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2022 PGA Championship Primer: Everything You Need to Know About Southern Hills

The site of this year's second major has a distinctive history going back eight decades and a list of past champions that includes Tiger Woods.
Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Southern Hills Country Club will host its eighth men's major championship with the 2022 PGA Championship.

The 104th PGA Championship will be played May 19-22 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. How much do you know about the 86-year-old club? Here's a primer to get you up to speed on the site that will host the second major of the 2022 golf season.

The Layout

Southern Hills was designed by Perry Maxwell, a founding member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects and member of the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. He has been called the "father of Oklahoma golf" and while Southern Hills is his most notable original design, he also played a significant role in renovations at Augusta National, home of the Masters.

The course opened in 1936. Maxwell's layout got a significant makeover from Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner in 2018. Trees were removed, new bunkers added and fairway widths were restored. 

For the PGA Championship, it will measure 7,556 yards at a par of 70. There will be just two par 5s, both measuring more than 630 yards.

The Championship Pedigree

Southern Hills hosted its first significant championship in 1946, with a historic winner — future World Golf Hall of Famer Babe Zaharias won the U.S. Women's Amateur, 11 and 9 over Clara Sherman in the 36-hole match play final.

Its first men's major championship would come 12 years later, with Tommy Bolt winning the U.S. Open. Here's the complete list of men's majors at Southern Hills with their winners:

1958

U.S. Open

Tommy Bolt

1970

PGA Championship

Dave Stockton

1977

U.S. Open

Hubert Green

1982

PGA Championship

Raymond Floyd

1994

PGA Championship

Nick Price

2001

U.S. Open

Retief Goosen

2007

PGA Championship

Tiger Woods

Goosen won the last U.S. Open in a playoff over Mark Brooks. Woods won the PGA by two shots over Woody Austin, at the time his 13th major championship.

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The Weather

Stifling heat has been a theme throughout the major championship history of Southern Hills, which should be little surprise considering it's Oklahoma in the summer.

When Woods won in 2007 — in August — temperatures reached 100 degrees every day and Sunday was 102 degrees. The tournament's medical director said it was hard to keep track of how many spectators were treated for heat exhaustion.

In 1977, a photo in the Tulsa World captured a greenskeeper spraying water into the gallery to relieve fans cooking under the June sun. 

And in August 1970, for the PGA Championship, Sports Illustrated's Dan Jenkins described this scene

When 10 straight days of over-100-degree heat in Tulsa had left the press — as well as real people — worried about the weather for this tournament, Southern Hills decided to change it. They hauled in 100 tons of air conditioning for the blue-and-white-striped press tent, decorated the posts and ceiling wires with Christmas icicles, placed huge cardboard snowmen outside the entrance doors and ran around serving champagne breakfasts to the literati.

Thankfully, the heat shouldn't be a story this year with the PGA Championship having been moved up to May. The forecast for Tulsa from May 19-22 shows temperatures from 81 to 84 degrees. No triple digits.

The Weird

Hubert Green overcame more than heat in winning the 1977 U.S. Open, he played through a death threat that was called into police in the final round. 

When he walked off the 14th hole, tournament officials told him that a woman called in saying he would be shot on the 15th hole. Green, leading by one, was given the option to stop but he played on, surrounded by police. He parred the 15th hole and would go on to win by one over Lou Graham.

“In the end,” Dan Jenkins wrote in Sports Illustrated, “it could be said that none of the Ben Hogans or Bobby Joneses or Jack Nicklauses had ever won the Open under the very special kind of pressure that Hubert Green did.”