Houston’s Parks and Recreation Department (www.houstontx.gov) runs seven respectable municipal golf courses, a worthy city service in an urban environment that features year-round moderate temperatures and developers ready to capitalize on any available open space. Three of the most popular courses are located within the loop, drawing golfers and hackers to the links’ well-maintained grounds and affordable green fees.
The gem of the downtown-area muni courses is Memorial Park Golf Course (1001 East Memorial Loop Dr., 713/862-4033), a 600-acre oasis of rolling fairways and challenging greens. Originally constructed as a nine-hole course for soldiers at Camp Logan (now Memorial Park), the links feature lush landscapes, putting and chipping greens, a golf museum, a contemporary clubhouse, and an always-packed driving range offering shade and lighting.
Located adjacent to the city’s Museum District, Hermann Park Golf Course (2155 N. MacGregor St., 713/526-0077) is another natural escape from the surrounding urban scenery. Lengthy fairways, snug out-of-bounds, and occasional water hazards make Hermann a favorite among serious golfers, who appreciate the shade of the ancient oaks and steady surface of the Bermuda-grass greens. While at the turn, be sure to order a hot dog or two from the clubhouse kitchen.
Further south of town is Wortham Park Golf Course (7000 Capitol St., 713/928-4260) a former private course now operated by the city. The sportiest of the three downtown-area courses, Wortham Park features hilly terrain, tight turns, and several short par fours. The course also offers a practice green and bunker, a chipping green, and a full driving range.
© Andy Rhodes from Moon Texas, 6th Edition