Pine Hills is a family business that’s been serving the Illinois Valley—and beyond—for generations. Built in 1924, Pine Hills is one of the oldest and most scenic courses in the area. Nestled in the Covel Creek Valley, Pine Hills offers 9 holes of natural beauty and challenging golf.
Pine Hills began as Ottawa Country Club and came to its South Ottawa location in exchange for an original Naplate site purchased by Libby Owens Ford in the 1920’s. Pine Hills Golf Course was designed by Thomas Bendelow and opened in 1924. Bendelow was a Scottish-American architect who’s often referred to as the Johnny Appleseed of Golf. He was a naturalist who traveled the country designing courses to fit into the landscape. He is said to have designed some 600 courses in a 35 year span and was the visionary of Medinah Country Club, Olympia Fields and the Atlanta Athletic Club. In the 1940’s Mike “Pro” Sipula bought Ottawa Country Club and changed the name to Pine Hills.
On October 15, 2010, Paul and Julie Pike of South Ottawa bought Pine Hills Golf Club from the Sipula Family. Paul is a farmer and land developer. Julie is a small business owner. Paul and Julie also own Golden Rule Lumber & Rental Center in South Ottawa. Their daughter, Adrienne, is the Golf Course Superintendent and their son, Jeremiah, is the Club Manager. Together, Jeremiah and Adrienne handle the day to day operations of Pine Hills and Co-Manage the Pine Hills Bar & Restaurant. On December 1st, 2010, the Pike Family closed and completely renovated the Clubhouse. They opened Pine Hills Bar & Restaurant in March of 2011. They began with a very small menu of pizza and tenderloins and have steadily grown the business—and menu— by building a solid team and a good reputation of providing great customer service in a beautiful, clean atmosphere. The Pine Hills Clubhouse also has a fully stocked Pro Shop and is now a Certified Club Fitting Center.
In 2014, two U.S. Kids Courses were installed at Pine Hills (also referred to as Family Courses). The courses are set up based off of the guidelines set by the US Kids Golf, LLC, and are designed for youth and beginners to have fun with the ability to get a par or birdie. Pine Hills has Certified US Kids Coaches who are also certified members of the Positive Coaching Alliance. Pine Hills hosts summer youth clinics, an Annual Jr Golf Tournament and Jr Play Days.
Since taking ownership, the Pike Family has made drastic improvements on and off the course. Every year new projects and enhancements are completed. Their goal is for Pine Hills to become the finest 9-hole facility in Illinois. Pine Hills is a destination worth the journey.