SOUTHERN HILLS CC
Course Architect(s): Perry Maxwell (1935), Keith Foster (renovated, 1999)
Year Opened: 1936
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Slope: 136. Rating: 74.0
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 464 Yds 10 - Par 4 373 Yds
2 - Par 4 488 Yds 11 - Par 3 173 Yds
3 - Par 4 451 Yds 12 - Par 4 458 Yds
4 - Par 4 372 Yds 13 - Par 5 537 Yds
5 - Par 5 655 Yds 14 - Par 3 223 Yds
6 - Par 3 200 Yds 15 - Par 4 413 Yds
7 - Par 4 384 Yds 16 - Par 5 567 Yds
8 - Par 3 245 Yds 17 - Par 4 358 Yds
9 - Par 4 374 Yds 18 - Par 4 465 Yds
Par 35 3,631 Yds Par 36 3,567 Yds
Key Events Held: U.S. Open Championship (1958, '77, 2001),
U.S. Amateur Championship (1965)
U.S. Women's Amateur Championship (1946)
U.S. Senior Amateur Championship (1961),
U.S. Junior Amateur Championship (1953),
U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship (1987),
PGA Championship (1970, '82, '94, 2007),
PGA Tour Championship (1995-96).
Awards Won: #32 by Golf Digest - America's 100 Greatest Courses (2007-08),
#27 by Golf Magazine - Top 100 Courses in U.S. (2005),
#33 by Golf Connoisseur - 100 Most Prestigious Private clubs,
#45 by Golf Magazine - Top 100 Courses in the World (2005),
#1 by Golf Digest - Best in State Rankings, Oklahoma (2005-07).
HISTORY: Oilman Waite Phillips donated the land that is now Southern Hills
Country Club. Phillips was approached by Bill Warren and Cecil Canary to
finance a new country club, however Phillips was having his own problems with
the stock market, as he lost almost $50 million. Phillips gave Warren and
Canary two weeks to get 150 Tulsans to pledge $1,000 each, but he would not
help them to finance the project. The money was raised and famed architect
Perry Maxwell, a native Oklahoman, who designed Colonial and Prairie Dunes was
hired to design the course.
Southern Hills has been the site of many championship events, including
three U.S. Opens and three PGA Championships. Famed winners at Southern Hills
are: Babe Zaharias, Tommy Bolt, Bob Murphy, Hubert Green, Dave Stockton, Ray
Floyd, Nick Price and Retief Goosen.
The most recent event held at Southern Hills was the 2001 U.S. Open, where
Goosen defeated Mark Brooks in an 18-hole playoff. Goosen had a chance to win
the title in regulation, but three-putted from 15-feet to fall back into a
tie with Brooks, who was cleaning out his locker prior to hearing the news.
During the playoff, Goosen outlasted Brooks, 70-72 to become the third South
African to capture the U.S. Open.
REVIEW: With a beautiful view of the Tulsa skyline, the opening shot from an
elevated tee box gives the player a sense of calm. That will surely change as
you play the course. A slight dogleg left, the first is a solid starting hole
with very little trouble, as long as you keep it in the fairway.
Number two is a difficult driving hole, as your tee shot must carry 225 yards
over bunkers and a creek just to reach the fairway. From there a mid to long
iron must negotiate a green surrounded by four bunkers. Be prepared to give
The third is a sharp dogleg left featuring a stream that crosses in front of
the tee box and flanks the left side of the fairway and crosses back across
the end of the fairway. Although four bunkers guard the green, a short iron
should produce a birdie.
Another chance for a birdie comes at number four. This short, slightly
bending to the right hole, has a rolling fairway which slopes to the right and
assures the player of a difficult lie to an uphill green. Once again a quartet
of bunkers await your approach shot. The green slopes severely from back to
front, so don't miss long.
The longest hole in Open history, prior to Oakmont in 2007, the fifth is a
bear at 655 yards. Just making par on this dogleg left will be reward enough.
The first one-shotter rings in at number six. Wind direction will decide club
selection on this 175-yarder. The meandering creek of Southern Hills guards
the left side, along with a bunker while another sand trap awaits shots
missed to the right. Once again, the green slopes from back to front, so
accuracy here is a key.
The seventh slopes right to left and requires an uphill, blind tee shot to a
fairway that falls away to the right. Although short at just 384 yards, thick
rough guards both sides of the fairway and the greens is hidden by three
bunkers, fronting and left. A quick undulating green will also be
difficult to master.
The longest par-3 on the course, the eighth features a long green with a
hump in the middle, making birdies unlikely.
The final hole on the outward nine winds back to the clubhouse and is
similar in style to the 18th. A dogleg right, a well positioned tee
shot must be placed in the left side of the fairway, opening up your approach
to the green. The uphill second shot must battle three large bunkers and a
sloping green front back to front.
The back nine starts out simply enough, or does it. At just 373 yards, one
might think a birdie is in the offing, however a dogleg right and a sloping
fairway left to an uphill green guarded by five bunkers will make par a
One of the smallest greens on the course is the par-3 11th. This downhill
hole is guarded by four bunkers and features a green that slopes from back to
front and right to left. A large pond sits along the left side, but does not
come into play.
Many call the 12th, the signature hole at Southern Hills. A precise tee
shot is called for on this dogleg left to a blind landing area as it
slopes from right to left. A long to middle iron awaits the player to a
well-banked green, guarded left by three bunkers and right and front by a
stream. Both Ben Hogan and Arnold Palmer ranked the 12th as one of America's
greatest par-4 holes. Bogies and double bogies will abound on this hole.
Birdie awaits the player on 13th, most likely the last real birdie chance
on the course. This par-5 is just 537 yards and slopes from right to left
with two bodies of water guarding the left and right side before the green.
After a solid drive, the player has the option to go for the green in two or
lay up short of the water, leaving an easy wedge to a small putting surface,
surrounded by five bunkers.
The final par-3 on the course is a monster at 223 yards, guarded by six
bunkers, four left and two right. Wind will dictate club selection and it is
not uncommon for three-metal to be the answer.
It is possible to steal one on the 15th. Just 413 yards, a well-placed tee
ball will leave the player with a short iron approach, however the
severely sloped green and five strategically placed bunkers could cause
Although played as a par-four for the U.S. Open, the 567-yard 16th requires
both length and accuracy off the tee. Length gives the player an opportunity
to view the green while accuracy affords a chance to reach the green in
two. Otherwise, its a routine three-shotter to a smallish green, with water
left and four difficult bunkers.
The 17th figures to be a birdie chance, however a tough, sloping left-to-
right fairway with trees and a creek on the right, make the tee shot a
priority. After negotiating the first half, then a narrow, two-tiered green
with four fronting bunkers await.
One of the finest finishing holes in golf, the 18th requires extreme
patience. A solid tee shot placed on the left side of the fairway, opens up
the dogleg right. Now the player is faced with an uphill second shot,
similar to the ninth, but longer at 200-plus yards. Although the view of the
clubhouse is spectacular, this is not a fun shot, as two large ball receiving
bunkers front the putting surface. Once aboard, the slick green slopes front
and right and is one of the quickest on the course.
OVERALL: With all its history and style, Southern Hills is a true gem and a
must play if possible. Not a so-called beautiful course, but a venue that is
very taxing mentally and physically reminiscent of Oakmont. The course
features tree-lined fairways, doglegs both right and left, difficult rough and
severely sloped greens. To score well, one must be on top of his game or a
long day will ensue. Look what happened when the U.S. Open came to town, only
four players broke par and not even Tiger Woods could shoot better than 69.
A true country club with over 900 members, Southern Hills also features a
47,000-foot clubhouse, two swimming pools, 11 tennis courts and another nine-
hole course designed by Ben Crenshaw. This course will beat you up, but you'll
keep coming back for more.
With it's hosting of the 2007 PGA Championship, Southern Hills becomes the
first course to play host to four PGA Championships. Playing as a par 70, this
course will give the players all they can handle.