Southern Hills Country Club awarded 2030 PGA Championship
By Ken MacLeod, Golf Oklahoma
As expected, the PGA of America went to the end of its window to award Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa a record fifth PGA Championship, choosing the date of 2030, the last year in the span in which it had originally promised the club when it announced in 2017 that the 2021 Kitchenaid Senior PGA Championship would be held there and the PGA Championship “no later than 2030.”
“We’re excited to host the 2030 PGA Championship,” said Southern Hills General Manager Nick Sidorakis. “It will be great for the city and for the members of Southern Hills. We look forward to our continued partnership with the PGA in hosting the 2021 Senior PGA Championship. It’s been a long time since we had championship golf here and we’re excited, optimistic and hopeful that we’ll be able to conduct the championship as normal with the virus situation.”
Sidorakis was spending Tuesday overseeing the reopening of the Southern Hills dining facilities for the first time in more than six weeks. The club has largely reopened except for banquets, the pool and limited access to the training facilities.
Once the PGA of America announced it was moving its headquarters to Frisco, Texas and would host the 2027 championship on the Gil Hanse design there now under construction, it was known that Southern Hills was either going to get 2025 or 2030, with most expecting Quail Hollow in Charlotte, N.C., to be awarded the 2025 event. A site for that year has yet to be named but it’s merely a formality now.
Andy Johnson, who was president of Southern Hills when the contract with the PGA of America was signed in 2016, said he was not surprised at the 2030 date.
“We hoped it would be earlier, but we always knew that this was the most likely outcome,” Johnson said. “There was a reason they put that date in there and would not commit to anything earlier. So this is not surprising.”
The announcement means that future PGA sites are confirmed for the next decade, with the exception of 2025. With TPC Harding Park hosting for the first time later this summer, the tournament will then head to Kiawah Island (2021), Trump Bedminster (2022), Oak Hill (2023), Valhalla (2024), Aronimink (2026), PGA Frisco (2027), Olympic (2028) and Baltusrol (2029), with Congressional succeeding Southern Hills as the 2031 host.
The 2030 date leaves a nine-year gap between PGA championships. However the club will host the Trans-Miss Championship in 2023 and will consider rescheduling the Big 12 Championship that was to be held in April. It is also in discussions with the USGA about potentially hosting one of its amateur championships in the 2024-25 time frame. The last USGA event at Southern Hills was the 2009 U.S. Amateur Championship.
Founded in 1936, Southern Hills has hosted seven previous major championships, beginning with the 1958 U.S. Open, won by Tommy Bolt, through Tiger Woods’ PGA Championship triumph in 2007, when he captured the Wanamaker Trophy for the fourth time.
Southern Hills hosted the 1970 PGA Championship (won by Dave Stockton), 1977 U.S. Open (Hubert Green), 1982 PGA Championship (Raymond Floyd), 1994 PGA Championship (Nick Price) and 2001 U.S. Open (Retief Goosen).
“Few American golf venues match the legacy and record of excellence of Southern Hills Country Club,” said then PGA of America President Paul Levy in 2017. “Some of our sport’s greatest names have walked these fairways and etched their name in major championship history. The PGA of America is proud to once again connect with Southern Hills, its membership and the great sports fans of Oklahoma. We are confident Southern Hills will continue to attract respective world-class fields for both the PGA Championship and the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.”
Southern Hills completed an $11 million renovation by Hanse in 2019 and members say the course is more difficult than ever but also in spectacular condition. Southern Hills has already set a record for corporate sales for the 2021 Kitchenaid Senior PGA Championship.