Memorial Park Municipal Golf Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.2

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Houston
Website · Locate This Course
Date Last Played: March 15, 2015

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Memorial Park Municipal Golf Course Review

Rating and Review of Memorial Park Golf Course in Houston

Memorial Park Golf Course is owned and operated by the City of Houston and it has a reputation as one of the most popular and best municipal courses in Texas.  The course was designed by John Bredemus and over the years it hosted many famous golfers such as Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Jimmy Demaret.  It was also home home to the Houston Open from 1951 to 1963. Part of what makes playing Memorial Park fun is that each nine is a little different - the front nine is a tighter and the back nine is a little wider and more forgiving but longer.

Some of what we liked about Memorial Park Golf Course and why we think it’s worth you’re spending 4 or more hours chasing that little white golf ball include:

  • the rates are reasonable
  • the fairways are wide and forgiving with a wide playable rough 
  • the conditions from tee to cup are above average and the course is very well maintained and manicured  
  • the bunkers are full of soft sand (some of which is now missing and somehow found it’s way to my pockets, shoes, and hair)
  • the layout is traditional and very fair for golfers of all levels
  • the marshals do everything possible to keep the pace of play to 4 hours
  • the greens are good sized and in good condition with just the right amount of slope and contour

Some of the holes that we liked included:

  • #6 is a 388 yard par 4 that dog legs left around a pond and requires a precise approach shot to miss the water and the two front facing bunkers
  • #9 is fun with 2 fairway bunkers on the right side waiting for your drive and a slight dog leg left and over a creek to a raised green with a left and right side bunker
  • #15 is the signature hole and it’s a beauty – 180 yard carry over a tree lined pond with a fountain to a green with a left side bunker
  • #16 is a long 613 yard par 5 with water along the entire right side and a dense tree line on the left – do whatever it takes to stay in the fairway

The fairways at Memorial Park Golf Course were transitioning from winter to summer but were in very good condition, as was the rough.  No homes line any of the fairways but water and trees (lots with that mysterious looking long draping silver Spanish moss) will cause some problems – the good news is the fairways and rough (which is very playable) are wide and forgiving.

The greens are good sized, in pretty good shape (some damage around the edge thanks to some horrible weather), and have very manageable slope and contour.  When we played they were a little bumpy and a tad slow which was primarily due to the recent heavy rains.  All of the greens are guarded with between one to three bunkers, putting a premium on your approach shots.  The greens held the ball well and were easy to read.

The bunkers at Memorial Park Golf Course  were fantastic – in excellent condition, well-manicured, and had soft, thick, fluffy sand. Some are steep and deep and most are large and welcome your golf ball!

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Gold 7,305 75.0 130
Blue 6,523 71.5 123
White 5,980 69.2 119
Red 5,459 71.3 121

Course Information

Course Architect:
John Bredemus
Greens Condition
7.5
Greens Difficulty
7.5
Fairway Condition
8.5
Bunker Condition
9.5
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Easy
Beware of water on 8 holes and the 52 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.2 out of 10
Beauty:
8.5
Difficulty:
7.5
Variety:
7.5
Fun to Play:
8.5
Value:
9.0
Condition:
8.0
Front Nine Rating:
8.0
Back Nine Rating:
8.4
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$36.00 to $49.00

Beck's Prime offers a great patio and a wide variety of choices for breakfast or lunch. The practice facilities are very good. When we played on a Sunday, there was no cart service

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Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating

The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this:  links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course.  In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40.  We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking. 

 

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