There’s a calm before the storm as two golf pros, separated by a few hundred yards handle the twilight rush Thursday evening, gearing up for their annual clash — a two day, 36-hole tournament called the Maxie Cup.
This year, 26 of the best golfers from Dornick Hills Golf and Country Club tee-off against 26 of the best from Lakeview Golf Course, starting at noon Friday from Lakeview.
“You get all the best golfers in town playing each other.” Doug Hargis, head teaching pro at Lakeview said. “It’ll be a great weekend.”
Like the Red River, North Commerce street represents a great divide.
The street separates Dornick Hills, a golf course steeped in prestige and history from Lakeview Golf Course, a municipal track with more humble beginnings.
The entrance to Lakeview is flanked by a trailer park, with rows of double-wides and RV’s looking out onto the wide-open fairways of the course set along the West side of Commerce.
A well-hit seven iron to the East takes you into the manicured lawns and opulent estates perched around Dornick Hills, a course designed by Perry Maxwell, “The father of Oklahoma golf.”
Despite the differences, the pros, weekend warriors and members from each course have maintained a healthy friendship united by a love for the game they share.
But once a year, friendship is set aside for healthy rivalry and fierce competition at the Maxie Cup.
Hargis has been around for most of the years of the annual clash. It’s had several different names and formats in its history, but he said the tournament started around the late 90s.
The course on the West side has kept its grip on the Maxie Cup trophy for so long that Dornick Hills head teaching pro Derek Claborn didn’t realize there’s was a trophy to win.
“I guess it’s been that long since they won, huh,” Hargis jabbed with a smile.
There’s been some trash talk over the years, but it’s all in good fun, Hargis said.
“It seems like the Lakeview guys have a little chip on their shoulders,” Claborn said. “They really want to beat us. That’s what makes it fun, it’s a rivalry.”
Hargis said it’s an event he looks forward to that brings golfers together. But once the teams don their respective team uniforms, it’s all-business come tee-time.
“Everybody wants to win, that’s for sure,” He said. ”Our guys take it serious. They don’t like to lose.”
The Club Championship determines who competes and represents each of the clubs. The event will feature six female golfers, 10 seniors and 10 men from each course.
This year, Tyler Neher, won the Lakeview Club Championship and will face off against fellow Plainview All-Stater and State-Runner up teammate Saxon Ross who will represent Dornick Hills.
They won’t be paired together Friday but could be vying for crucial points once the pairings are announced Saturday morning.
The showcase of the best golf in Ardmore has gone Lakeview’s way recently. But for as long as Hargis can remember, Dornick Hills has dominated the women’s side of the tournament.
For the Big Trophy though, Hargis said the tournament comes down to the final stretch, with big putts on Saturday afternoon determining the winner.
“We like it to be competitive.” he said. “We try to pair the best with the best on each side. The margins are always close. It makes for an interesting Saturday.”
The event will tee off at Lakeview Golf Course at noon, with two-player teams playing best-ball match play. On Saturday the golfers will cross the street to play the final round at Dornick Hills for singles match play, a change in format that Hargis said could be a game-changer.
“Our seniors do well, our women usually win, but I think we have a good chance this year,” Claborn said. “Historically, our better men haven’t played for whatever reason, but they’ll be playing this year. It should be a competitive tournament.”