Hillside faces some stiff competition from the many renowned courses in the area, including Formby, Royal Birkdale, Royal Lytham and St. Annes, and Southport and Ainsdale. Even so, the club has attracted Open Championship play. The original layout was done over a century ago, and then in the 1950s Fred Hawtree was brought in to carry out extensive renovations that give the course its present character; Hawtree had already collaborated with James Braid in the creation of Birkdale during the Thirties. What distinguishes Hillside from that club are the groves of evergreens that help to define a number of the holes, and the extent to which the sand that Hawtree imported onto the site is utilized. Yet while Birkdale has hosted some big-name championships, Hillsdale has as mentioned managed to host a number of high-profile tournaments, in particular the last time that Tony Jacklin claimed the PGA Championship, in 1982.