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Golf course closing for upscale subdivision to be built

GREEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio (Jeff Hirsh) -- Man first walked on the moon the same year golfers first walked the Hillview Golf Course in Green Township, 1969.

But now,the course has been sold to make way for nearly 250 single-family homes.  Hillview closes at the end of this month but for nearly half a century, Hillview Golf Course has been a place to start out, get better, or just enjoy the challenge.  Soon, it will be history.

"There's so many memories. People have been telling me every single day, 25 years ago my grandfather took me here, or I took my grandson here, or my mom played here.  A nice lady, last week she's 85-years-old, she came out here one last time and reminded me how she got started," Paul Macke, the golf course owner, said.
The course  got started in the late sixties after Paul Macke's father and other relatives purchased what had been a farm.  First club house was an old stable, the course has been in the Macke family since day one.  Paul's wife, son, and daughter, she's 11 so not on school days, all work  at the course.  And other family members share ownership.
A friend, Dan Hopwood, has the course record for holes in one, nine.  Dan started golfing here when the place opened, moved to Florida, but came back to say goodbye to Hillview and the Mackes.

"These people are like family.  I love golf and could play anywhere.  This is a place where they treat me like family.  They have always treated their customers well," said Hopwood.

Now normally this is the point in the story where the reporter pulls back the club and launches a shot down the fairway.  But there's a problem.  I don't play golf.  This is a blue jacket, not a green one from the Masters.  But whatever the skill level, Hillview will be missed.

Macke said, "Well the simple fact is for the last 10-12 years the golf course hasn't been paying the bills.  We love this property.  It means so much to us but there comes a time when you can't keep going."

What's it going to be like chaining the gates, taking in the carts and closing the door? 

"It's going to be hard, probably the hardest thing I'll ever do, it really will," Macke said.

Hillview closes April 30th, but on the 27th there will be a 'farewell' day with more than 200 golfers participating.  The Macke family will remain in the golf business.  They own or manage four other area courses.

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