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Council Votes To Restore Gus Wortham Golf Course

The historic course will not be converted into a botanical garden.



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Gus Wortham Park is the oldest golf course in Texas.


The Council’s decision comes after much deliberation over whether the course should be renovated or converted into a botanical garden. Located on the East End, the Gus Wortham Golf Course is the oldest in Texas. It’s currently open for public use, and about 28,000 rounds of golf are played there each year.

Councilmember Robert Gallegos represents District I, which houses the golf course. He says it would benefit all Houstonians to preserve the public green space. The golf course is currently managed by the City of Houston, but it has been losing money for several years. Mayor Annise Parker says the renovations could bring an economic benefit to the city.

“It is not about just allowing Gus Wortham to limp along, it is about investing in Gus Wortham,” she said.

The upgrades to the golf course will include the construction of a new community center and clubhouse. Once renovated, it will continue to be operated as a public facility. Steve Timms with the Houston Golf Association says the group will take over managing the course. He says the city has a rich history of golf. In previous years, the Gus Wortham course has hosted such notable players as Howard Hughes. Timms says renovating the facility will draw players from around the world to Houston.

“We certainly think it can be profitable, and with it being profitable, that creates cash flow for us to be able to reinvest into the facility,” Timms said.

So just how much will the renovations to Gus Wortham cost? Timms says it’s premature to disclose the numbers at this point, but the city won’t be picking up the cost. Timms says the Houston Golf Association will soon conduct a feasibility study and create a budget for the project. Then they’ll meet with city officials to organize fundraising efforts for the renovations.

“We’re both in the same business, if you will, and that is to improve our community through assets that are provided for the citizens to use and enjoy,” he said.

Timms says the next step is drafting a contract between the city and the Houston Golf Association that will spell out plans for renovations.


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