Featuring 27 holes of golf, Hickory Hills Country Club is a public golf facility located in Hickory Hills, Illinois. The par 71, 18-hole South course was designed by James Foulis, who ran the golf shop at the Chicago Golf Club along with his brother David. James Foulis was born in St Andrews in Scotland and his father worked at Old Tom Morris’s golf shop and clubmaking business.
In 1895 James came to the United States to take up a job as a golf professional at Chicago Golf Club, where he became the first golf professional in the western States. Foulis was a dynamic player, winning the 1896 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on Long Island.
In addition to teaching the game, the brothers Foulis would go on to great success in designing golf equipment, including the patented design of the “mashie-niblick”, which would become the modern 7-iron, falling between the traditional mashie (5-iron) and niblick (9-iron). They also invented the bramble patterning for Coburn Haskell’s rubber-cored ball and designed golf courses throughout the Midwest.
Hickory Hills’ 9-hole course was designed by William B. Langford, one of the founding members of the American Society of Golf Course Architects. Langford designed over 200 golf courses including Butterfield Country Club, Winnetka Golf Club, Riverside Golf Club and Ridgemoor Golf Club.
The first Illinois Open was won by Abe Espinoza in 1931 at Hickory Hills Country Club.