Situated on land that was first deeded by Andrew Jackson in 1833, Sycamore Hills sits on rolling topography featuring tall sycamores, burr oak and spruce. The narrow Aboite River gently flows throughout the layout. The Jack Nicklaus design, which opened in 1989, is marked by generous fairways, peninsula greens and an abundance of sandy waste areas.
“In my opinion, Sycamore Hills is one of the finest sites we’ve ever had the opportunity on which to design a golf course,” said Nicklaus. “I know Jim Kelley says that I tell all the owners that, but Sycamore Hills truly is a very, very fine site. It has gorgeous trees, great movement of property, and it had some existing lakes that really functioned quite well. The site had a little river moving through the property, which really afforded a lot of opportunities to create different shots. We had the opportunity to create a very diverse set of holes for Sycamore Hills.”
Founded in July of 1987, Sycamore Hills officially opened two years later when Kelley, the club founder, played with Nicklaus, the course designer. Sycamore Hills Golf Club was founded in July of 1987. The golf course was officially opened on July 2, 1989, when Jack Nicklaus and Tom Kelley played the inaugural round of golf.
The former estate of a prominent Fort Wayne family served as a great foundation for what has become an elite golf club. The USGA conducted the Women’s State Team Championship at Sycamore Hills in 2009 and the PGA Junior Championship was staged at the club the past couple of years. Golf Digest included Sycamore Hills among its “America’s Top 100 Courses” in 2011-12.
Amanda Blumenherst, the 2008 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion and a past USA Curtis Cup participant, grew up at Sycamore Hills before moving to Arizona. Last year, five golfers from Sycamore Hills qualified for USGA championships, including Brad Hardin (U.S. Mid-Amateur), the brother of 1998 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Leigh Anne (Hardin) Creavy, and Marty Rifkin (U.S. Senior Open).