HOUSTON - A plan to renovate Memorial Park Golf Course in order to host the Houston Open golf tournament was approved by City Council Wednesday morning.
The vote was unanimous.
Memorial Park Golf Course will undergo $13.5 million in renovations in order to be ready to host the PGA golf tournament in 2020.
"We have an agreement with the city that we're going to open it up Nov. 1. We also have to have it in place, in condition for a year before we can host a PGA tour event. We have to get started now," President of the Astros Gold Foundation Giles Kibbe said.
An annual "event fee" of $1 million from the Astros Golf Foundation will be distributed to the Memorial Park Conservancy ($250,000), and to the city ($750,000) for use in the parks.
"This is a win, win, win, win situation. We have the Texans, Astros and Rockets and they're all partners in making this city great," Council Member Jack Christie said. "We have the greatest in this city, why not bring the greatest golfers in the world here?"
"This is fundraising for the city and for Memorial Park," Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Cohen said.
The Golf Club of Houston, in Humble, has hosted the PGA Tour stop since 2003. The event failed to secure a title sponsor for the 2018 tournament.
"This will be the best golf course. It will be a national PGA level standard golf course with the least amount of money that the city has ever invested in a golf course because this investment will come from the generosity of the Astros foundation," Houston Parks Director Steve Wright said.
By moving the open to Memorial Park, the event would be inside the city limits, which is something Mayor Sylvester Turner has said he would like to see.
"Now to have the PGA playing inside the city of Houston, at Memorial Park. Can you imagine what that means. The marketing value that will come to this city?" Turner said.
The Houston Open has been played under several different names since 1946.
Memorial Park last hosted the tournament in 1963.
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