2022 PGA Championship: Southern Hills Country Club. Get to know the course
Southern Hills Country Club is hosting a major tournament for the seventh time. Players skills will be tested off the tee and on and around the greens.
Scottie Scheffler, the Masters of Augusta reigning champ, is going home early. He fought Southern Hills and lost. Tiger Woods made the cut, but he looked pretty beat up after “grinding the back nine,” in his own words. This course has already got the best of some of the world’s top golfers. This weekend anything could happen atop the scoreboard as playing conditions could make this tough course even tougher.
What to know about Southern Hills Country Club
Southern Hills Country Club was originally designed by Perry Maxwell as a par-71 course, which opened in 1936. The first renovation took place in 1999 at the hands of Keith Foster and in 2018 Gil Hanse tried to restore Maxwell’s original vision of the course with undulated greens and fairways that are shaped by the land’s topography.
Those slopes are prominent on the par-4 fourth hole with only 377 yards and bunkers protecting the landing area, which makes the approach shot to this small green even more complicated.
Number 5 is one of the longest holes in championship golf with 650 yards. Once players reach the green of the par 5, they’ll have to deal with bunkers protecting the left side with another bunker and creek on the right.
On the way back to the clubhouse on number 9 players will have to deal with bunkers all the way to the green. This 395-par 4 gave Scottie Scheffler trouble on Friday and he had to take a six before making the turn.
Number 12 is Southern Hills’ signature hole. It is 456-yard dogleg left, with a fairway that slopes right-to-left, directing balls into the stream that goes all the way to the protected green. Ben Hogan called it one of the best holes in golf.
Number 18 is one of the most challenging holes in championship golf. This hole has been the final stage for seven major tournaments over the years and one that only 2 major winners have managed to finish with a par: Tommy Bolt at the 1958 U.S. Open and Tiger Woods at the 2007 PGA Championship. Gil Hanse, who restored the course to its former glory in 2018 calls 18 a killer finish. “It’s a quintessential finishing hole,” he says.
Talor Gooch sums it pretty well: “You almost can’t narrow it down because you have to do so much, so well to play well out here. You know, it’s not just, ‘Oh, you’ve got to hit your driver well,’ or ‘Oh, you’ve got to putt well.’ You’ve got to do everything well, and that’s what makes it a major championship golf course.”