Located on the Palos Verdes
Peninsula, to the south of downtown Los Angeles, Rolling Hills Country Club was
formed in 1965. The club’s original 9-hole par-three layout extended to a mere
fifteen acres but, seven years after it opened for play, additional land was
leased from the owner of the nearby sand and gravel quarry which allowed Ted
Robinson to somehow cram an 18-hole course into a constricted 80-acre property.
The club joined forces with a developer to purchase both the course and the quarry in 2008 with a view to combining both properties for the construction of a new course and a sizeable residential estate. Unfortunately, due to the financial recession, plans were put on hold until six years later when Chuck Lande, another local developer, stepped in to resurrect the project and he managed to convince David Mclay Kidd to get involved in the design.
Huge amounts of sand were mined – 6.5 million cubic yards has been quoted – to cap the new fairways, fill the 240 feet deep quarry and open out views across the rolling hills to Los Angeles. Enormous drains also had to be installed to replace the function previously carried out by the quarry, which was diverting storm water away from the site.
The opening five holes on the back nine are routed along the top of the newly fashioned course, which opened for member play in September 2017, and they constitute probably the strongest stretch on the layout. The first of these holes, the par five 10th, features what’s now becoming something of a McLay Kidd template green, a Redan/Biarritz hybrid putting surface, similar to ones he’s built at Guacalito de la Isla in Nicaragua and Gamble Sands in Brewster, Washington.