HOUSTON – In the past year, Memorial Park has gotten a $34 million face-lift to host the Houston Open.
“It’s a big golf course, so it’s great for a PGA tour event,” explained Giles Kibbe, president of the Astros Golf Foundation. “We have the space, we have all the bones here, but we needed to really make some improvements to the golf course.”
And make improvements they did. The size of the driving range is now doubled and there is a new short course for kids.
“We’re taking out ten tennis courts and we’re re-locating them on the far west side of the complex. So part of that is a complete renovation of the tennis complex,” said Giles.
Also new is the state-of-the-art building that will be used as the clubhouse for the players and their families. But the Astros wanted to make sure the space served a purpose during the rest of the year, so after the Houston Open, it will turn into a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) center for kids.
“The kids will have access to that for STEM programming and First Tee programming throughout the year,” said Kibbe. “Ten days out of the year it turns into a player clubhouse, so it’s a phenomenal facility.”
Some of the best golfers are expected to play in the Houston Open, especially with it falling right before the Masters.
“This is going to be the real opportunity for the top players to get ready for the tour event, so we’re expecting a very strong field and it’s going to be an exciting time,” said Kibbe.
No announcement has been made on whether or not fans will be allowed at the Houston Open.