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By Design


ith a long tradition of

excellence and enjoyment

for its members, Oaks

Country Club wanted to enhance its

position as one of the premier clubs in

Oklahoma, by improving all aspects

of its golf course, while remaining

true to its historical design origins.

Designed in 1921 by A.W. Tillinghast—

the architect of some of the United

States’ best known courses, including

Winged Foot, Baltusrol and the Black

course at Bethpage State Park—the

golf course at Oaks Country Club had

a strong design core that had been

somewhat lost over the years.

In formulating a renovation plan, Bill

Bergin, ASGCA Associate, examined

aerial photography of the course

from the 1950s, base contours of the

original greens, and bunker styles of

many Tillinghast designs.

On the greens, a poorly performing

soil profile was inhibiting root depth

and hindering the health of the turf.

“They were on ‘life support’ for the

past few years,” says Bergin, “and had

reached the point where they had to

be rebuilt.” New putting surfaces were

constructed, modeled on the original

Tillinghast contours.

The number of bunkers on the

course changed little, but previously

they had consistently bracketed

each hole. Bergin introduced more

diversity to the green bunkering, and

seven fairway bunkers now come into

play on par fives and short par fours.

The bunker style of Baltusrol and

Winged Foot was emulated, with a

blend of grass faces and modest sand

flashing for visibility.

Additional spacing between teeing

areas was introduced, increasing

flexibility of the overall yardage of the

course, which can now play from 500

yards shorter to 300 yards longer than

it could before the renovation.

Drainage was also improved, cart

paths were moved out of view in

numerous locations and fairways

were regrassed and restored to their

original widths. The net result is a

course that is playable for all levels of

golfers, with vastly improved strategy

and aesthetic appeal.

Improved practice facilities and a

new ‘pitch and putt’ course, open to

non-golfing ‘social’ members of the

club, providing excellent opportunities

to introduce new players to golf,

helping to grow the game.


Tulsa, Oklahoma

Golf course architect:

Bill Bergin,

ASGCA, Bergin Golf Designs

Project summary:

To restore the

design integrity of its golf course,

Oaks Country Club undertook a

comprehensive renovation that

covered tees, greens and everything

in between, as well as new facilities to

help grow the game.

Oaks CC

Growing the game

Comprehensive renovation helps attract golfers