With exceptional service and warm hospitality, we provide our members, their families and guests the unique Southern Hills experience through excellent recreation, outstanding dining and social interaction.
The Roaring Twenties had come to a screeching halt. The Stock Market Crash of 1929 was followed by bank closures, business failures and high unemployment. By 1934, there were signs of improvement, and a number of Tulsa businessmen were looking to the future. Many in the Tulsa business community belonged to two clubs. They dined at The Tulsa Club and played golf at Tulsa Country Club. However, in order to provide more activities for members and their families, much more land was needed.
In late 1934, a plan was hatched to merge the two clubs and expand the country club facilities. For a variety of reasons, the merger never happened. Fortunately, there was another option. Tulsa businessman and philanthropist, Waite Phillips, owned approximately 700 areas south of Tulsa. He envisioned that this farm land, on rolling hills, could be developed into a country club with a golf course and many other activities. He just needed to find the right group to make it happen.
Phillips was initially approached by Mr. W.K. Warren, Mr. S.C. Canary, Mr. J.A. Padon and Mr. Otis McClintock with a proposal to develop the property along the lines Mr. Phillips envisioned. The group asked that the property be sold with payment terms and that Mr. Phillips assist with development costs. After some negotiations, Mr. Phillips agreed to a most generous arrangement. He would gift approximately 300 acres if the Founders could raise the funds for development. He required that the sum of $150,000 be raised within two weeks and the money be spent over the next two years.
This was a daunting task, especially in 1934, but the group sprang into action. People were called, dinners were organized, and solicitations were made. Amazingly, on January 14, 1935, one day before the deadline, a letter of acceptance was delivered to Mr. Phillips indicating that 140 shares of the new Southern Hills Corporation had been sold at $1000 per share, for a total of $140,000. Mr. Phillips considered this a worthy effort and the deal was done. Now, the Founders had their biggest task; build and develop Southern Hills Country Club. While Mr. Phillips had provided the land and the Founders had provided the funds, they all knew there was only one man to build the golf course, and that was Perry Maxwell.
By 1934, Perry Maxwell was becoming a successful and renowned golf course architect. He was familiar with the land Waite Phillips owed in south Tulsa and had conducted a preliminary survey for a possible golf course a year or two earlier. Upon seeing the property, he immediately knew the perfect location for a clubhouse, and the 9th and 18th greens, which he incorporated in his final design.
There were plenty of ups and downs during construction of Southern Hills. But when the dust settled, the founders' dreams of a championship golf course were realized. The labor was provided by men using only picks, shovels and mules. The vision was provided by Perry Duke Maxwell, who, in the middle of the Great Depression, created his masterpiece.
While the golf course was under construction, the swimming pool, polo field, skeet range, tennis courts, stables and bridle paths opened in 1935. Opening day for the golf course was May 23, 1936 when 29 members teed off. Over time, the course began to mature and soon was recognized as one of the best in the country. No one was more involved with Perry Maxwell during construction of the golf course than Don Bothwell, who was affectionately called the "Old Rooster". During those early days, Bothwell was in constant contact with Maxwell as he laid out areas that would become fairways and greens. He even suggested the ultimate location of the famous 12th green.
One of the leaders in enhancing the reputation of the golf course and bringing championship golf to Southern Hills was John Winters. He became involved with the United States Golf Association in the 1940's, served on the Executive Committee and eventually became President in 1962 and 1963. John's leadership helped bring the early USGA championships to Southern Hills including the 1958 U.S. Open.
But the members of Southern Hills didn't just sit back and rest of their laurels. Because of changing demographics and tastes for recreation, the membership kept moving forward with many additions and improvements to the clubhouse and other facilities. The stables were destroyed in a tragic fire in 1976 and use of the polo field and skeet range declined over time. The property where these activities were located looked perfect for an additional nine holes of golf. Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw were engaged to make that happen and the "West Nine" was opened in 1992. An even more ambitious project occurred in 2018, when Hanse Golf Course Construction began a complete restoration of the Championship Course. Under the watchful eye of Gil Hanse, Jim Wagner and the Caveman Construction crew, this team modified teeing areas, fairway lines, bunkers, creeks and green complexes to restore the golf course to reflect Perry Maxwell's vision and creativity. The results of that project speak for themselves.
Please see the Championship Golf Timeline below for a summary of the major tournaments held at Southern Hills.
Consistently recognized as one of the Top 100 Golf Courses in the world, the Championship Course was originally designed by Perry Maxwell and opened for play in 1936. It was restored to reflect Maxwell's original vision by Gil Hanse in 2019. Southern Hills has hosted 15 major golf tournaments with the 2021 KitchenAid Senior PGA and the 2022 PGA Championships on the horizon.View Championship Golf Timeline
The Health & Wellness Center includes cardio and weight equipment, yoga and exercise classes, Pilates, massage therapy, physical therapy, and personal training. Our courteous staff and clean facility make it an inviting environment for our members to exercise safely.
The Tennis Facility offers six lighted outdoor hard courts, two lighted clay courts, and four lighted indoor hard courts. A fully equipped Tennis Pro Shop is located inside the Tennis Clubhouse. We offer private and group lessons to our members, as well as Junior, Men's, Mixed, and Ladies' drills taught by our USPTA certified tennis staff.
The Swimming Facilities include a dive tank with 1 meter and 3-meter boards, adjoining a 25-meter lap pool, and a Fun Pool with a zero-gravity entry side, basketball goal, two slides, and umbrellas in the water for shade while playing. The facilities also include a bathhouse, snack bar, and deck areas for relaxing and dining.