The PGA Championship has returned to Southern Hills for the fifth time. It is the only course to host five PGA Championships.
PGA Director Bryan Karns said they know hosting such a large event can bring pros and cons to a city, but they are grateful to be welcomed back to Southern Hills Country Club for the fifth time.
Karns said his team is aware the traffic and crowding can be overwhelming at times, but he says on the flip side, the $143 million economic impact is beneficial for everyone.
Leaders say one reason they keep coming back, is because Southern Hills has proven to be a challenging course even for the world's best golfers. The course is not the same as it was back in 2007 when the PGA Championship was last here. A massive course redesign has brought a challenge to both returning and new players.
Another reason Karns said they keep coming back is that the chosen club has to agree to give up their course to the PGA for several weeks or even months. During setup, no club members can play a round of golf or be on much on the grounds. The PGA crews have been in the club getting the grounds ready since early in 2022.
Officials say Southern Hills members have always been gracious about giving them the time and space they need for the event.
“We’ve got to have a venue the world’s greatest golfers will be challenged by,” Karns said. “The players who have already had practice rounds are in love with it, the older players from ‘07 and ‘94 they’re excited to come back and play the redesign.”
Karns says so far it's been a great turnout for this week's practice rounds as people try to get the one-on-one intersections with players that make the event so special.
“What’s really great about the practice rounds is you have the lighter crowds for people who don’t want to be out with the masses, they can walk freely, the players are much more engaging, they sign autographs, chat with fans, really once they get to Thursday they are pretty much locked in,” Karns said.
Wednesday is the last day for practice rounds.
Tickets are still available on the PGA website at PGAChampionship.com/Tickets.