Arthur Hills, one of Michigan’s most prolific golf course architects has died at age 91.
Hills was a graduate of both the Michigan State University, where he was a member of the golf team and of the University of Michigan (landscape architecture). In a career dating to the 1960s, Hills designed more than 200 new courses around the world, and renovated more than 150 others.
A member of both the Ohio and Michigan Golf Halls of Fame, Hills also received a lifetime achievement award from the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association
Hills was a past president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, and an ASGCA Fellow.
An environmental pioneer, Hills designed the first Audubon Signature Sanctuary courses in the United States, Mexico and Europe. ASGCA Past President Pete Dye dubbed Hills “the Mayor of Naples” for the number of private country club courses that he designed in and near that coastal Florida location.
ASGCA Past President Steve Forrest said, “He started his business by placing an ad in the Toledo, Ohio, Yellow Pages under ‘Golf Course Architect’ while operating a landscape contracting business. I had the great privilege of learning all aspects of golf course architecture from a distinguished professional practitioner and humble gentleman over 42 years. Arthur became a father-like figure to me who was a mentor, an instructor, exhorter and admonisher while always trying to improve his own skills and increase his personal knowledge every day.”
Today, Hills * Forrest * Smith, Golf Course Architects continues to, as their website states, “create golf course designs that stimulate the senses, display creativity, and honor the hallowed traditions of the game as they relate to strategy, shot values and aesthetic character.”
He became an ASGCA member in 1971. Hills served as ASGCA president in 1992-93 and achieved Fellow status in 2003. He is survived by his wife Mary. They had eight children, 24 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Hills’ Michigan projects include:
- The Hills Course at Boyne Highlands
- Bay Harbor
- Crooked Tree
- Leslie Park
- Lyon Oaks
- Pheasant Run Golf Club
- Golden Fox
- The Legacy
- Lakes of Taylor
- Taylor Meadows
- Forest Akers Golf Course – West
- Red Hawk Golf Club
- Riverview Highlands
- Fieldstone Golf Club of Auburn Hills
- Forest Lake Country Club
- Oakhurst Golf and Country Club
- Edgewood Country Club
- Forest Akers Golf Course – East
- Country Club of Jackson
- The Moors
- Gull Lake Country Club
- Pine Trace
I will add more information on Arthur Hills’ passing as it comes in.
RIP Arthur Hills was published on GolfBlogger Golf Blog on May 18, 2021