Ten great Houston golf courses for business travelers

By Travel ArticlesJuly 10, 2012, 8:16 pm

HOUSTON -- Take a business course at these Houston golf locales.

Golf and business meetings have gone together since the dawn of the game. Some golf facilities, however, are more conducive to doing business than others.

Basic requirements include a well conditioned and well designed golf course, hospitable clubhouse, good eats and spirits and a welcoming atmosphere. Throw in a good location and you've got the perfect recipe for winning over clients or taking the staff out for a team building exercise.

Fortunately for Houstonians and those visiting the Bayou City, there are an abundance of such venues. Here, then, are 10 public facilities that make doing business on the golf course easy work and hopefully, profitable:

Augusta Pines Golf Club in Spring

As the name would imply, Augusta Pines Golf Club is sort of a combination of Augusta National and Pinehurst, at least in terms of topography and design of the course and in the massive 100,000-square-foot clubhouse. This Colonial style building houses a huge dining room and bar as well its golf shop. The course has tall pines, 30 acres of lakes and plenty of doglegs, rolling fairways and quick greens. Augusta Pines is also home to the Massengale Golf Academy, which offers one of only a handful Ping nFlight Fitting Centers in the world.

BlackHorse Golf Club in Cypress

Designed by Jim Hardy and Peter Jacobson, this Redstone Golf property offers outstanding conditioning and design over 36 holes, perfect for a corporate event or client outing. With a golf academy on site, it's also ideal for group clinics. The clubhouse at BlackHorse Golf Club features a terrific bar and grill, with outside seating overlooking the golf course. And speaking of the course, your guests will be particularly impressed with the back nine of BlackHorse's South Course, which runs through an old sand quarry. Plenty of wetlands, lakes and firm, fast greens are the norm for this northwest gem.

Houston National Golf Club

There are 36 holes at Houston National Golf Club, but only 18 are open to the public. Still, daily guests can enjoy a true private club atmosphere and a fun and challenging 7,400-yard layout by the late Robert von Hagge. The clubhouse offers two dining venues, a more upscale bar and grill located inside the clubhouse and an indoor/outdoor pavilion by the practice range. The latter is set up as a sports bar with plenty of big screens to watch football, baseball or PGA Tour action.

Meadowbrook Farms Golf Club in Katy

Truly one of Greg Norman's best designs, Meadowbrook Farms Golf Club is always in good shape and has that exclusive country club feel. In fact, there's been talk for years that Meadowbrook Farms would go fully private, but a weak economy has put those plans on hold indefinitely. The clubhouse has all the amenities of a private club, including excellent dining, locker room facilities and a great selection of apparel and hard goods in the golf shop.

Memorial Park Golf Course

While Memorial Park Golf Course is a busy municipal, this former home of the Houston Open is also full of history and tradition. Most of all, this 1924 John Bredemus design is located right in the heart of Houston. Business people love to come here at lunch or after work to hit balls or work on their short games. It's also a great place for lunch with Beck's Prime Restaurant handling the food and beverage for the facility.

Redstone Golf Club in Humble

Home of the Shell Houston Open, the Tournament Course at Redstone Golf Club is open to the public. It's also the most expensive daily-fee course in town and for good reason -- no detail is too small. Business associates will be impressed with the flawless conditioning, especially in the winter, spring and late fall, forecaddies and the best practice facilities in Houston, if not the state. It's also great for corporate clinics, a session at the TaylorMade Fitting Lab or lunch at the clubhouse. And your guests will love the challenge of these tour-quality holes, designed by Rees Jones.

Sienna Plantation Golf Club in Missouri City

One of the more upscale daily-fee courses in Ft. Bend County, Sienna Plantation Golf Club has a true country club atmosphere with its Colonial-style clubhouse, fine dining and well stocked golf shop. The course will also impress your guests. Designed by Arthur Hills and Mike Dasher, this 7,200-yard layout has five sets of tees, excellent conditioning and plenty of doglegs, mature oaks, elm trees and several lakes and streams.

Timber Creek Golf Club in Friendswood

One of the late Jay Riviere's best designs, Timber Creek Golf Club has become a favorite among south Houston golfers for its conditioning, pace of play on three nines (the Creekside, Pines and Timber Trails) and terrific customer service. The course looks anything but Houston (i.e., it's not flat) as more than 1 million cubic yards of earth were moved to create plenty of undulation in the fairways and greens. Add to that a 65,000-square-foot clubhouse, locker room facilities with showers and a large lounge and open-air pavilion, and you've got the perfect environment to strike a business deal.

Tour 18 Golf Club in Humble

What better place to loosen up your clients than Tour 18 Golf Club, the original tribute golf course that opened in 1992. Featuring what the original owners deemed the best 18 holes in America, you can play Augusta's Amen Corner, the island green 17th from the TPC Sawgrass Players Stadium Course and the Blue Monster 18th of Doral, just for starters. Plus, the large clubhouse has a well-stocked golf shop and relaxing bar and grill with some of the friendliest help around.

Wildcat Golf Club

What business client wouldn't be impressed by playing at the preferred golf club of Houston's professional sports teams? Wildcat Golf Club, a 36-hole facility designed by Caribbean architect Roy Case, is located just south of Reliant Stadium. In fact, views of the stadium are prominent as you play the links-style Highlands Course, and inside the facilities clubhouse is plenty of memorabilia from the Houston Rockets, Astros, Texans and Dynamo. Wildcat offers better than average dining, and it's also home to the Wildcat Golf Academy, which offers plenty of group lessons, ideal for corporate team building.

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Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

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The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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LPGA lists April date for new LA event

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.