HOUSTON COUNTRY CLUB

Course Name: Houston Country Club

Location: Houston, Texas (10 miles due west of downtown in Tanglewood Park district)

Year of Design: 1957

Redesigned: Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, 1988

Owner/Developer: Established in 1908, originally the club occupied an 18-hole golf course southeast of downtown. The club purchased the Tanglewood property in 1956 and moved there 1957. Much of the property on which Robert Trent Jones, Sr., built the golf course bordered the “Buffalo Bayou,” the main natural waterway flowing through the city of Houston. Membership: Ultra Private. The membership has been described as “VIPs only, a hangout for all of Houston’s elite and super rich.”

Number of Holes: 18

Par: 36-35=72

Length—Back Tees: 3,361 front nine, 3,635 back nine, 6,996 total

Length—Middle Tees: 3,205 front nine, 3,392 back nine, 6,597 total

Length—Forward Tees: 2,919 front nine, 3,072 back nine, 5,991 total

Course Description:

Hardest Holes:

No. 2—457 yard par-4 (and plays longer than its yardage)

No. 14—230 yard par-3

Favorite Holes:

Par 3 Lengths: 179 (4th), 204 (9th), 230 (14th), 190 (16th)

Par 5 Lengths: 513 (3rd), 512 (8th), 561 (12th), 556 (17th)

Longest Par 4: 457 yards (2nd)

Shortest Par 4: 300 yards (7th)

Average Par 4 Length: 405 yards

Chief Hazards:

Major Championships and Title Winners: None

Course Record:

Course Ranking: Third Best Private Club in Texas with an initiation of $100,000 or more (Avid Golfer)

Anecdote: A long-time member of Houston Country Club, George H. W. Bush often played golf and tennis there before becoming the 41st U.S. President (1989-1993). A Tanglewood resident, Bush first met James A. Baker (Bush’s Secretary of State) and Robert Mosbacher (Bush’s Secretary of Commerce) at the club.

Expert Comment: “Some of the tees are over a 100 yards long, so that the ladies playing off the front can keep up with the scratch players who tee off from the rear. The fairways bunkers are spread out to catch off line- drives of all golfers regardless of handicap and, believe me, the lagoon on the ninth hole gobbles up enough golf balls to keep business going in the pro shop. The greens are big and rolling and easy to hit, but, if you don’t knock the ball close to the hole, you can three-putt enough of them to send you back to the locker room talking to yourself. All in all, you have to place your tee shots here and hit some well-judged approaches or you’re apt to wish you had stayed in the grill room and enjoyed a few hands of cards with the boys.” Gene Sarazen, on-course commentary before the match between Ben Hogan and Sam Snead on Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf, 21 Feb. 1965. Hogan won the match, shooting 3-under 69 to Snead’s even-par 72.