More than 165 golf courses—many designed by leading architects—and a mild winter climate make Houston a prime destination for golfers of all skill levels. Challenging play, eye-catching views and lush landscaping are the calling cards of Houston courses. Here are dozen places that everyone can play and won't disappoint:
Semiprivate but open to the public, Augusta Pines and its nearby sister facility Glennloch Pines both offer a solid test on heaving land framed by tall pines. The holes are inspirations, not cookie-cutter copies, and the conditioning for both courses is impeccable.
Northwest of the city, BlackHorse Golf Course continues to wow patrons with its two 18-hole championship courses carved into a lush mix of lakes, wetlands, and towering trees. Six sets of tees make it an enjoyable and challenging course for players of all skill levels.
In Spring, just beneath flights arriving at Bush Intercontinental Airport, architect Keith Foster designed the award-winning Tradition Course at Cypresswood Golf Course. Framed by thick forests, the rolling fairways at the Tradition offer an exciting experience on 800 acres of dramatic topography. Pick the right tees to suit your skill level and the Tradition will soon become one of your favorite tracts. The Cypress Course offers another challenging option at the 36-hole property.
Just east of Houston, near the small town of Mont Belvieu, Eagle Point features rolling fairways framed by tall pines. A tight layout with ample water features, this gem will test players of all abilities.
Located just 15 miles north of downtown, the Tournament Course at the Golf Club of Houston is home to the PGA Tour stop, the Shell Houston Open. And you too can play where the pros play. The 18-hole championship layout was designed by renowned architect Rees Jones.
The first public golf course in America to welcome all races, Hermann Park Golf Course was built in 1922 and started a rich tradition of golfing excellence that has prospered for nearly a century. The course, short when compared to other layouts, is open daily and is located just minutes from downtown and the Medical Center -- perfect for a late afternoon getaway.
Magnolia Creek Golf Club unfolds in a 27-hole links-style course south of Houston in League City. Rolling hills, deep, entrenched bunkers and native grasses, coupled with spacious fairways and a 22-acre practice facility make the course a popular destination a half-hour from downtown.
Considered one of the top courses in the area, Meadowbrook Farms was designed by the legendary Australian Greg Norman and opened in 1999. Meadowbrook Farms Golf Club is a recipient of the Golf Digest four-star service recognition as one of the top 50 service courses in the country. The Houston area golf course plays just over 7,100 yards from the tournament tees and features world-class greens. A challenging tract, for sure, but you'll want to play it over and over.
Just five minutes from downtown is the venerable Memorial Park. Wide fairways, mature pines and few water features allow the less-experienced golfer to get in on the action, though plenty of course for the big-hitters, too. Recognized as one of the best municipal courses in the nation, Memorial Park offers more than 60,000 annual patrons a lighted driving range, putting and chipping greens. Popular with golfers who like to carry their own bag.
Formerly the Galveston Municipal Golf Course, the Moody Gardens Golf Course features a $16 million comprehensive renovation by the renowned course architects of Jacobsen Hardy Golf Course Design. Revealed in June 2008, the Moody Gardens course still features the best historical aspects of the original layout, while significantly improving certain holes and overall course flow.
Have time for only one round? Visit Tour 18 north of downtown. This 6,782-yard, par-72 course pays homage to many of the storied holes of golf. Among the replicas are game-changing holes found at Augusta National, TPC Sawgrass and Doral.
Enjoy championship golf with sweeping views of Houston's skyline and 80 acres of lakes, all within one mile of NRG Stadium, at Wildcat Golf Club. On both The Highlands Course, with a bit of a Scottish flair, and the more traditional Lakes Course, renowned architect Roy Case has combined playability with exciting challenges to provide golfers a delightful golf experience, regardless of skill level.
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