Southern Hills Country Club

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Once the money was raised, the pledges signed, and the land was donated, the main 18-hole golf course was laid out by golf course designer Perry Maxwell. The course was later on renovated by Keith Foster in 1999. Maxwell, a friend of Phillips, oversaw the entire project and its construction. There is also a 9-hole West Course that was designed by Ben Crenshaw in 1992. Southern Hills also has the typical facilities of a country club, including extensive banqueting facilities, a fitness center, swimming and diving pools and tennis courts. Southern Hills offers swimming, personal training, and tennis instruction. The course is ranked No. 30 among Golf Digest’s 2013-2014 “America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses”.

The club was established in 1936 from land donated by multimillionaire oilman Waite Phillips (Frank Phillips, Waite’s brother, was the namesake and founder of the predecessor to Phillips 66. Waite worked with his brother for a time before starting his own oil company). Phillips had earned an oil fortune and, upon the crash of the stock market, Phillips became The First National Bank of Tulsa’s chairman. With his oil money and with his reputation, Bill Warren and Cecil Canary asked Phillips to sponsor the development of a new country club. The boosters argued that there was the need for a family-oriented club that would include a swimming pool, stable, horseback trails, polo field, skeet range, tennis courts, clubhouse and golf course.

Phillips was skeptical of this proposition, and in response he told Warren and Canary that they had a couple of weeks to assume 150 pledges to become members of this club, with each of those pledges paying $1,000 each, to ensure his cooperation. The construction costs were raised by the founding members. The clubhouse, designed in “English country manor” style by Tulsa architects John Duncan Forsyth and Donald McCormick, opened on October 17, 1936 the clubhouse was extensively renovated during a three-year project prior to the 2007 PGA tournament.

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