The rich heritage of the grounds of the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club dates back to the mid-1940's, when the land was home to a U.S. Navy recreational facility. Situated on what was once called "South Base," the facility served as an annex to the Norman Naval Air Station, currently the Max Westheimer University of Oklahoma Airport, Norman OK. In 1949, in coordination with the Navy and with the leadership of OU President George Lynn Cross, construction began on the OU Golf Course. At that time, famous golf course architect and native Oklahoman Perry Maxwell was commissioned to build the project, and in January 1951 the course opened for play.
In 1996, thanks to the generous contributions from OU supporters, and especially that of namesake Jimmie Austin, an extensive renovation of the course was completed. World-renowned golf course architect Robert Cupp was chosen for the redesign, which remained true to features envisioned by Maxwell nearly 50 years earlier.
Jimmie Austin was an oil and gas drilling contractor and independent producer from Seminole, Okla. At the urging of his sons, he learned to play golf in his late 40s. He loved the game but he also loved the many friendships he made from playing golf. Both of his sons, who attended OU, have been devoted golfers since high school. His three grandsons and one granddaughter have been golfers since they could swing a club.
Jimmie and his wife Marie, who passed away in 2004, loved the university and were very proud to provide the lead gift for the OU golf course renovation. Son Paul D. Austin was an OU regent from 2000 to 2007, serving as chairman at the end of his tenure. He was also a founding member and longtime president of the OU Men’s Golf Chip In Club. Son Jimmie Lynn Austin has been a member and chairman of the Golf Coordinating Committee for the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club for more than 17 years.
Jimmie was excited when it was announced that the 2009 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship would be held at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2007 at the age of 90, two years before the event. Paul and Jimmie Lynn honored their parents by providing a matching gift through the Jimmie and Marie Austin Foundation to support the USGA’s 2009 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.
Today, the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club continues to reflect the level of excellence for which the University of Oklahoma is well known. In recognition of this excellence, the course has played host to the 1997 Oklahoma State Amateur and NCAA Men's Regional, the Big 12 Women’s Championship in 1998 and 2010, 2012 NCAA Men's Regional, 2013 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship and most notably the Men's 2009 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.
In 2010 a master plan was created with renovations beginning in 2012. It started with the tee renovations, new on course restaurant (the Heatly House) and new turf care maintenance facility. Following the 2013 USGA Women's Public Links Championship we started full renovation of all the fairway and greenside bunkers as well as the green surrounds. In 2015 the Jimmie Austin Golf Club and the University of Oklahoma was awarded host site to the 2018 NCAA Men's Regional. This along with a major gift from Jerry Ransom put completing the master plan a high priority and in 2016 work began on the following: new Jerry Ransom Short Course, 6 new greens, 5 new fairways, new underground water storage facility, new practice tee, new practice green, new target greens, new entrance drive, new parking lot, renovated Everest Pavilion and new Michael A Cawley Golf Training Center.
The expectation of excellence is in very fabric of this University and this golf course is no exception. The club has greatly improved and the business plan must coincide with its excellence. Our mission and hope is to provide first class products, service, and facilities to be used by all university teams, colleges, and departments. We are The University of Oklahoma's Golf Club, here for the general betterment of the University and all it's factions, here to serve.