Paris Hillinski: Oklahoma’s secret golf course

Paris Hilinski lives in Palm Beach, Florida, but is originally from LA. She started playing golf when she was turning 14, initially with her dad. Although at first she hated it, she soon discovered a talent and within two years made the US Open. The 18-year-old golfer tells us about her favourite, secret, golf course

Paris Hilinski Playing Golf

My Secret Tip is a place in Ardmore, Oklahoma. It’s a golf course, the Dornick Hills Country Club. And it was designed by the same guy who did the Augusta National [the course in Georgia that has been home to the Masters since it began in 1934]. It’s very much a hidden gem. It’s not in great shape, and there’s no one really ever there. But it’s one of the coolest golf courses I’ve ever played. So I don’t know who’s ever going to Ardmore, Oklahoma, but if you make it there, it’s definitely worth a visit.

A lot of golf course designers play on your visuals. They love to mess with your eyes. So when you’re standing on the tee box and you’re looking down the hole, it’s very interesting, because a bunker will look way closer than it is or it will look farther than it is. It’s really fun to figure out what the designer was thinking when they made the golf course. So, I guess how visually difficult it is, is what makes a golf course really cool in my opinion.

And this one in Ardmore has got lots of interesting visuals. There’s actually a hole – it’s a par five – and there’s a giant 20-foot rock wall that the green sits up on. So if you lay up too close to the rock wall, you can’t do anything about it. It’s really cool. I remember seeing that and I was like, that is so different. If you’re too close you can’t get it up. I’ve never seen that before. Very fun. It’s a public course, so anybody can play it. So, if you’re driving through there, make a stop. I think I was actually driving through on my way to Texas, or somewhere, when I found it. And we thought, this looks cool. So we stopped and played it, and I was like, wow, that was insane! No one would ever know it’s there.

Dornick Hills Country Club, 519 Country Club Rd, Ardmore, OK 73401; dornickhills.com

You can follow Paris on Instagram at @parishilinskigolf

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