MEMORIAL PARK GOLF COURSE
In 2019, the Astros Golf Foundation pledged to refurbish Memorial Park Golf Course to make it a world-class playing field for all Houstonians. With the renovations, the Astros Golf Foundation ushered in the return of the PGA TOUR's Houston Open to Memorial Park for the first time since 1963. Now, Memorial Park Golf Course is known as one of the best municipal courses in the nation and is visited by more than 60,000 patrons each year.
To make sure the renovations were top of the line, the Astros Golf Foundation enlisted world-renowned golf course architect, Tom Doak to design the course. With help from four-time major winner Brooks Koepka serving as the PGA TOUR player consultant and Don Mahaffey, president of Greenscape Methods, overseeing construction, Doak rose to the challenge of creating a municipal golf course that could be played by both professionals and the general public alike.
One of the most intriguing features of the course is the state-of-the-art storm water irrigation system that was designed to capture and retain 80 million gallons of storm water for irrigation purposes removing the golf course's irrigation from the city's potable water system. The grounds also house a two-tiered 84-bay hitting structure, a new maintenance facility, and additional parking.
HOLE 1 - PAR 4 - 522 YARDS
The starting hole for Houston Open professionals is a Par 4 dog left left with quite a large fairway that slopes from right to left. An aggressive line brings in the trees on your second shot, and leaving it out right will bring in the bunker that protects the right side of the green.
HOLE 2 - PAR 3 - 167 YARDS
The first Par 3 at Memorial Park Golf Course is a short, but difficult hole. This green has a large slope falling from left to right, back to front, catching any ball that lands in the front half of the green. Going long or left gives you an extremely difficult up and down for par.
HOLE 3 - PAR 5 - 587 YARDS
The 3rd hole is a reachable Par 5 for amateurs and pros alike. This dog leg left has a bunker on the left side of the fairway, forcing players down the right in order to go for it in two. A poor second shot will bring the bunker into play, which sits 25 yards out from the green and creates a difficult up and down.
HOLE 4 - PAR 4 - 490 YARDS
Hole 4 features one of the most important tee shots at Memorial Park Golf Course. From the tee box, it looks like a dog leg left, however, the fairway bends back to the right as you approach the green, creating a very interesting look. When hitting your approach, be cautious of going long, as there is a creek that lines the back of the green.
HOLE 5 - PAR 4 - 440 YARDS
This short Par 4 has a narrow fairway that causes players to club down off the tee. With a bunker protecting the front of the green, players will have to hit a high-lofted shot to get close to the hole.
HOLE 6 - PAR 4 - 443 YARDS
The fairway on this hole bends from right to left with thick trees lining the left side. The right side of the fairway is wide open and gives players a perfect angle for an approach shot. This green has a large false front that funnels into a collection area, as well as a ravine long and left. Right is the way to go with all shots on this hole.
HOLE 7 - PAR 3 - 216 YARDS
Hole 7 is a long Par 3 that is tucked up against the trees and ravine. Depending on where the pin is located, players can land a ball on the front or run one down the slope that splits the green into two tiers. The right side of this green is the safe and favorable side.
HOLE 8 - PAR 5 - 625 YARDS
The longest Par 5 on the course, Hole 8 requires precise shots to maneuver the fairway and reach the green without any issues. The fairway starts with a dog leg right off the tee and then bends back left as you approach the green, bringing out-of-bounds areas into play. On the left edge of the green, a creek can come into play causing a player to favor the right side.
HOLE 9 - PAR 3 - 202 YARDS
The final hole on the front nine is a shorter Par 3 with a sloped green. This hole can be very challenging depending on where the pin is located. With bunkers on the left, and a false front that runs into a creek, going long is your only safe miss.
HOLE 10 - PAR 4 - 456 YARDS
To start off the back nine, the 10th hole is a dead straight Par 4. A clamshell feature protrudes into the fairway about 300 yards from the tee, which creates an awkward landing area on the right side. However, because of a large bunker in front of the green, approaches from the left side of the fairway can be very difficult.
HOLE 11 - PAR 3 - 237 YARDS
Stuffed between two long Par 4 holes, there is no breathing room when starting the back nine. The 11th hole is the longest Par 3 on the course, but also has one of the largest greens. With a bunker protecting the right side of the green, players must favor the left side and use the slope if the green to their advantage.
HOLE 12 - PAR 4 - 496 YARDS
This long, straight Par 4 features two prominent oak trees that sit 30 yards short of the green. Players must keep their drives down the middle of the fairway in order to avoid these large obstacles on their approach shots.
HOLE 13 - PAR 4 - 406 YARDS
The 13th hole out at Memorial Park Golf Course can be set up as a drivable Par 4 or a more conventional Par 4 with no hazards and no bunkers. Players have the option of hitting a shorter club off the tee to leave a longer shot into the green, or try and go for it. This narrow "L" shaped green is crowned on all sides, so a precise shot is needed to secure a birdie.
HOLE 14 - PAR 4 - 529 YARDS
One of the only right to left fairways on the back nine, the 14th hole is a long Par 4 that once again features the prominent oak trees that are throughout Memorial Park. The green funnels from back to front, giving players plenty of opportunities to stop the ball on this large green.
HOLE 15 - PAR 3 - 155 YARDS
Welcome to the loudest hole in Texas. Don't let the distance fool you. This short Par 3 has a difficult green to land on with not much area for a safe miss. With a false front on the right side, a creek short and left, and a very narrow green, this exciting hole will be a challenge for pros and amateurs alike.
HOLE 16 - PAR 5 - 576 YARDS
This long Par 5 is difficult to go for in two, but not impossible. With a long drive off the tee, the fairway has a downslope that players use to their advantage. But if the ball goes too far left, it can end up in the thick trees forcing a lay up. The green is protected by water on three of its four sides, and not much room behind for a bail out shot.
HOLE 17 - PAR 4 - 382 YARDS
One of the more unique looking holes out at Memorial Park Golf Course, the 17th hole is a short Par 4 that requires two precise shots to hit the green in regulation. From the back tees, the fair takes on an "S" like shape around the retention pond while the green juts out into the water for a tough second shot.
HOLE 18 - PAR 4 - 503 YARDS
The finishing hole at Memorial Park Golf Course is a slight dog left right with a massive hump in the middle of the fairway. Going left off the tee will leave a flat stance, but a longer approach shot. Going right will leave a difficult lie in the trees, but a shorter shot into the green. The 18th green slopes from front left to back right away from the golfer, creating a difficult approach from a longer distance.