The practice course features 15 bunkers and four different green styles – a Perry Maxwell green, an A.W. Tillinghast green featuring Tillinghast’s signature bunker styles, a pushed-up Donald Ross green and a Seth Raynor green. The greens are Pure Distinction bentgrass, the fairways are Latitude 36 Bermuda, the tees are Zeon Zoysia and Latitude 36, and the rough is Astro Bermudagrass.
The Ransom Course, part of the golf facility for the OU golf teams, takes practice to another level with holes that can be played as a par three, par two or par four from a wide combination of distances and angles. Players can practice their 100 yards or less shots from approaching bunkers and multiple fairway angles around the four greens.
“The key is giving players the ability to practice in a realistic environment and experience real on-course situations,” Davis said. “We designed a course with the highest level of practice variety that is beyond the typical driving range and short game area.”
In 2017, Davis and his team completed the 18-hole Jimmie Austin (OU) Golf Club renovation that brought out the naturalistic attributes of the site in order to embrace original designer Perry Maxwell’s styles and influences. TDA’s Master Plan focused on the golf course, practice facilities, entry road, parking lot and clubhouse to allow the property to be maintained per design intent from a visual, strategic and playability perspective. With the changes to the Jimmie Austin Golf Club and the addition of The Ransom Course, Davis believes that OU will have one of the very best university golf facilities in the country.
“Having played college golf and being part of a National Championship Team here at OU in the 1980’s, I am fortunate to have a unique insight into the college game and how golf teams come together to practice,” he said. “Eliminating any barriers to how a golf course can be set up to mimic what players may find at any golf course around the country, and eliminating any barriers to how they can practice, is what is of value to a college golf program. We are achieving that at Oklahoma.”
The Ransom Course is named in honor of OU alumnus Jerry Ransom who began playing golf as a college student at the Jimmie Austin Golf Course. He is the main project donor and a long-time OU golf program supporter.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association selected the University of Oklahoma as one of the host sites for the 2018 and 2020 Men’s Regional Golf Championships and a 2019 Women’s Golf Regional Championship venue. The University of Oklahoma is the home of the 2017 and 1989 men’s golf NCAA Division I Champions. The OU women’s golf program has won six team conference titles.