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Bill Johnston, The Hideout's Golf Course Designer

April 26, 2021

A tribute to Bill Johnston, Pro-Professional PGA Golfer, Designer, and a member of the PGA Hall of Fame.

The 149th Open Championship was played in July 2021 at Royal St. George’s Club in Sandwich, England. In 1960, 61 years ago only two players from the United States made the cut at the Open Championship, Arnold Palmer and Bill Johnston.

Bill Johnston won the 1960 Utah Open putting on a brilliant performance on the final day. Shooting a low round, a 9-under 63, allowed him to pass five players in the final round and win the tournament by two shots.

Following his tour in the U.S. Army in 1945, he enrolled at the University of Utah serving three years as a Captain. He turned pro in 1950, accepting the job as Head Pro at Empire Golf and Country Club in Vernal, Utah, a course he designed.

In 1951 Johnston played in his first PGA event, tying for 47th in the Los Angeles Open. Between 1952 and 1955, Johnston played a smattering of tournaments while tending to his various Head Pro positions. He became the head pro at Provo’s Timpanogos Golf Course in 1952 and moved to Arizona Country Club in 1958.

Johnston limited his playing career – between 1964 and 1974. His design course business continues to succeed.

  • Continental Country Club in Flagstaff, Arizona - 1960
  • Links at The Arizona Biltmore Country Club, Arizona - 1978
  • Point Hilton Golf Club on Lookout Mountain, Arizona - 1989
  • Rancho Manana in Cave Creek, Arizona - 1981
  • The Dominion Country Club in San Antonio, TX - 1984
  • Legacy Ridge Country Club Bonham, TX - 2003
  • The Hideout Golf Club in Brownwood, TX - 2008

Bill’s design philosophy, “I do everything on site. I walk the land until I determine which way I want to go. I walk backward and forward. Not quite sideways, but every which way. I try to get slight doglegs into a golf course, six or seven of them, at least. I build them for fun and possibly to host a tournament,” Johnston shared in a 2014 interview.

“From then on, it seemed like invitations kept rolling in to build courses,” Johnston added.

In 1994, Johnston became a member of the Utah Golf Hall of Fame and the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame inducting Johnston in 2018.

Mr. Johnston passed away earlier this year at the age of 96. He is survived by his wife of nearly 64 years, JoAnne, and their four sons: Brad, Blake, Brice and Burke.

Featured Events

Sunday Brunch at The Hideout Grill

May 26 / 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Join us every Sunday at The Hideout Grill for the best brunch in Brownwood, Texas. Sip on mimosas and savor brunch in the heart of Texas Hill Country.

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Comedy Show at The Hideout

July 21 / 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Join us for an evening of non-stop laughter during The Hideout’s featured live comedy event on July 21.

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Karaoke at The Hideout

August 15 / 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Hit the stage and unleash your inner rockstar during karaoke night at The Hideout.

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The Hideout End of Summer Party

August 17 / 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Bid farewell to summer with live music, family games and poolside fun at The Hideout’s end-of-season party.

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Monday Music Bingo and Buffet

June 03 / 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Get ready to strike the right chord every Monday night at The Hideout’s music-themed bingo and buffet event.

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