Dornick Hills was the first course Perry Maxwell built, and is the course where he tinkered and honed his architectural chops while switching careers to golf design (he was previously in banking). It was his home course as he lived on property and owned the land it's built on, and the design retains a charming, experimental rough-edged character that's been polished out of other courses like Southern Hills and Colonial, as fine as they are, through endless rounds of investment and improvement. Over the decades, Dornick Hills, in the southern part of the state near the Texas border, rarely had the resources to invest in upgrades, so it still feels (and plays) like it might have in the 1920s and 30s. Nevertheless, it remains a fine, extraordinarily distinctive collections of early Maxwell holes on a unique proprety that features one of golf's great holes, the par-5 16th with a green on top of a 40-foot high sheer cliff wall. Tom Doak and his team at Renaissance Golf renovated the course in 2021, clearing brush and trying to imitate the putting contours that Maxwell originally built, though no existing plans remain for what those might have looked like. How close they got will never be known, but their work and the overall setting make Dornick Hills a must-see museum piece for fans of Maxwell and classical era architeicture.
Best in State: Top 5 in state 1979-'83 & 1987-'93, Top 10 in state 1997-'01 & 2005.
2023-'24 ranking: 13th.