In 1960, Floyd Farley and Randy Heckenkemper’s vision for the LaFortune Park Golf Course facility’s championship course came to fruition, bringing to life a picturesque design of rolling bermuda-grass fairways unfurling in front of bentgrass greens guarded by bunkers. Heckenkemper recently returned to renovate the links’ water hazards and grassy contours, which contribute to a layout that’s both unique and challenging enough to earn the title of Tulsa’s Best Golf Course from Urban Tulsa Weekly, an award that even Meryl Streep hasn’t won.
The same deciduous trees that shade the championship course’s greens also thrive at LaFortune’s 18-hole executive course, whose shorter fairways save time for postround drinks or lunch at the club’s North Dining Room. Even when the sun is vacationing in the Andromeda galaxy, golfers can still play through the par 3 layout thanks to the course’s ample lighting, which illuminates the streams that split seven fairways and demand strong carries from golfers, and the tricky bentgrass greens, most of which are hemmed by bunkers.
Before embarking on 18-hole outings or whacking balls from one of 80 hitting stations on the driving range, golfers can gear up at the golf shop. Named one of America’s 100 Best Clubfitters by Golf Digest, the shop’s team of experts includes Callaway, Titleist, and Ping specialists and a repair technician with more than two decades of experience in mending putters gnawed on by nervous caddies. To perfect their swings, players can attend lessons run by PGA teaching professionals that rely on a vector launch monitor and V1 digital coaching software to improve students’ form.
Championship Course at a Glance:
Executive Course at a Glance:
Staffed by experienced golfing professionals and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the three laws of golfing robotics, GolfTEC’s motion sensors and high-speed cameras monitor your swing and break down your form on a high-definition video display. GolfTEC’s certified teaching professionals point out your flaws and strengths and coach you on how to permanently improve your game, from tee to green. Sensors chirp with approval whenever you execute a perfect stroke or crack an especially witty golfing joke.
Enjoy stroke after corrective stroke on the range at Tee Town Golf Ranch, where 20 covered hitting stalls stand as the gateway to hole-in-one heaven. Slap a clubface on premium range balls and go for distance or, for increased satisfaction, aim for one of 10 target greens that patchwork the range. Once your power drive is accurate enough to knock decommissioned Soviet satellites out of the sky, finesse your short game by putting across the short-game area's 10,000-square-foot bent grass green, chipping out from an uneven lie, or playing a game of H.O.R.S.E. with a newly acquainted practice partner. Whether golfing in the evening or daytime, both areas are equipped with both brilliant lighting as well as the celestial brilliance of the sun (not available on rainy days).
Your Titleist training begins with a 45-minute evaluation, which includes DVD instruction from Tracy Phillips, a professional golf instructor and—along with Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, and Brian Harmon—a two-time Rolex Junior Player of the Year. Then, a DVD of your swing will be sent to Dr. Tyler Bachman, a licensed chiropractor and Titleist-certified instructor. In a one-hour session, Dr. Bachman will do a full evaluation of your range of motion, core muscle strength, and joint stability to help you help your health healthen the health of your golf swing. Afterward, Dr. Bachman will give you your DVD so you can continue the learning process in the comfort of your own home or little-used cistern. Contact Tracy to set up your first appointment.
One of 41 geographic sections that make up the PGA of America, the South Central PGA promotes enjoyment of golf and involvement in the game as the sport's ambassador to the states of Oklahoma, Arkansas, and much of Kansas. The association, which includes male and female golf professionals as well as a slew of courses, aims to spread the ideals of golf through high standards of professionalism, sportsmanship, integrity, and community involvement. A cornerstone of this mission involves introducing new generations to the sport through Junior Golf programs, which instill admirable attributes in youngsters to prepare them for life's rough patches and stealthy sprinkler heads.
The Randy Heckenkemper–designed layout of South Lakes Golf Course winds its way through seven lakes, resulting in a watery, 6,413-yard wonderland worthy of exploration. The course’s sinuous fairways slink around the lakes at many points, forcing players to aim carefully for the dry bermuda grass. Large bentgrass greens crown each hole, offering a welcome reward for golfers who manage to keep their balls dry or those who require a running start in order to give themselves a jumping high-five. And when the round is done, players can always head back to the clubhouse area to utilize the 13,000-square-foot practice putting green or all-grass driving range.
Course at a Glance: