There are golf courses, and then there are elite, world-renowned country clubs. What sets them apart most often: real estate, luxury, aesthetics and playing surface.

The playing surface: it’s a point of distinction rarely appreciated outside the exclusive culture of golf. Groomed, nourished, perfected; it’s tough to improve so mature an art form. Yet, the managers and groundskeepers at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma, have raised the bar.

Founded in 1936, SHCC is a private, member-owned course. It’s recognized among the top 100 courses in the world and has been host to 15 major championships since 1946, including the PGA Championship – four times.