The tribe spent $3.6 million to purchase the 160-acre Oklahoma property, which was built in 1920 on land that belonged to the Nation before it was sold to club developers.
The Muscogee Creek Nation approved the purchase of Okmulgee (Okla.) Country Club on May 10 for $3.6 million, a Tulsa television station, KJRH Channel 2, has reported on its website. The club purchase marks the third property the tribe has bought recently. Last month, the tribe purchased Jenks Riverwalk, a tourist attraction in suburban Tulsa, after previously acquiring Fountain Head Resort in Eufaula, Okla.
George Tiger, Chief of the Nation, authorized the legislation that bought the 160-acre club.
“Number one, it can provide jobs,” Tiger said. “When we asked for support from the National Council for funding this purchase, we were talking about diversifying our economic development—doing more than what we do in gaming and smoke shops.”
Okmulgee was built in 1920 and remained private until 2005, when Mark Dobbs purchased the property. The land the club is built on, Dobbs said, originally belonged to the Muscogee tribe before it was sold to club developers.
“Ben Hogan played here. Other champions played here,” Dobbs said. “They would come here before the Masters and tweak their game.
“I am a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation,” he added. “So in a way, it still feels like the property is staying in the family. Obviously it needs to be renovated. With the Nation’s resources and ability to bring in good management, I know they will do something great with this place.”
Tiger said that when he was young, he was not allowed into the club due to the color of his skin. He said the golf course and club will remain open until the tribe decides what to do with the property.
“We are looking at some point, maybe in some areas of this property, that we may put up new veteran housing,” said Tiger. “That is badly needed.
“This building and this property has a lot of history,” he added. “As Indian people, we take a lot of pride in history. A lot of the materials that were used to make this building came off of this land. We should protect what resources the land provides. And this building is a good example of that.”
Tiger said the tribe will begin working on the project immediately.