Memorial Park’s Golf Course Reopens After Renovation For PGA Tour

The Houston Astros Foundation is paying for the renovation. The first phase has been completed and the total project is budgeted at more than $30 million.

The first phase of the renovation of Memorial Park’s golf course is complete, advancing the project toward becoming a PGA certified course and hosting the Houston Open in the fall of 2020.

The Houston Astros Foundation is paying for the renovation, with the initial phase costing $18.5 million. The total project is budgeted at more than $30 million, according to the City of Houston.

Astros owner Jim Crane attended a ribbon-cutting event Monday and highlighted the cooperation between the Astros Foundation and the city, which owns Memorial Park.

“This golf course will not only be an incredible home for the Houston Open, but for all Houstonians for years to come,” Crane said.

Renowned golf course architect Tom Doak designed the new course. It includes a two-tiered 84-bay driving range and a new maintenance facility.

Another important element of the project is a sand cap layer installed under the new grass.

“It can have a rain event and within six to eight hours afterwards the rain will slip down in the sand cap and you will be able to come back and play on the golf course,” said Steve Wright, director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

“We cleaned up a lot of the underbrush,” Wright added, “a lot of the invasive trees and species that we had out to allow better airflow.”

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner highlighted the importance of Memorial Park hosting the PGA tournament next year, which hasn’t happened within the city limits since 1963. “If you want to be a top tier city, then you have to provide the top tier amenities,” Turner said.

The city estimates the economic impact of the Houston Open could be anywhere between $50 million to $90 million.

Wright said his department doesn’t plan to increase golf course fees at Memorial Park.

City officials say they’re also developing a scholarship program for young players who can’t afford the greens fees.

The second phase of the project is scheduled to begin in December, with a goal to complete all construction before the Houston Open next fall.