I haven’t spent a whole lot of time in Tulsa, but the few days I was there I most certainly remember. It was the 2007 PGA Championship at Southern Hills when Tiger won. One of the most memorable experiences of my golfing life was watching the greatest player of our generation shoot 63 in the third round on Saturday. At the time, he tied the lowest score in major championship history.
All that being said, I haven’t played golf in Tulsa myself. A lot of our Golfer’s Authority readers have though. And they were all too eager to share their thoughts about the best public golf in their city. I was more than happy to be their voice.
MeadowBrook Country Club
MadowBrook is one of the finer country clubs in Tulsa. Being a member here is pretty special. The cool thing is that the course is open to the public each day of the week during certain times as well.
MeadowBrook was designed by Press Maxwell and is a traditional layout. Fairways are lined by mature oak trees and move in both directions from the tee to the green. Both keeping the ball in play and having the ability to hit different shots are a must.
The greens are perfectly manicured and known for being some of the quickest in town. Ask anyone that’s played here, and they’ll tell you being above the hole is the kiss of death.
It comes as little surprise that MeadowBrook has played host to prestigious events like the Oklahoma State Amateur and Oklahoma Senior Stroke Play Championship. You need to come see this place for yourself.
Battle Creek Golf Course
Just 15 minutes from downtown Tulsa in the community of Broken Arrow you’ll find Battle Creek Golf Course.
The course utilizes the “Greenway Preferred Turf Program”. The result is firm, fast playing conditions all year round. Locals say it’s consistently one of the best kept tracks in the area.
The layout is linksy. The fairways are wide open and mounding and penal bunkers are found throughout. While you can play aggressively from the tee, course management is key.
Owned and operated by the city of Tulsa, Battle Creek is a shining example of what a great golf course can do for the community.
The Canyons at Blackjack Ridge
When I first heard about the Canyons at Blackjack Ridge, I had to find out more. What a cool name for a golf course!
Tucked away in the rolling hills north of Sand Springs, this is one of the premier facilities in the greater Tulsa area.
The course isn’t long at all by modern standards. It measures just a shade over 6,100 yards from the back tees. However, it’s alive with character and nuance that keeps you on your toes for the entire round.
If you find the fairway, you’ll be left with some short clubs for your approach shots. Birdies can be made. Should you venture too far offline though, making par becomes a tough proposition.
After your round, stick around for a beverage and meal in the Grill. The menu is locally inspired and the prices hard to beat.
A great value and most fun round of golf are waiting at Blackjack Ridge.
Forest Ridge Golf Club
Broken Arrow is where you’ll find Forest Ridge Golf Club. This is a semi-private facility that sets aside tee times for the public every day.
With that said, the staff here pride themselves on making everyone that walks through the door feel like a member. No detail is overlooked.
The course was designed by Oklahoma native Randy Heckenkemper. It opened in 1989. Ever since then, locals have considered a round here to be one of the most coveted in the area.
Playing conditions are outstanding and you’re asked to hit every club in your bag. From the back tees, this is a stern test. There are plenty of tee options to suit any golfer though.
Aside from great golf, the amenities at Forest Ridge are world-class. The food is particularly noteworthy and shouldn’t be missed.
Not the cheapest round of golf, but one you’ll certainly want to play when you’re in town.
Stone Creek Course at Page Belcher
The city of Tulsa owns and operates a number of daily fee facilities. Stone Creek is said to be the best.
A modern design, this course was voted one of “America’s Top 50 Public Courses” the first year it opened. That’s some lofty praise.
The features here are large and visible. Sight lines from the tees and into the greens are well-defined. There’s no questioning where you’re supposed to hit it.
The greens are large and undulating as well. Getting around without any three-putts is a job well done.
We have to mention the scenery too. Vistas of the surrounding countryside and city skyline make for a most pleasant experience.
One of the more challenging tracks in the area, choose the appropriate set of tees for the most enjoyment.
Old Page Course at Page Belcher
If an older, more traditional layout is your cup of tea, the Old Page Course at Page Belcher is calling your name.
Having opened in 1977, this course is what you’d expect. The fairways are narrow and lined by trees. Accuracy and precision get you a lot further than length.
The shot values into small greens are second to none. The greens are well protected by water hazards and bunkers.
This is quintessential American golf. Good shots are rewarded, and poor shots penalized.
A quality round at a reasonable price, Old Page is a great choice for a round.
Woodbine Course at Mohawk Park
Another city-run facility with a rich history is Woodbine at Mohawk Park. The course dates back to the late 1920’s.
Unlike a lot of older golf courses, Woodbine has wide fairways. You can hit driver here comfortably.
The greens are larger than you might expect too. Hole locations can be tricky so make sure you leave your approach shots in the right spot.
Water does come into play on a number of holes. Plan your strategy accordingly.
The perfect blend of old and new, Woodbine has stood the test of time.
Pecan Valley Course at Mohawk Park
The Pecan Valley Course at Mohawk is an oldie but a goodie. It doesn’t date quite as far back as the Woodbine Course, but the 1950’s design speaks to its era.
This course has the features you’d expect of a layout its age. The fairways are narrow, and you need to be able to hit different shots to get the ball in play. There are more trees than you can count here, so hit it straight.
Water is another prominent feature. If it’s your first time playing here, locals suggest bringing an extra sleeve of balls just in case.
A true thinking man’s course that will challenge your mind as much as your physical skills, Pecan Valley is a great barometer for your game.
South Lakes Golf Course
The suburb of Jenks is home to South Lakes Golf Course. This is a great spot to come if you want a relaxing, fun round of golf where you have a chance to shoot a good score.
The course isn’t long and is somewhat forgiving from tee to green. With that being said, hazards and bunkers do come into play, so don’t think you can hit it just anywhere.
South Lakes gets a lot of play. No one is going to deny that. However, the course conditions are superb, and pace of play moves right along. For the fastest rounds, try playing early in the morning or during the week.
Fun, affordable, and friendly. Those are the words our readers used to describe South Lakes.
LaFortune Park Golf Course
There are two courses at LaFortune Park.
The Championship Course has been a staple in the Tulsa rota since 1960. True to the area, this is yet another traditional shot maker’s course. Quality full shots are required off the tee and into the greens. If you can execute this part of the equation, it’ll be reflected on the scorecard.
If you’re looking for something a little more casual, the par three course is kick in the pants. Even better, you can play here after dark. Stadium lighting gives you plenty of visibility and makes for a unique experience.
Both courses are in tip-top shape and a treat to play. The experience at LaFortune Park is a complete one.
To this day, Tiger’s performance in the third round of the 2007 PGA Championship stands out in my mind as one of the greatest I’ve ever seen.
What I’ve come to realize though, is that the golf scene in Tulsa is vibrant. There are plenty of quality public courses to choose from. Most of them are quite affordable too.
I want to extend a warm thanks to all our Tulsa readers that made this article possible. You’re clearly a passionate bunch and it’s not hard to see why.
If you have your own thoughts you’d like to share about public golf in Tulsa, please let us know in the comments below.