These Walls: Southern Hills Country Club Clubhouse in Tulsa

By Davis, KirLee | THE JOURNAL RECORD, May 3, 2013 | Go to article overview

These Walls: Southern Hills Country Club Clubhouse in Tulsa


Davis, KirLee, THE JOURNAL RECORD


After 18 years as only the sixth general manager to serve Southern Hills Country Club, Nick Sidorakis still gets a kick out of showing off the beloved grounds.

With more than 160,000 square feet under various roofs, the 78- year-old campus offers plenty of scenic or historic vantage points, which Sidorakis relates with zeal even when saddled with crutches due to recent hip surgery.

He enjoys detailing the many expansions and alterations brought by the three-year renovation that prepped Southern Hills for its 2007 PGA Championship.

He takes pride sharing the efficiencies and resources at work in the club's quiet operation, all by a staff that can swell more than 300 in the summer.

He speaks with awe of photographs, clubs and other mementos capturing moments with Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, original Southern Hills clubhouse manager Cheddy Martin and others past and present.

Through it all, visitors gain intimate insights on how such a natural treasure thrives in the shade of more than 4,000 south Tulsa trees.

Some clubhouse areas, like the lounge and living room, reveal the original splendor architects Donald McCormick and John Duncan Forsyth bestowed on the then 18,000-square-foot manor in 1936.

"The only thing that's changed is the furnishings," said Sidorakis, noting antiques dating back to the 1970s. "We have some pieces that are probably as old as me."

Some fixtures still demonstrate Southern Hills' wonderful originality, like the marble-lined men's showers with spouts obtained from an Oklahoma prison.

"The showerhead feels like you're going through a waterfall," he said. "There's no other locker room like this in the country."

Other clubhouse elements relate all-new character, like the former ladies locker room that now serves as a cozy wine room, the sheltered banquet entrance and the glorious Tulsa views from the repositioned restaurant and women's lounge.

The reception area and ballroom show off their traditional European styles while touting modern amenities. Like the many restaurants within the clubhouse, their services draw on an extensive kitchen staff Sidorakis rattles off by their first names. …

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