One of the most prestigious and respected private golf courses in the United States, Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., has now been the host of the PGA Championship four times as the best on the PGA Tour take their shot at winning the last major of 2007 at the famed run.
Ranked No. 15 among Golf Digest's "America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses," Southern Hills C.C. is no stranger to hosting the biggest events in golf, as it has also been host to the U.S. Open on three separate occasions. While it's not a golf course many in the public will get to play, the exceptional service and country club atmosphere is legendary at Southern Hills.
Here's a quick glance at this historic American golf course.
Born in 1936, Southern Hills Country Club was originally built on land donated by oil tycoon Waite Phillips, while the original costs for construction were raised by the founding members of the elite club. Designed by Perry Maxwell, Southern Hills was renovated in 1999 by Keith Foster. An additional nine holes was added to the complex in 1992, with PGA Tour star Ben Crenshaw serving as the designer.
Playing to 7,198 yards and a 136-slope rating from the tips, Southern Hills will play to a par of 70 at the PGA Championship, which should help to keep the leaders' scores from going very far under par, though in comparison to the 2007 Masters and British Opens, more scoring possibilities should be available for players.
While Southern Hills offers expansive views of the Tulsa skyline, it isn't a course noted for its amazing scenery. Instead, it's a golfers course, featuring tree-lined fairways, challenging rough, blind approach shots and difficult and strongly sloped green complexes.
With the heat expected to hit triple digits, players will have their work cut out for them on a course that demands complete focus, leading up to the stylish and somewhat brutal 18th, which throws players several challenges, including a dogleg, a marked elevation change upward, two large bunkers to snatch up wayward approach shots, and one of the fastest greens on the whole course. Simply put, to score well at Southern Hills will require players to bring their best games.
The actual country club at Southern Hills is a truly luxurious experience, as its more than 900 elite members can enjoy a 47,000-square-foot clubhouse, along with two swimming pools and 11 tennis courts.
Southern Hills is now the only course to host four PGA Championships, bringing its total of majors hosted to an astounding seven total. Aside from the majors, Southern Hills has also hosted numerous other important tournaments, and has seen an amazing roll call of champions trod down its fairways, including:
• Babe Zaharias - 1946 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship
• Tommy Bolt - 1958 U.S. Open
• Dave Stockton - 1970 PGA Championship
• Hubert Green - 1977 U.S. Open
• Ray Floyd - 1982 PGA Championship
August 9, 2007
William K. Wolfrum keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation. You can follow him on Twitter @Wolfrum.
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