Don’t be surprised if you find yourself short of breath when you walk onto the grounds of the Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles, California. The magnificent view will make you gasp.
“It is a beautiful, pristine golf course that is in the middle of the city,” says Lorabeth Catterson, assistant director of agronomy at Hillcrest Country Club. “We have one of the best views: You can see from downtown LA all the way to the Hollywood sign, Griffith Observatory, all the way back around to Century City. And we’re Hillcrest, so that means there’s lots of high points and low points and a lot of good depth to the property. You’re in this little oasis here.”
Unfortunately, Hillcrest wasn’t always the little slice of heaven it is today. Back in 2018, the 98-year-old course was showing its age. The greens weren’t up to par anymore and overgrowth blocked views of the golf course from the clubhouse. Plus, nearby courses at Bel Air Country Club and Los Angeles Country Club had undergone dramatic facelifts. It was time for Hillcrest to get a makeover of its own.
“The greens were at the point where they needed to be renovated,” Catterson says. “The original golf course was about 98 years old, and the performance started to go down; it just got old.“
But anyone who’s renovated something old knows there are all sorts of discoveries to be made once you start peeling back the layers. And that’s exactly what the Hillcrest ground crew found when they got started. Uneven soil, salty water and temperamental turf. Fortunately Rain Bird was there to help.