The Houston City Council will consider a request on Jan. 2, 2019 for approval of a $13.5 million Memorial Park Golf Course redevelopment plan funded by the Astros Golf Foundation and supported by the Memorial Park Conservancy.
Redevelopment of the golf course, which is operated by the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, would bring the Professional Golf Association’s Houston Open tournament back inside the city, attract new business and tourism and give Houstonians access to a state-of-the-art golf course.
The proposal includes a commitment by the Astros Golf Foundation to pay an annual tournament fee of $250,000 to the conservancy and $750,000 to the Houston Parks and Recreation Department.
“I thank Astros owner Jim Crane for working so generously with the city and the Memorial Park Conservancy to make a dream come true for the public, golf fans everywhere and the economic development of Houston,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “Public-private partnerships are crucial forces behind what makes us Houston Strong.”
The proposed redevelopment would meet the standards required by the PGA Tour. The golf course would close during renovation, which is scheduled to begin in January 2019, pending permit approvals. The planned re-opening is Fall 2019. The project calls for the construction of a two-story driving range, a new and relocated maintenance facility, and a short course for the First Tee; these will all begin at the same time as the golf-course renovation but may be completed after the course re-opens.
“We’re very excited about the positive impact this privately funded project will have for Houston – returning the Houston Open to Memorial Park; building a First Tee complex for the kids; contributing to the improvement of all Houston parks; providing significant economic impact for local businesses; and generating charitable resources for the Astros Golf Foundation and Astros Foundation to disburse throughout the Houston community. This is truly a project that benefits all Houstonians,” Astros owner Jim Crane said.
“We look forward to the renovation of Memorial Park Golf Course for the benefit of Houston’s golfers and park users,” said Steve Wright, director of Houston Parks and Recreation. “We invite golfers to visit the city’s four other municipal courses at Hermann Park, Sharpstown Park, Gus Wortham Park and Melrose Park during the renovation.” The improvements to the Memorial Park Golf Course will not result in a fee increase for users.
The proposed project was presented to the City Council Quality of Life Committee on Nov. 28, 2018. Terms and conditions pertaining to the hosting of the Houston Open will be outlined in a proposal that will be incorporated into a facilities agreement that will be brought to City Council for approval in the spring.