Located in the southwestern portion of the country, Oklahoma is more known for its Sooners football than it is for amazing golf courses. Nevertheless, of the state’s more than 200 courses, there are plenty that are worth mentioning as must play tracks. And while one of those courses is private and will necessarily be tough to get on, the other courses noted below are either semi-private or public and should be playable if you make a trip the Sooner State.
To help you plan your Oklahoma golf bucket list, here are five Oklahoma golf courses you need to play.
Best Private Course: Southern Hills Country Club
Designed by Oklahoman Perry Maxwell, Southern Hills was opened during the days of the Great Depression and has been a stalwart in the area ever since. While there might be more exotic courses in other states, Southern Hills is a well designed, gorgeous track known for its thick rough, mature trees, and meticulously manicured Bermuda grass fairways.
The course has an impressive resume as well, having hosted a long list of major tournaments including a stretch from 1994-1996 which saw Nick Price win the 94’ PGA Championship, Billy Mayfair win the 95’ Tour Championship, and Tom Lehman win the 96’ Tour Championship.
If there is bad news about this outstanding golf course it is that it is a private track, and unless you can make friends with a member, you won’t be able to play any of its 27 holes.
Best Public Course: Karsten Creek Golf Club
Located on the banks of Stillwater Creek Site 46 Reservoir, Karsten Creek Golf Club gets the nod as the best public course in the state. The water features prominently on a number of holes and adds to both the beauty and difficulty of the course.
Starting near an exquisite clubhouse the first hole is a long par 5 and shows off the bright green, tree-lined fairways quite well. The first hole is a great chance to score and another par 5 doesn’t factor in until the end of the front nine.
The themes of deep, green side bunkers and sleek layout continue on the back and make for a great round of golf. The course finishes with a great three hole stretch of two medium length par 4’s and a mid range part 5.
Overall, the course can actually play quite long, measuring 7449 yards from the tips and is a regulation par 72.
A round for this Tom Fazio-designed course doesn’t cost nothing though. Depending on the time of day, day of the week, and season, a round can typically run anywhere from $125 to $300 for 18 holes walking.
Most Challenging: Jimmie Austin Golf Club
Located on the University of Oklahoma’s campus in Norman, the Jimmie Austin Golf Club is the perfect blend of terrain influenced layout, beautiful landscaping, and demanding golf. With native grasses, stately oaks, and finely manicured fairways and greens, a round at Jimmie Austin can be a feast for the eyes even while you’re playing bogey golf.
With five sets of tees and 77.9 course rating from the championship tees, this course will test your abilities and demand more from you than you knew you had.
The first hole is a par 4 that plays tight and features a trio of bunkers to the front and left of the green. The 2nd hole is a par 3 with even more sand around the large, sloping green, and while it isn’t too deep, par is still a very good score.
The round finishes with a long par 5 that finishes at a slightly elevated green that slopes from back to front.
From the tips, Jimmie Austin measures 7452 yards and is a par 72.
The course is semi-private and has a variety of annual and monthly membership rates that are relatively affordable. Non members should still be able to get on but will need to check into pricing before heading out for their round.
Most Scenic: Forest Ridge Golf Course
Another semi-private course that you can still get on, and doesn’t happen to cost too much either, is the uber beautiful Forest Ridge Golf Course. This magnificent track boasts mature trees, a spectacular layout, and well placed bunkers and water hazards.
This masterpiece begins with one such well placed water hazard as a large pond cuts into the fairway right in front of the green on the par 4 1st hole. Water is again the most dangerous obstacle in your way on hole number 2 as a narrow, meandering creek located just in front of the green makes your approach particularly tricky.
Play shifts gears on the back, where the water isn’t the problem but the a narrow fairway is. The incredible trees lining the fairway on 10 create a stunningly beautiful feel as you work your way to the green.
Forest Ridge’s brilliant layout measures just over 7000 yards from the tips and is a regulation par 72.
The good news about this gorgeous track is that it can be played for a reasonable rate. While memberships are available, daily rates for non members range from $38 for the twilight rate during the week and get as high as $70 on the weekends.
Best Deal: Chicksaw Pointe Golf Course
Located on the northern shores of Lake Texoma, Chicksaw Pointe is a fantastic course you can play for a decent price. With views of the lake, significant elevation changes, and wide expansive fairways, a round at Chicksaw Pointe will not disappoint.
This outstanding track has all of the best attributes of the the top courses in the state, measures just over 7000 yards from the tips, and is a regulation par 72.
In the winter on Wednesdays you can play this spectacular track for only $35. The twilight rate during the week any time of year is also $35.
With great deals and great courses there is plenty of quality golf to be played in Oklahoma. Don’t let the semi-private courses scare you either. With affordable, daily rates, you should be able to squeeze in a round and get a glimpse of the best Oklahoma golf has to offer. Happy golfing.
Did we miss a course? Share your Oklahoma golf experience in the comments section below.