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Pawhuska golf course turns 100 years old

Mel Core

The Pawhuska Golf Course was built on land owned by Rosa Pearson, Osage Allottee No. 1675. Back in the last century -- the year 1919 -- a group of citizens of Pawhuska met and decided they wanted to have a golf course in the community. They agreed to work voluntarily to help build the course. They selected the land belonging to Rosa Pearson, and she lived on the property in a nice house that had a porch that covered one-half of the area around the house.

The chairman asked Rosa if she would be willing to have a golf course on her property and she enthusiastically agreed. The work on the land began in 1919, by removing all the loose sandstone and debris. The sandstone was hauled on a horse drawn wagon to the unloading area, which is an unused area of the course. When the cleanup was completed, the committee contacted Mr. Perry Maxwell to design the course. Mr. Maxwell also designed the Southern Hills course, as well as many others. Some are used for Professional Golfers' Association of America (PGA) tournaments.

After the course had been laid out, construction of the greens and tee boxes began. The greens then, as well as at many other courses, were made to hold only sand. This type of green was used on the course until the late 1950s, when they were converted to grass greens.

For your further information, the golf course management decided to build a swimming pool. The pool, with money borrowed from a bank, was completed in 1925. But the financial crash in 1929 also affected the golf course and pool.

In 1930, the bank foreclosed on the golf course area and auctioned off the property to the highest bidder. When the bidding was completed, Rosa Pearson asked the high bidder what he intended to do with the land and he said, "I’m going to run cattle on it." Rosa said, “No you’re not.” She took back the land as she still owned it and declared in the deed that the land would remain a golf course for all time.

For your information, the Pawhuska golf course became 100 years old this year. It is hoped that another group of Pawhuska citizens will form a committee to keep the course carefully maintained into the next century.