who's your caddy
Anyone who swings a Callaway or TaylorMade in Houston knows our fair city usually boasts 12 months for great golfing. No surprise, then, that three of the best golf courses in the Lone Star State are located in the Houston area, according to a new 2023 guide by Texas Monthly.
Texas owns the fifth-most public golf courses in the country, with about 600 tracks spread out throughout the state. With that in mind, the Texas Monthly team traveled thousands of miles to collect their data about the most unique, reasonably-priced, and accessible golf courses in Texas.
The three Houston courses all fit this criteria, while offering some of the best experiences for players of any skill level.
The first golf course on the lists is BlackHorse in Cypress, a 36-hole complex distinctly designed by Jim Hardy and Peter Jacobsen as an appreciation of East Texas' wetlands. The combined space between the South and North Courses add up to nearly 14,500 yards, with the South Course taking the shorter length but compensating with a more challenging design.
Out of the total three dozen holes, Texas Monthly explains the sixteenth and seventeenth holes are the most memorable.
"The former, a short par 4, dares big hitters to drive over a beautiful marsh, and the following par 3 is effectively an island — a wooden bridge just above the waterline takes you from tee box to green," said senior editor Josh Alvarez. "The spectacular wetland landscape and resident waterfowl provide consolation for any splashed shots."
Next on the list is the oldest 18-hole course in Houston – Gus Wortham – which the Monthly says was just "an afterthought" to the city. It was only after locals expressed disagreement over turning the course into a botanical garden that the Houston City Council decided to revamp the course into what it is today.
"Thanks to some TLC over the past six years, Wortham boasts a freshly rebuilt clubhouse, an all-grass driving range, resplendent fairways, and attractive, constantly beguiling greens," the guide said.
What sets this course apart, according to the Monthly, is how it hasn't lost its edginess through the years, even with the city's reinvestment.
Last, but certainly never the least, Memorial Park has had time in the spotlight before when it earned a title as one of the best municipal courses by Golf.com. So it comes as no surprise that the famed course would be included in Texas Monthly's guide – going so far as to say Bayou City golfers should be counting themselves lucky ("if not downright spoiled") for such a well-maintained, conveniently located, and affordable course.
"Those who fear the sand will rejoice at seeing fewer than twenty bunkers during the round, but in exchange players must carefully navigate grass hollows, deep ravines, and thick Bermuda grass that clutches balls when they miss the fairway," Alvarez said. "Make use of the double-decker driving range to get your iron distances dialed in, because the greens can be unkind."
And don't forget to grab a Bill's Burger from Becks Prime after the round is over.
The remaining 15 courses in Texas Monthly's "A Guide to Texas' Best Public Golf Courses" can be found on texasmonthly.com.