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Ten great Houston golf courses for business travelers

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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.