Smaller is better at Muskogee Golf Club.
The former Muskogee Country Club at 2400 N. Country Club Road is only half the size it was one year ago. But, that smaller space packs an all-new look.
Open the doors to a spacious main room, broken up only by a double-sided stone fireplace, surrounded by intimate couches and seats.
At Maxwell’s Irish Pub, club members can gather around a U-shaped bar or perch at tables for two, order drinks and food, then choose from 10 flat-screen TVs to watch favorite teams.
Golfers have a new pro shop and updated locker rooms.
Mike Ross, one of Muskogee Golf Club’s owners, said an eight-month renovation gave the clubhouse “a big facelift — bringing the building out of the 70s.”
Ross was among member-owners who sought a new look and new mission for the club in 2015.
“The building here was built in 1922 or 23,” said Mike Webb, another member-owner. “It had been remodeled in 1970, the year we had the U.S. Women’s Open. That was the last time anything was done to the club.”
Over the years, the clubhouse basement began leaking. Then came other issues.
“It had all kinds of roof problems. It had all kinds of window problems,” Webb said. “We decided to do a complete redo.”
The member-owner group began the full remodel in June. The remodel included demolishing the swimming pool and tennis courts. The acoustical ceiling was taken down. The building went from 19,000 square feet to 8,800 square feet, he said.
Webb said the renovation was designed by longtime Muskogee architect Roger Richter, who worked with Ross, a builder.
Ross said his wife, Jan, worked with Muskogee decorator Donna Thompson “and other ladies in the club” to select colors.
Webb said the fresh new look “surprised all of us.”
“It just looks way more open, so much more efficient,” he said.
“In the old clubhouse, the kitchen was in one end of the building and you had to carry food all the way to the ballroom,” Webb said. “Now, the kitchen is right in one spot.”
Everything is new in the relocated kitchen, he said.
“It’s state of the art, all brand new from top to bottom,” Webb said. “We didn’t keep anything. We had an auction back in July and sold everything off.”
Contractors made sure to stay local throughout the remodeling.
“The really neat thing is that all the furniture you see was all built in Muskogee by Custom Seating,” Webb said. “They did the couches, they did the chairs, they did the bar.”
Ross said the bar is his favorite part of the new look.
“The bar has more of a sports bar feel with all the TVs. People can come up and watch more than one game at a time,” Ross said. “We’ve got 10 TVs in here. Anywhere you’re at, you can watch a game.”
The open space around the double fireplaces could be divided into smaller spaces for meetings, dinner parties, birthday parties, weddings.
“We’re going to have accordion doors extending from the fireplace,” Webb said.
A fire pit and flat screen TV on the deck brings the warmth outdoors.
“It’s nice to be outside,” Ross said. “When it’s a bit cooler, we can light the fire and it’s just a nice atmosphere.”
Muskogee Golf Club also relocated and updated its pro shop.
Wood lockers in the men’s and women’s locker rooms a more modern, elegant feel. New combination locks ensure further protection. Larger showers feature all new tile, Webb said.
“People who were here a year ago see this and are kind of shocked,” Webb said.
However, Muskogee Golf Club still honors its tradition, which goes back more than a century. The club opened a nine-hole golf course in the summer of 1907. In 1924, the course was redesigned by Perry Maxwell, famed for designing Southern Hills in Tulsa and Twin Hills in Oklahoma City.
Maxwell’s Irish Pub is named for the designer, Webb said.
The clubhouse also displays loving cups and trophies, dating back to 1930. Other memorabilia and art hangs on club walls.
Muskogee Golf Club honors its past and looks to its future. Webb said there are plans to build garden homes around where the pool and tennis courts were.