Memorial Park Golf Course - Humble Beginnings to Houston's Best

Memorial ParkIn 1923 the Memorial Park Golf Course was a homely nine-hole track built convenient to Camp Logan, a World War I-era training site. It was created to provide soldiers who were on the mend with a leisurely recreational pursuit.

From those humble beginnings, Memorial Park evolved into an illustrious 18-hole golf course, which it’s been since 1936. The course’s original architect John Bredemus, who is also responsible for a number of private facilities from Victoria to San Angelo, called Memorial Park the best course he’d ever built.

Through the years Bredemus’ claim has been backed up, as Memorial Park has hosted some of the world’s greatest golfers including Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Cary Middlecoff and Jack Burke Jr., during its run as host of what is known today as the Shell Houston Open from 1951-63.

The crown jewel of Houston’s Parks and Recreation department has also been consistently lauded as one of the nation’s most outstanding municipal golf facilities.

Recently Golfweek magazine released the latest edition of its state-by-state public-access course rankings, and Memorial Park was listed among the Top 10 courses in Texas. Even more impressive, the historic layout ranks as the No. 1 public course in the city of Houston.

Leading up to the 2009 U.S. Open, hosted by New York’s magnificent muni Bethpage Black, Golfweek also released its first-ever list of the nation’s best municipal courses, and Memorial Park made the cut at No. 8. Just ahead of Memorial Park were past and future U.S. Open venues such as Torrey Pines South and Chambers Bay, and as a testament to the quality of Houston’s top public-access facility, well-known layouts like San Francisco’s Harding Park, host of this year’s President’s Cup, and Torrey Pines North, didn’t even crack the Top 10.

Memorial Park’s sterling reputation can be attributed to a number of factors including its accessibility, location, topography and tradition. Situated just west of downtown inside of the West Loop 610, Memorial Park is a leafy green sanctuary smack in the middle of industry, commerce centers and skyscrapers. And when compared to a significant number of wide-open resort-style courses in the Houston area, Memorial Park’s setting consisting of large billowing live oaks and considerable brush is a stark contrast.

Memorial ParkEach year tens of thousands of golfers heed the call to play Houston’s must-play course and head out to Memorial Park. Even with such a high volume of rounds played annually, the course remains in great shape yearround and the greens roll smooth and pure. While Memorial Park Golf Course is a very public course, it does take a little bit of luck to obtain a tee time. The most popular method of getting on the course is through a tee time lottery system that allocates starting times through an automated drawing which closes at 6 a.m. each morning. Golfers can visit www.memorialparkgolf.com or call (713) 559-2000 no later than 6 a.m. three days prior to when they’d like to play to enter the lottery.

If you’re planning a trip to the Houston area and want to experience Memorial Park, a smaller portion of “Premium Tee Times” can be reserved up to two months before the day you would like to play for a fee of $15.00.

The recently improved driving range is now open seven days a week, including Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (last call for golf balls). A new shade structure has made it more bearable to hit balls during afternoon hours and an upgraded lighting system makes it easier to track the flight of your ball after dark. In addition to the championship golf course and practice range, Memorial Park has a fully-stocked pro shop, chipping and putting greens ideal for pre- or post-round practice and offers lessons for beginners to advanced players taught by an experienced staff of teaching professionals.

For more information on tee times, hours of operation Memorial Park Golf Course and course policies, please visit www.memorialparkgolf.com or call (713) 862-4033.

 

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