Looking for a great golf destination? How about the Lone Star State? PGA.com talks to some of the most knowledgeble names in Texas golf to find out why their hometowns are not only great places to visit, but even more, great places for golf.
Houston, Texas has it all and then some. And it should. As the fourth-largest city in the United States, anything you can think of that makes up a great travel destination, you should be able to find here. And in particular, as a golfer, there may not be a better city for you to pick for a great golf trip.
One thing that I always find important for golfers when they travel is - how convenient is the city layout, and how easy is it to get to and from the airport? This can make up to a two-rounds per trip difference and fortunately, Houston - for a large city - makes it extremely easy. And of course, no matter where you are in Houston, with around 80 golf courses to select from, you are never far from a great track.
I tell people that Spring and/or Fall are the most ideal times to visit - the climate and condition of the courses are ideal. Of course, some folks can only find time in the summer to take a trip. That's ok, we have plenty of room for you then too. Sure, it may get a bit warm but if this is the time you want to visit, I promise we have plenty of iced tea and water and other ways to keep you cool while your golf game gets hot. And speaking of hot, what other city do you know of that can claim to be a hub of three major sizzling food options (Tex-Mex, seafood and Bar-b-que). And if you want to really make it a memorable trip, plan your trip to coincide with a chance to catch an Astros, Rockets or Texans game. Our new soccer stadium, the BBVA Compass Stadium - the home to the Houston Dynamo, is also really something to see. So visiting Houston is an excellent option for your golf trip - and we haven't even mentioned the fantastic courses here yet.
Of course, I am first compelled to recommend Redstone Golf Club for your visit. I am fortunate enough to be the Director of Golf here, but I promise - as objective as I can be - this is a tremendous experience for any golfer. In fact, you don't have to take my word for it, take it from the best players in the world who visit with us every year during the Shell Houston Open. And yes, the same fairways that Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler walk down are the ones you would be hitting from as well.
Other great options include The Woodlands and BlackHorse Golf Club. The Woodlands is the former home of the Shell Houston Open, they have three courses there. BlackHorse is a 36-hole facility cut through a wide variety of landscapes and trees. Both facilities are top notch golf experiences.
Other courses to consider include Memorial Park, a city-owned facility in downtown Houston that was also once home to the Houston Open. Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Babe Zaharius have all played there. Hermann Park is another well-maintained public course near downtown. It's a little shorter (just over 6000 yards from back tees) but still a very fun, challenging and enjoyable time.
Houston is home to me and has been for almost 40 years. I love so much about this great city because there is so much to love. But I promise you, it won't take you 40 years or 40 days to fall in love with it. From the moment you set foot here, you know you're in for a special time. And when you first place a tee in the ground to begin your golf trip, you can be assured this is one of the best golf trips you'll ever take.
So come visit. Your best golf vacation is here waiting. If you have any questions about Houston or Redstone that I can help you answer, email me. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charle Epps is the PGA Director of Golf at Redstone Golf Club outside of Houston, Texas. Epps is also a highly-regarded instructor, most notably working with former U.S. Open and Masters champion Angel Cabrera.