LPGA International is Daytona Beach’s most acclaimed facility, having hosted numerous LPGA, Symetra Tour and collegiate national championship events. While the LPGA name initially attracted attention, over time the quality of the Jones and Hills courses are what has sustained the property.
The Jones Course, a links-style design that once served as the host of the LPGA’s season-ending ADT Championship, has received more attention, but its sister course, designed by Arthur Hills, is the perfect complement.
The Hills Course offers a contrasting experience, challenging golfers with fairways lined by beautiful magnolia trees and native pines, providing an experience that occasionally stirs echoes of Pinehurst. With no parallel fairways and hardly any homes to speak of, the Hills Course is a 4.5-star design worthy of building a golf trip around.
The layout stretches to 6,954 yards, but plays a much more manageable 6,255 yards from the white tees, which are the most commonly played. No matter where you tee it up, the Hills provides a fair challenge and rewards players that drive the ball well.
With several forced carries and tree lines that punish wayward drives, the first shot on a hole is often the most important. The course is always in immaculate condition, highlighted by greens that are as fast and true as any along the Central Florida coast.
On a layout full of memorable holes, the par 5 eighth stands above. Playing from the white tees, water runs up the left side of the 508-yard hole. Long hitters will have the option of going for the green in two, but the putting surface sticks out in the water, meaning there is no room to miss.
The eighth hole is the layout’s most photographed and a prime example of what make the course so enjoyable. A round on the Hills Course will present risk-reward decisions, challenge various aspects of your game, and deliver the type of experience one would expect at a facility that has hosted some of the game’s greatest women’s players.
Written by Chris King For Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau