The Best Views of the New UT Houston Campus Are Available Now from the Fairway on the 5th Hole, Above a Trash Heap

Wildcat Golf Club, 12000 Almeda Rd., Pierce Junction, Houston

Looking for an overview of the new site of UT’s recently-announced Houston campus? Your best bet may be to stop in at the Wildcat Golf Club, located directly across Holmes Rd. from the site of UT’s planned purchase. Native Houstonians may experience a touch of vertigo trekking up the club’s grassy peaks to catch the view of NRG Park and downtown (see above) — hills on the site reach more than 115 feet above sea level in places. (Downtown, for comparison, stands at roughly 50 feet, and the big hill at Miller Outdoor Theater tops out around 65.)

The golf club’s topography is a byproduct of its original gig as a major municipal landfill, operating for nearly two decades until 1989; clay and topsoil were imported to sculpt the waste heaps into today’s smoothly rolling hills and water features:


Wildcat Golf Club, 12000 Almeda Rd., Pierce Junction, Houston

The site’s 36 holes are divided by a power transmission corridor into two courses: the Highlands (picture above) and the Lakes (pictured below). Large water features double as irrigation sources to keep the greens green.

Wildcat Golf Club, 12000 Almeda Rd., Pierce Junction, Houston

The club is further divided by several criss-crossing pipeline easements:

Wildcat Golf Club, 12000 Almeda Rd., Pierce Junction, Houston

Sharp-eyed and lucky visitors might catch a glimpse the club’s unofficial resident mascot, Lord Jethro the bobcat (or one of his 3 wives); those less inclined to hunt moving targets can seek out the scattering of still-kicking oil derricks pumpjacks nestled throughout the club alongside and between fairways:

Wildcat Golf Club, 12000 Almeda Rd., Pierce Junction, Houston

Photos: Swamplot inbox

Houston Hill Country

10 Comment

  • “Oil pumping units” or “pump jacks” would be a better description of the devices in the last photo. Think of the classic Spindletop photo if you want to see a derrick.

  • Good call, Al! Updated to reflect that.

  • It’s like we can see into the future, because that’s exactly what it WILL look like; a Whole-Lotta-Nada. This project is not going to happen. Neat views though.

  • This project will never happen. UT is way out of bounds. If they want to operate a full fledged campus in Houston then UH must be given access to the Permanent Fund. Perhaps they can sell the land to Rice.

  • A “full-fledged” graduate campus would make sense. The state knows about the importance of creating as many graduate-degree holders as possible. I personally also think there is value in looking beyond the creation of STEM graduate degrees towards interdisciplinary humanities graduate degrees as well.

  • UH regents and Senator John Whitmire have condemned UT’s move in unusually strong language, calling it an ‘affront’ to have tried bypassing both the legislature and the the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. He has asked UT to share the PUF if they want to proceed, but hell will freeze over twice before that happens.

  • For starters, it can be used for the McCombs MBA-in-Houston program, which already exists in Houston, and which currently shares space with a college of nursing. There are also a wide variety of graduate degrees which no school in Houston yet offers (nor is seemingly interested in offering), yet which would not be out of place here in the 4th-largest city in the country. I’m miffed – but not surprised – that UH would strongly condemn any competition. There was an op-ed in the paper last weekend claiming that the oil industry itself is in danger of being mothballed; even if it’s FUD it seems inexplicable to go on the defensive.

  • Anon22, you want competition? Then equalize the funding. Level the playing field. UT, A&M access to the Permanent Fund is an affront to Texas Higher Education. Both UH & Texas Tech should be included on equal footing. UH has no choice but to fight the campus. It’s also patently unnecessary. If there are un-served needs in the city, better to channel that through the existing public university. UT already has a substantial presence in the medical center, something that UH doesn’t dispute because there is no overlap. But this “parcel” is almost as large as the UH campus. It’s clearly a Trojan Horse designed to gut the viability of UH as a destination campus. It’s also a highly arrogant move (no surprise coming from UT) coming without any consultation with UH, the Review Board, or the State Legislature.

  • Well, oil prices are down, the city is going broke and there are op-eds suggesting that the political end of the oil industry is what the future holds in store. I absolutely do not trust UH to ideologically lead the city out of this mess. It’s as simple as that, and I can’t be the only person who thinks that. Anyway, almost every large city has more than one public university system, and it’s somewhat extortionist to insist that everything be channeled through UH simply because that’s what UH prefers. UH has failed to keep pace with the ambitions and upward mobility of its home city, and doubling down on its inadequacies by adopting a defensive stance is exactly the wrong move.

  • I think bison should be installed there and the landscape given a century or so to settle.