Myers resigns as Southern Hills superintendent, takes post with Gil Hanse, Jim Wagner

Like and Follow Golf Oklahoma

By Ken MacLeod

Russ Myers has resigned as superintendent at Southern Hills Country Club to take a position with the firm of golf course architects Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner.

Myers, 51, had been at Southern Hills since 2016 and groomed the club through the 2021 Senior PGA Championship and the 2022 PGA Championship, as well as working closely with Hanse and Wagner during the 2018-19 complete restoration of Southern Hills.  He previously was at Southern Hills from 2006-09 and led the preparations for the 2007 PGA Championship and the 2009 U.S. Amateur Championship.

From 2009-15 Myers was the superintendent at Los Angeles Country Club which just hosted the 2023 U.S. Open on its North Course. Myers worked closely with Hanse, Wagner and Geoff Shackelford on the restoration of that course.

One of the most respected superintendents in the country, Myers said he felt the time was right for a change in direction and the opportunity to work with Hanse and Wagner on new courses and restorations while being able to do some of it from his home in Tulsa.

“I can’t say enough good things about my time at Southern Hills, they gave me every opportunity and everything I ever needed to do the job correctly,” Myers said. “Being a superintendent is a demanding job and one I’ve been doing in some fashion since 1988. I thought it was time to retire as a superintendent and do something a little different. I’m looking forward to this opportunity with Gil.”

Southern Hills General Manager Nick Sidorakis, who is retiring at the end of 2023, said it was a blow to the club to lose Myers, but a national search had already begun for his replacement.

“I hate to lose one of the best superintendents in the country but I’m happy for Russ,” Sidorakis said. “It’s a neat opportunity for him to do something that he’s passionate about.”

The results that Myers produced were there for club members to see on a daily basis and the world to see at the various major championships. What made him so good at his job?

“It’s just attention to detail,” Sidorakis said. “He always knew based on what he was going to do agronomically what the results would be.  He’s a deep thinker, extremely intelligent and just one of the best in the industry. Each year he’s only gotten better and he’s also a great person and a dear friend.”

Sidorakis pointed to two of Myers efforts that have had an enormous positive effect on conditions at Southern Hills. One is the hydronics system providing cooling (or warming) water to the root system of every green. The other is the initiative to utilize more caddies and more walking with push carts and limit cart traffic particularly in the dormant seasons.

Myers said he starts work with Hanse in October and his end date at Southern Hills was yet to be determined.

Hanse, who has projects lined up through 2026, said he was thrilled to add Myers to his team.

“We obviously have the utmost respect for Russ and his abilities,” Hanse said. “It’s no secret that Jim and I are very busy and we wanted to bring on someone who can take on some of that workload and provide expertise in all areas.

“Russ will be very active in planning of projects from a construction and agronomic standpoint. When we go to a new project it will have been thoroughly researched and prepared from grass selection, greens mix, sand selection, how to attack the unique elements of different sites. And as time goes on I’m sure he’ll be able to contribute on the design side as well.

“We’ve worked with Russ on two big projects and known him now for 15 years. His thirst and passion for knowledge, willingness to be creative and consider a lot of options to solve issues and get things right are what Jim and I really respect and have built our business on. Sometimes the answer is not the obvious one and he’s incredible in finding out what that answer is.”



Facebook Comments
Receive Our eNews!

No spam guarantee.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

Ken MacLeod

Publisher Golf Oklahoma | Oklahoma's No. 1 Golf Source