Many people have built golf courses but the saga of Hickory Hills is a bit different than most. This was not the case of some famous golfers, a mega corporation, or even a billionaire creating their “dream” course. No, in this case, it was even more complex and difficult.
Hickory Hills was built by thirteen “regular guys,” the Founders, who wanted to build their dream course. There was a dentist, an accountant, a printer… well, you get the idea. Their idea was born from the love of golf and the desire to create a “Golf Club for Golfers.” Imagine getting thirteen people to agree on anything, let alone thirteen golf fanatics to agree on the location, financing, architect, and construction of their course. But agree they did and the result is one of the finest courses in a community known for its golf course architecture!
And speaking of the architecture, perhaps it was the architect who was able to keep the thirteen founders together during the years that it took to build the course. Jack Kidwell was the President of the American Society of Golf Course Architects in 1979. It was the same year that Hickory Hills held its dedication ceremony. In these days of name architects such as Fazio, Dye, Jones, Palmer, Nicklaus, and others, it is easy to overlook this extremely talented and creative man. But as a class A life member of the PGA, class A golf course superintendent, golf course owner, and designer of more than 115 courses which have been roundly praised for their creativity, the work of Jack Kidwell stands with the best. It was ultimately to him that the thirteen turned to complete their vision… and what a vision it was!