How Can I Play Memorial Park Golf Course?

The venue for the Houston Open is one of the most accessible of all PGA Tour courses

The 18th green at Memorial Park Golf Course
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Covering 1,466 acres, Houston’s Memorial Park is one of the largest urban parks in the US. Beyond the bike and walking trails, the park is also home to a famous golf course.

Memorial Park Golf Course is considered one of the best municipal courses in Texas. It has humble origins. In 1912, the area it is built on was the site of a nine-hole course with sand greens. It remained that way until July 1936 when, following a complete redesign by John Bredemus, the course reopened as an 18-hole effort. Bredemus was delighted with his efforts and called it his “greatest golf course ever.”

It would be almost 60 years until its next big makeover when, in 1995, it received $7m for a renovation following a campaign to restore the course embarked on by a Houston Park board member. The result was a 600-acre site with a lighted driving range, putting greens and a new clubhouse.

The sixth green at Memorial Park Golf Course

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The course has had another redesign in more recent years. The $13.5m project was carried out by Tom Doak’s Renaissance Golf Design company in consultation with Brooks Koepka. Eight greens were moved while the par-5 eighth hole was lengthened. There are oak tree-lined fairways and contoured greens. Meanwhile, tees and fairways on the front nine were relocated so ravines could come into the equation. Additional water was added to the closing holes to present a challenging finish to anyone’s round - including on the course’s signature hole, the par-3 15th, where a stream guards the green.

The third hole at Memorial Park Golf Course

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The course began hosting the Houston Open 11 years after Bredemus' redesign, in 1947, while it also hosted the tournament in successive years between 1951 and 1963. Most recently, it was again the host of the tournament in 2020, an honour it still holds today. Over the years, legends of the game have played at Memorial Park Golf Course, including Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicholas. Meanwhile, some of the ashes of 1965 PGA championship winner Dave Marr were scattered over his favourite hole – the 14th - following his death in 1997.

A hugely popular public course, over 60,000 people use it every year. Green fees range between $10 and $38 for residents and $60 and $140 for non-residents. Cart fees are between 12 and $16. You can either book your round online or by phoning the course.

Is Memorial Park Golf Course Open To The Public?

Memorial Park Golf Course is a public park in Houston, Texas. Green fees cost between $10 and $38 for residents and $60 and $140 for non-residents, while tee times can be booked online or by phoning the course.

When Did Memorial Park Golf Course First Host The Houston Open?

Memorial Park Golf Course began hosting the Houston Open in 1947. It then held the tournament in successive years between 1951 and 1963, before finally being named as the host venue again in 2020. It has hosted the tournament since. 

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.