Hilma Country Club is a Private, 9 hole golf course located in Tarboro, North Carolina.
Hilma Country Club first opened for play in 1894. It's the second oldest golf course in North Carolina and the oldest non-resort golf course. The Hilma Country Club golf course was renovated by Gene Hamm.
Hilma Country Club is located on property once part of Governor Henry Toole Clark's estate, Hilma derived its name from the first letters of the names of Clark's children: Haywood, Irwin, Laura, Maria, and Arabella.
Hilma Country Club measures 2,796 yards from the back tees. The course par is 35. The course rating is 66.1 and the slope rating is 120. Although this is a short course, shot accuracy is still at a premium. Former US Amateur champion Harvey Ward learned the game at Hilma. Harvey Ward was also a winner of the U.S. Amateur Championship, the NCAA Championship, the Canadian Amateur and the British Amateur.
The greens are small, and the fairways are narrow and tree lined. Water hazards come into play on several occasions. There are additional tees that can be used when double looping for an eighteen hole round at Hilma Country Club.
The course closed in June 2012.
The following story comes from CNHI News Service Jul 12, 2012
The photo for this course was taken in July 2012.
Nine black caddies returned this week to the Hilma Country Club where they'd worked more than five decades ago and couldn't officially play golf due to its then all-white membership rules.
But the club had shut down a month earlier, a victim of hard times, and thus they had to forgo their reunion plans to tee up without worry of racial restriction.
Black teenagers were commonly hired as caddies for the upper-class white golfers in the 1940s, 1950s, and even the 1960s. Blacks also worked inside the clubhouse as cooks and custodians.
The caddies, now in their retirement years, planned the reunion at Hilma to share stories and play a round or two.
Built in 1890, it was the second-oldest golf course in North Carolina
"That's the only reason I'm here," said Willie Redmond of California. "I wanted to see the course again and see some of the guys that I caddied with and to play a round of golf. I'm very disappointed."
The caddies recalled that even though the pay wasn't much, having a job was important. Every little bit helped struggling families. And they said it gave them insight into the skills golf required and what made it the Gentleman's Game.
"We learned the core value of golf — courtesy, respect, integrity, perseverance," said Louis Belcher of Virginia. "Some guys were heading in the wrong direction. If it wasn't for Hilma, there's no telling where they would have been."
Although the black caddies were denied official playing access to the course, it can now be told they teed up after the white golfers had left for the day.
"We would go out and play on the course," Redmond said. "No one knew about it but the caddies."
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