falls somewhere in between. He's authored some of the best modern golf courses in the past 25 years, plus redesigned some of golf's hallowed courses built in the 20th Century (Chevy Chase Club, Bethesda Country Club, and so on). He is the founding principal of Arthur Hills/Steve Forest and Associates, the firm that has an impeccable reputation with courses from Sweden to Michigan. He is famous for mixing elements that American golfers love with British and Irish layouts.
It's hard to imagine that an architect with Hills' resume could be considered underrated, or not among the aforementioned iconic tier of course designers. Particularly considering Hills' portfolio of more than 250 courses designed or redesigned worldwide during the past 40 years, many of them acclaimed in "Best-of" lists by national publications.
The following are a handful of top designs or renovations by Hills and a bit about the gentleman himself. The facts speak for themselves pertaining to Hills' ranking among all-time great golf course architects …
The Toledo, Ohio native Arthur Hills was tasked to design a golf course outside of Columbus, ranked by GOLF Magazine in 2008 as No. 2 for best golf city. Located in Nashport, Ohio, Longaberger Golf Club is a delight for all levels of golfers, from its serenity in the hills of central Ohio, to its accommodations and exceptional golf. It ranked No. 57 in the United States (out of roughly 13,500 public access courses) in GOLF Magazine's 2008 "Top 100 Courses You Can Play" list. Golfweek Magazine rated Longaberger No.1 in Ohio in its 2008 state-by-state rankings.
Some of the top courses have also received renovations by Hills, including two United States courses that hosted major championships. The classic Oakmont Country Club outside of Pittsburgh was one project trusted to Hills' team. Named "top-five country club" and "oldest top-ranked golf course" in the U.S, as well as being consistently ranked as a top-five course by Golf Digest 100 Greatest Courses in America, these awards alone speak for themselves when showing the trust one puts in Arthur Hills.
Another top renovation project was Oakland Hills, located in Michigan, a state that features a select number of top ranked courses with Hills name on them. Oakland Hills in 2008 hosted the PGA Championship. Inverness Country Club, host to eight major championships since 1920 and located in Toledo, Ohio, also has seen the renovation work of Hills/Forest and Associates.
Besides his work in the United States, Hills has many international courses to his credit including a "top-100 course outside the U.S." in Golf Digest, Sand Golf Club in Jonkoping, Sweden. He has worked in places like Thailand, designing The Vintage Club to Portugal, which features the Oitavos Dunes Golf Club.
Hills, though, has always stayed true to his Midwestern roots and many of his courses can be found there. Bay Harbor Golf Club, a 27-hole, "top-100 public course" by GOLF Magazine, features a stunning design. Found along the shorelines of Lake Michigan, Bay Harbor stands out as a true masterpiece. Shepherd's Hollow Golf Club, also in Michigan, was named a "Top 10 you could play" by GOLF Magazine as well as "Top 100 public access course" by Golf Digest.
Besides these Midwestern gems, Arthur Hills has put his name on two other Top 100 Public Courses as named by GOLF Magazine - The Links at Lighthouse Sound, located in Ocean City, Md., and Ironbridge Golf Club, in Glenwood Springs, Colo.
Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest and Associates - headquartered in Toledo, Ohio - has designed more than 180 new courses in the United States, Europe and Asia, and renovated more than 120 courses. Renowned clubs like Oakmont, Inverness and Oakland Hills, Big Horn & TPC at Eagle Trace & The Golf Club at Georgia and Longaberger bear his name. A true innovator when it comes to course design, Hills' commitment and work stand with the best. For more information, visit www.arthurhills.com.