For the last few years, Southern Hills Country Club has known it was going to host a PGA Championship, but the dates were left open on purpose. Recently, it was announced that Southern Hills would host the 2030 edition of the major, but that got an eight-year bump on Monday when the PGA announced that it would host the 2022 PGA Championship there instead.
The PGA of America announced Monday that Southern Hills would be the home of the relocated event, which was moved out of its original hosting site at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey. The 2030 PGA Championship is now up for grabs.
In January, following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol while Donald Trump was still President of the United States, the PGA took its major away from his club with no established plan for where it would be hosted.
After deliberating for a few weeks with several courses apparently in the mix, the May 2022 event will officially be played at Southern Hills, which will host a major championship for the eighth time and a PGA Championship for the fifth. Previous major winners at Southern Hills include Raymond Floyd, Retief Goosen and Tiger Woods, who won the 2007 PGA Championship last time it was played there.
This time around, since the tournament moved from August to May, players won't have to battle oppressive heat. Tulsa will fit in nicely with the next several PGA Championship venues.
- 2021: Kiawah Island
- 2022: Southern Hills
- 2023: Oak Hill
- 2024: Valhalla
- 2025: Quail Hollow
- 2026: Aronimink
- 2027: PGA Frisco
- 2028: Olympic Club
- 2029: Baltusrol
- 2030: TBD
- 2031: Congressional
That's right, the PGA is planned out until 2031 (!), which is the year Tiger turns 56. Regardless, it's a nice run of tracks, and Southern Hills was a safe, logical choice for the PGA of America to fall back on following the removal of the event from Trump's course.
"It has become clear that conducting the PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster would be detrimental to the PGA of America brand and would put at risk the PGA's ability to deliver our many programs and sustain the longevity of our mission," said PGA president Jim Richerson two weeks ago. "Our board has thus made the decision to exercise to terminate the contract to hold the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster. It was a decision made to ensure that the PGA of America and PGA professionals can continue to lead and grow our game for decades to come."
Southern Hills recently underwent an extensive restoration by architect Gil Hanse, and the visuals are stunning. It's going to be a much different track than it was back in 2007.
Crafting these exterior [green] contours was a task that suited both of Hanse's main goals. It was undoubtedly restorative: the green complexes now look like Maxwell's originals. At the same time, their restored edges strengthen the championship defenses of the course. The repelling surrounds at Southern Hills, like those at Pinehurst No. 2, will place a premium on the angle, shape, trajectory, and accuracy of approach shots. They will give the pros fits.
The return of the PGA Championship to Southern Hills after a 15-year absence is exciting and should make for a tremendous second major of 2022. The move to May and the course renovation will likely provide a better and more complete major championship experience for fans and players alike. The PGA had plenty of options for next May's event, but ultimately they went back to a venue they know well even if the course is going to look a lot different than it did last time around.