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Muskogee

Muskogee, Oklahoma
ArchitectBadgePerry Maxwell
Muskogee, Oklahoma
Rankings
  • AddressMuskogee Golf Club, 2400 North Country Club Road, Muskogee, Oklahoma (OK), USA

Muskogee Golf Club was founded as Muskogee Town and Country Club in 1904 with a course situated close to nearby Fort Gibson, on the other side of the Arkansas River. Three years later, a hundred acres of the Garland Farm were obtained and the club moved to what is now its current location. A 9-hole track was quickly brought into play but by 1911 additional land was acquired and an 18-hole course established.

Thirteen years on, Perry Maxwell was engaged to redesign the layout and in the process the sand-based putting surfaces were replaced with Bermuda grass greens. It wasn’t until 1936 that bent grass greens were inaugurated. Most of the Maxwell course remains intact, apart from holes 3 to 5, and it’s staged a number of important championships, including four editions of the Muskogee Civitan Open on the LPGA Tour in the early 1960s and the US Women’s Open in 1970.

The following edited extract is from Christopher Closer’s The Midwest Associate: The Life and Work of Perry Duke Maxwell:

“The strength of Maxwell’s layout is the beginning sequence of holes and the use of the natural hazards on the site. The solid first is followed by the most difficult hole on the course, The long second is a slight dogleg left that goes downhill. The fairway rolls away and creates a hanging lie. The green is perched on a rise about 75 yards past the lowest point on the fairway.

The third hole as Maxwell originally designed it was a 550-yard par five that was a great risk-reward hole. The hole was eventually split into two holes to become a short par four and a par three, to make better use of the two ravines on the course. Holes four and five were then combined to make the new fifth hole. Since then, Tripp Davis has performed a renovation that included work on all the first six holes, except for the fifth.

The back nine also features some excellent holes. Three in particular stand out as the lake is the focus and Maxwell’s ingenuity at using hazards in a variety of ways is demonstrated. The tenth hole is the most famous hole, and perhaps the best on the course. The fairways slopes away towards the lake. Just past the fairway bunker at the corner of the dogleg the lie is downhill and the approach must clear the water.

Maxwell’s strength at routing a course was most evident with his layout of Muskogee. His use of the natural hazards was inspirational. A natural depression that ran through the course was the primary factor effecting the routing of several holes and the second nine holes were routed around the lakes of the course. Maxwell also implemented some new template holes including the masterful tenth. The course has often been one of the most overlooked courses in Maxwell’s portfolio.”

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Perry Maxwell

It’s said Perry Maxwell's interest in golf was sparked by reading H. J. Whigham’s book, How to Play Golf. Encouraged by his wife, Maxwell laid out a short course in 1913 on their dairy farm.

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