Memorial Park Golfers Worry That Just-Approved Course Redesign Could Mess Up Their Handicaps

MEMORIAL PARK GOLFERS WORRY THAT JUST-APPROVED COURSE REDESIGN COULD MESS UP THEIR HANDICAPS Houston’s city council just approved that $13.5 million plan to redesign the Memorial Park Golf Course so that the Houston Open can be held there in 2020. The vote passed unanimously at city hall this morning, but not before a few course regulars had a chance yesterday to vent about how the upgrades will skew the playing field: “I want to be an average Houstonian who plays with everybody else on the same level,” said Joseph Kratoville, who’s out there 4 or 5 times a week, adding that in its present state, the course is “the anti-country club. I get to meet people from all walks of life.” Baxter Spann, whose firm Finger Dye Spann renovated both the Memorial Park and Gus Wortham courses previously, spoke similarly: “I’m concerned that the focus may be on making this a tour-level course without adequate regard for the everyday golfer,” he told the council. The course closes tomorrow, although the driving range and on-site Becks Prime will remain open. It’ll need to be back open by November 1 in order for the PGA Tour stop to be held there the following year, report the Chronicle’s David Barron and Robert Downen. Meanwhile, 2019’s Houston Open will take place at the Golf Club of Houston (in Humble) like it has since relocating there in 2003. [Houston Chronicle] Rendering: Nelson Byrd Woltz

8 Comment

  • . This renovation is self funded and it will bring what I hope will be a great/fun event inside the loop. An annual event that could grow.

    The city just spent a lot of money renovating Gus Wortham golf course. Go there to maintain your handicap.

  • Your headline is clearly written by a non golfer. Making a course “harder” does not screw up everyone’s handicap. Courses are rated in several ways, and those ratings are factored into calculation of a player’s handicap. If the Memorial Park course is renovated, and changed materially, it will be re-rated. For example, if a golfer is now an 18 handicap, he or she might be a 20 on a harder course with different stroke and slope ratings, even if it the same “dirt”.

  • Somehow I don’t think the average Houstonian plays golf 4 or 5 times a week.

  • I absolutely hate this is happening. Memorial Park is a wonderful park just the way it is, but all the so called “improvements” at the behest of out of town consultants are just a way to monetize one of our great public spaces. Houston seriously needs to get over it’s inferiority complex and embrace itself for what it is. Memorial does not need to be Central Park, or Millennium Park or the Bois de Boulogne. Where are they going to park all the spectators? NW Mall?And how will this interrupt the runners who use the trail every day?
    The PGA is a business. Let them figure out if they want a tournament to promote their brand in the nation’s 4th largest city and 7th largest media market. Money talks, if they threw enough money at an area country club, I’m sure one would take the bait.

  • @ShadyHeightster
    agree 100%. The same could be said for Buffalo Bayou Park, Hermann Park, and Emancipation Park.
    These are part of a national trend to replace nature and unprogrammed green open space with all sorts of single-purpose constructions. These constructions often have user fees associated with them.
    There are myriad park “experts” who are making a living off of designing this stuff. It is also a make-work scheme for the local non-profit park partnerships and conservancies, whose staffs have jobs as long as there are endless “improvement” projects to do in the park.

  • I hope these people realize that their handicaps shouldn’t be the city’s handicaps. It already has enough of those.

    And, oh yeah, the other guy trying to claim the initial C, that was me, first, and if you knew that then you shouldn’t have acted like you’re going to steal that.

  • Anonymous and Shadyheister.
    You two need to calm down and smell the flowers. Buffalo Bayou park was transformed into a beautiful park for citizens of Houston to enjoy. Buffalo bayou had been pretty much neglected before the redesign. They created new spaces for all to take advantage of while leaving many areas in a natural state. The plans for Memorial Park will be much appreciated once the work is done. As for the golf course whats wrong with a redesigned updated and improved golf course? I applaud the work that is being done to bring Houston more public park improvements.

  • Too many parts of Buffalo Bayou Park require expensive clean-up after regular and constant flooding. Much of that land should have been left in its low-maintenance, fairly natural state.