George Matson

by Michael Cooper


George Matson is a particularly beloved figure in the Southern Hills community, where he spent fifty five years with the nick name “Golf Shop George.” Matson, originally from Northern Ireland, still carries his distinctive Irish brogue at eighty four. He immigrated to America based on a small taste of the lives of the Yankees he fought alongside in World War II, finding himself in New York City.

“I didn’t like New York,” he professed to me, telling me stories of the crime, color and heightened volume that led him to join an aunt in Oklahoma.

He started at Southern Hills in 1949, and, despite a brief turn in the Korean War as an American solider, spent the next half century earning the love of many a club member. Matson saw six national major championships, rubbed elbows with the likes of Mickey Mantle, Jerry Lewis, and even Maury Povich among many others. He smiles big for his portrait, standing in a room set aside in his apartment for the years of memorabilia he’s amassed.