Spence restores Tilly’s Rock Hill


Spence restores Tilly’s Rock Hill
Sean Dudley
By Adam Lawrence

Rock Hill Country Club in South Carolina has reopened after a six month restoration by golf architect Kris Spence.

The US$1 million project aimed to return Rock Hill's front nine, which opened in 1916, to its original configuration. The original nine holes was designed by legendary architect AW Tillinghast.

Tree removal was at the core of Spence's project, with members keen to return the course to a more open look, as revealed by vintage aerial photographs of the property dating from 1941. But greens have also been expanded back to their original sizes, and the number of bunkers on the course has been increased from 35 to 78.

Large quantities of drainage have been installed, while the greens have been regrassed with MiniVerde ultradwarf bermuda. Three holes, the sixth, sixteenth and seventeenth, have been radically changed.

Rock Hill was originally a public facility offering residents golf, swimming and fishing. Built using WPA funds during the height of the Great Depression, the original course was constructed across a former dairy farm using local labor and donated materials and equipment.

Construction was supervised by Arthur Hamm, head professional at nearby Charlotte Country Club and a former field supervisor for architect Donald Ross. In 1949 the second nine was designed and built by Hamm.