Little evidence on the formation of Hillside Golf Club exists, but it is believed that at some point between 1911 and 1913 a decision was made to form a Golf Club on the land of Hill Side farm. The location of the original 9 hole course was inland of the tall, dynamic dunes and was situated on land that had been adapted for farming purposes. Several ‘cops’ of earth bounded the fields and these were retained within the golf course routing. The 9 holes measured 2,850 yards and were described in a 1910 publication edited by Harold Hilton as “…an ideal sporting sandy course with natural bunkers.”
The Hillside Golf Club Limited was founded in February 1923 to raise money for the construction of a new 18 hole course. Following the example of Birkdale Golf Club, Hillside decided to relocate on the seaward side of the railway and an agreement to lease 100 acres of land alongside the railway was signed in November 1923. This change in location spelt the end of Hillside as a small, cheap neighbourhood club as it was before.
The new course layout was designed and built by Conway of Halifax, a fertiliser manufacturer and dealer, and work actually started in January 1923, 10 months before the lease was agreed. By August, 10 holes of the new course were linked to 8 of the existing course to create an 18 hole layout. April 1924 The contractors completed work on the new 18 hole course in 1924, although many of the new tees and greens did not stand up to the immediate wear and tear and these had to be replaced. Only a small area of the taller dunes was used in this layout due to the high cost of moving large volumes of material. The rest of the course was located on the relatively flatter dune backland alongside the railway. Browning described it as “…an undulating valley of turf in which the natural features are few”. In line with estate policy, thousands of pines were planted along the margin of the golf course, at the edge of the tall sand dunes, in order to provide protection from the inland incursion of blown sand. This course totalled 6,011 yards.
1950 and 60’s
Work began on altering the 15th hole (current 8th) to produce the left to right dogleg that can be seen today. The sandhills to the left of the hole were sharply excavated to create the sharp dogleg. This was opened in April 1957. The 18th hole had 68 yards added to its length and the fairway was moved to the seaward side as a result of a gain of land from the Corporation at no additional cost. The new 18th green was sited in the centre of the old practice putting green. This hole opened in December 1959.
In 1960, work began on the 16th and 17th holes with work starting on the 11th a year later. A large volume of sand removal was at the heart of Hawtree’s plan with the holes being routed through ‘monumental’ valleys. During this time, professional John Burton redesigned the 7th green and supervised its construction before achieving a hole in one on the first occasion of playing the new hole.