By Len Ziehm

Because we do what we do, it’s golf that is our first target when we make our visits to the Daytona Beach area, and that’s a shame.  Daytona offers so much more than golf.

There’s the beach, of course – 11 miles of oceanfront famous for its wide, firm sands that allow for vehicle usage. There’s even been automobile speed trials and stock car races there.

Then there’s the Daytona International Speedway, of course. It houses the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America but the stagings of the Daytona 500 since 1959 are the primary reason the facility has been dubbed the “World Center of Racing’’ and the “Birthplace of Speed.’’

Those attractions are tough to beat, but golf can’t be ignored – especially when LPGA Boulevard is one of the main drags as you exit I-95. The Ladies Professional Golf Association. has called Daytona home since 1996 and that’s somewhat where our golf journey begins this time. The late Arthur Hills is one of the most popular course architects of this generation, and he designed one of the two 18-holers at LPGA International.

The LPGA’s Hills Course had been closed for five months, primarily for a comprehensive greens renovation project that restored the putting surfaces to their original size and U.S. Golf Association specifications.  The result was that the greens netted an additional 26,600 square feet.  Prior to the installation of the new TifEagle bermudagrass the Hills Course had 65,340 square feet of putting surface.  Now it has 92,000 square feet.

TifEagle had previously been installed at the LPGA’s Jones Course and was found to be ideally suited to Daytona Beach’s climate.  The Hills project, though, was more extensive.  The bunker complexes were also restored with the addition of 300 tons of sand and the cart paths were resurfaced.

We’re also happy to report that we uncovered another Hills design that we weren’t aware was in the area on our previous trips.  This one is at the Cypress Head course in Port Orange. Hills, who died in 2021, designed it in 1992 with assistance from Mike Dasher. More