The 2022 PGA Championship will be contested May 19-22 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a 156 player field.
A frequent major championship venue, Southern Hills will play much differently than in the past.
1. PGA Championship Favorite
A private, member owned club, Southern Hills has hosted seven major championships for men, including the U.S. Open three times (1958, 1977, 2001) and four PGA Championships (1970, 1982, 1994, 2007). It is the only course to host the PGA Championship four times, and this year (2022) will be its fifth PGA Championship. Last year, Southern Hills hosted the KitchenAid Senior Championship. In addition it will host the 2024 U.S. Women’s Amateur.
2. Terrific Terrain
Even though its name implies a hilly course, make no mistake, Southern Hills does not have nearly the elevation changes of Augusta National. The 1st and 10th tees at Southern Hills are elevated, the 9th and 18th greens are above the fairway and the 11th and 12th are downhill, yet the remainder of the course is relatively flat with some rolling hills and not dramatic elevation changes. The topography of the course is a beautiful blend of elevations, lightly rolling hills and flat Oklahoma land. One of the more stunning sights is the clubhouse set high on a hill overlooking the course. (Photo by Gary W. Kellner, Photographer). For an enhanced perspective of terrain view video below.
3. Maxwell The Designer
Southern Hills was originally designed by Perry Maxwell, who is known as “the father of Oklahoma golf.” Maxwell died in 1952. Maxwell’s greens designs were masterful works of art and have stood the test of time. In addition to Southern Hills, Maxwell designed more than 70 courses and remodeled 50 others. He made major contributions to such revered layouts as Pine Valley Golf Club, Augusta National Golf Club, Colonial Country Club and Merion Golf Club. Maxwell made a number of important changes to Augusta National in 1937, most notable was his imaginative work on the opening hole (now the 10th).
4. Impressive Hanse Renovation
In 2019, an $11 million renovation/enhancement project, performed by Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner, was completed. They stayed true to Perry Maxwell’s 1936 design, yet they modernized it for Major championship play. Hanse stated: “It was probably about 75 to 80 percent restoration and 20 to 25 percent renovation.” Hanse added length with longer back tees on a few holes, widened some fairways, moved some fairway bunkers and gave all bunkers a more manicured look to name a few of the changes.
5. Different Time, Different Course
The 2022 Southern Hills PGA Championship course won’t be the target golf layout that most viewers are familiar with. Hanse and his team thinned out many of the overgrown Oaks, sycamores, elms and cottonwood trees opening up the holes. Many of the fairway lines have been pushed out to the original dimensions of when the course opened in the mid-1930s. The course will play 7,556 yards to par 70 with only two par 5s.
Drone View of Southern Hills provided by The Fried Egg
6. Best Holes to Watch
From a spectator standpoint the most notable holes are No. 1 (especially the tee shot from an elevated tee), the three hole stretch of No. 10 through 12 and No. 17 and 18, a fantastic finishing duo.
7. Mob Hit Once Upon a Time
In 1981, Roger Wheeler, a Tulsa businessman and owner of World Jai Alai, was murdered in the parking lot of the English Country Manor style clubhouse. Reportedly the hit was ordered by mobster Whitey Bulger. Wheeler was shot between the eyes following his weekly round of golf at Southern Hills.
8. Tiger Mania 2.0
Tiger Woods certainly has good Southern Hills vibes and memories. In 2007, Woods, behind a PGA record-tying 63 in the second round, won the PGA Championship by two strokes for his 13th Major. Mania? Heck there are 5 and 6 people deep following Tiger around on a Monday practice round at Southern Hills.
9. Lefty Will Not Play
Too bad Philly Mick won’t tee it up to defend hiss 2021 victory because he’s had good success at Southern Hills in majors. He finished third at the PGA here in 1994 and tied for seventh at the 2001 U.S. Open.
10. The Other Nine
Southern Hills is actually a 27-hole complex. The 9-hole “West Nine” is a 3,293-yard/ par 35 layout designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore in 1992.