Perry Maxwell designed Southern Hills, and he excels at making a course look easy and play hard. The course was rated No.25 on the Golf Digest list. During the summer of 1999, just two years before the club was scheduled to host the U.S. Open, Southern Hills’ greens were vandalised. Using strong herbicides, vandals spelled out profanities against the newly hired greens superintendent who had just fired most of the greens crew. What a welcome, eh? My planned trip to Southern Hills that summer was abruptly cancelled when the course was closed from August 1999 until June 2000 (although there were still nine holes that members could play). Holes were lengthened; bunkers and greens were rebuilt. In fact, the par-5 Number 5 was lengthened to 615 yards in order to “Tiger-proof” it, but several guys got there in two during the Open anyway. Tony and I went back and tried to play it from 615. He made six; I made nine.
Southern Hills has Bermuda grass fairways and greens. The greens are overseeded in late fall, and the Bermuda fairways were dormant when we played the course. The grass looked dead and ratty. Larry Berle.
Date: November 29, 2014