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A PGA Tour pro’s guide to Tulsa

PGA Tour rookie Michael Boyd won’t be in the field at this week’s PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.

Boyd does, however, have some hometown knowledge about the Tulsa scene, having lived there for 15 years. Boyd, 31, also played college golf at the University of Tulsa. Through the U.S. Bank Championship, Boyd – a frequent blogger for Golfweek.com – has made four of 11 cuts this year and has won $63,150.

Here are a few of Boyd’s recommendations for visitors to Tulsa:

As most of you know, Tulsa is hosting yet another major, the PGA Championship. I have lived here since 1990 (save for two years). I have to admit, I was not excited about a move from Kansas City to Tulsa. But T-Town has grown on me over the years, and I cannot think of a place I would rather live. With cool places to eat and great courses to play, it’s the perfect place to visit, especially during the PGA.

If you are coming in for the tournament and want to have a full day, I have a plan for you.

Start by waking early and heading to Brookside By Day for some breakfast (pick one of two locations: 35th and Peoria or 81st and Harvard), then head out to watch some golf. Pick your favorite player and follow him (I won’t be there, but Bo Van Pelt also calls Tulsa home). Or you could perch yourself behind the fifth green to watch players putt out, then see them tee off at the par-3 sixth. Another good viewing spot is between Nos. 13 and 16. The 13th is a risk/reward par 5, and the 16th (507 yards) will be one of the longest par 4s at a PGA Championship. They run parallel, so you should be able find a place to watch both holes.

After the smoke clears for the day, head over to 51st and Yale. Have a margarita and some enchiladas at Senor Tequila or a slice of “pie” at Mario’s Pizzeria a few doors down.

Be sure to have your clubs, because you can head right next door to LaFortune Park Golf Course’s lighted par-3 layout. The good news at LaFortune is that you rarely will have a shot of more than 160 yards, and at night it’s hard to be embarrassed if you hit one errant.

After the round, head downtown for a drink and some local music at McNellie’s Public House (1st and Elgin). They have more than 200 beers to choose from (try a Choc, it’s made in Oklahoma) and great sweet potato fries.

If it’s golf you seek and know a member at one of the local private clubs then you’re in luck. If not, there are plenty of daily-fee courses to play. LaFortune also has a full 18-hole facility (besides the par-3 course), and is just a few Tiger Woods tee balls from Southern Hills. Farther away are Forest Ridge Golf Club (Broken Arrow) and Cherokee Hills Golf Club (Catoosa). Both are great tests of golf, and Cherokee Hills originally was designed by Perry Maxwell, the architect of Southern Hills. Cherokee Hills recently has undergone some renovations and is in great shape. With a casino next door, it can offer a full day of entertainment.

If it’s fine dining you seek, then I recommend McGill’s (South Yale Avenue). Another short distance from Southern Hills, this quaint little spot has an exceptional wine list
and an array of fine entrées.

Whether you enjoy a full day, a laid-back atmosphere or upscale schmoozing, Tulsa has what you desire. It is easy to see why it has become my kind of town.

• • •

Check out Michael Boyd’s diary of his PGA Tour experiences on and off the course regularly on Golfweek.com.

(Photos courtesy Tulsa Metro Chamber, TulsaPeople Magazine, Cherokee Hills GC and LaFortune.)

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