Golf Club of Houston (Tournament) - Texas - USA

Golf Club of Houston,
5860 Wilson Road,
Humble,
Texas (TX) 77396,
USA


  • +1 281 459-7820

  • Reese McCall

  • Rees Jones, David Toms

  • Ross Prachar


The Houston Open has existed in some form or another since 1946 and been held at many locations around the city. The Tournament Course at the Golf Club of Houston has hosted it more often than most. Although the event was held at the exclusive Member course for the first few years, the public Tournament Course held the event until 2019.

Rees Jones reached deep into his taste for heroic golf (with assistance from David Toms), and nearly every hole on the front nine features a carry or approach that will bring golfers perilously close to a water hazard. The second nine features a slightly less dangerous nine, allowing players to place themselves in the shoes of their favorite PGA pro and air it out.

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Description: Golf Club of Houston (formerly Redstone) was formed in 2003 with a private 18-hole course. The Houston Open was held on the Member layout for three years before switching to the newer Rees Jones Tournament course. Rating: 5 out of 10 Reviews: 2
TaylorMade
Clay Brett

Golf Club of Houston's Tournament Course is the former Redstone and Houston Open PGA stop. It is maintained in good condition as the public course in a 36 hole facility that includes a private Member Course. GCOH as a club has a fun, golf-enthusiastic young membership, and that positive sentiment spills over into the Tournament Course clubhouse and staff.

The course is located in Humble approximately 30 minutes northeast of downtown Houston. It is proximate to IAH and you will see plane traffic during your round. Tee times are easily accessible online or through any app.

Touring professionals may tear this course up but it is very challenging for amateurs. I have never sniffed my index playing here. Water hazards, wind, thick rough and forced carries are in order on nearly every hole. This course is a Rees Jones design that may represent the apex of the Penal School of golf course architecture with brutal hero lines and penalties daring most shots. As the golf design world turns towards Doak, C&C, Hanse and other neo-classical architects, it's perhaps fitting that the Houston Open has shifted to the Doak-renovated Memorial Park.

Some comments on notable holes across the 18:

The Par 5 4th provides a birdie line carrying the sprawling bunkers left of the visible fairway off the tee. A dogleg left, to the left of the bunkers is a huge lake, hidden off the tee. An intimidated golfer has a large area right of the bunkers to bail out, but they will be playing in in 3 with water all the way down the left. The player that takes the hero line and hits a fade will receive a penalty stroke as his or her ball sails hard into the woods. There is water behind the green that is not visible on the approach shot to the elevated green. Hit solid golf shots and you will make par. Miss one and you will double. After the easy first and second holes, that theme repeats often over the next 16 holes.

The short Par 4 12th is a wonderful hole, detailed on Fried Egg, with multiple options for players to take off the tee and into the green depending on the wind and pin. Bunkers run along the left side of the fairway, cutting towards the green. Drivable with water along the entire right side, a front pin with wind off the water invites the player to go for it, while a back pin, suggests a shot to the right side of the fairway to open up an angle. A player can play conservatively with an iron off the tee and have a pitching wedge into this green, but a back left or right pin placement will require them to deal with a deep bunker or the water hazard tight to the pin. The short tee shot on the left side of the fairway leaves the most room to miss, but leaves the most difficult shot into the green, engaging both the bunker and the water hazard. There is mini-Biarritz depression running left to right through the middle of the green.

The Par 4 17th and 18th holes provide a beastly finish, both playing quite long, often with challenging wind. If the wind is left to right on 17, it will be into you on 18. If the wind is hurting you on 17, it is pushing you into the water on 18. Both require long, precise drives to offer a shot at birdie, likely with a mid-iron at best in your hand. The 17th plays uphill on the approach over a dried creekbed, while the 18th has water up the entire left side and a steep slope bisecting the green.

Golf Club of Houston Tournament Course is one of the top public facilities in the area, and just hosted the Texas Women's Amateur. To its credit, it plays in a wood- and swampland setting without houses, and is usually manicured well. There is a reason this course was the tour stop just before Augusta in the old tour schedule, but that level of conditioning is probably history. That being said, maybe it's the Rees Jones layout, maybe it's the hazards threatening every shot, maybe it's overseeded rough, but I rarely come away from this facility very happy about the game of golf.

August 05, 2022
5 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

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Colin Braithwaite

The Tournament course opens with a straight away welcoming par four. From about 130 yards in the hole has mirror images bunkers, three on each side. The 2nd hole bends a bit to the right and the fairway has a bunker left and a long one right. The green is protected by two deep front bunkers left and right. The third is a penthouse or outhouse hole. Water all the way down the left side and the green is tucked behind the hazard. A decent dry drive should put an attack iron in your hand. The first pat five is reachable. However, you must avoid the large fairway bunker left. There is a water hazard left that starts about 230 out and runs to the green. On the right side there are three sequential bunkers starting about 100 yards out. The green has a ridge in the middle running front to back. The fifth is the longest par four on the front and the number one handicap hole, with, you guessed it water left. The hole bends left with a fairway bunker on the right about 185 yards out and a greenside bunker front left. The 6th also goes left with a swamp carry and water left on the approach. A key is to avoid the long narrow bunker in the landing area on the left side. The 7th is the shortest par three with a slight water carry and water left. Big hitters can reach the par 5 8th in two. There is some water left off the tee, but it should not come into play. However, there is also a sign of the apocalypse, water right starting about 250 yards out and three sequential bunkers right starting at about 80 yards. The front finishes with the longest par three. Don’t be ashamed to hit driver.

The back starts off with three of the easier holes. A decent drive on should set you up to go pin-seeking, although club selection is key as this a three tiered green. The 11th is a straight par four and it even has water right. The 12th is the shortest par four and is rated the easiest hole. I have heard of people driving the green, but if you push, block or heaven forbid slice you are in the water. The 13th is a long par five, favor the left side to avoid the fairway bunkers left. Favor the left on your second shot and avoid the large greenside bunker right. It was not user friendly. The 14th is a long par three to a guitar pick green that is protected with deep front bunkers right and left. The 15th is the longest par five. Favor the right off the tee to avoid the left fairway bunker. Your second shot should also favor the right to give you the best attack angle. The 16th is a mid-length par three over some fine Texas swampland. The 17th is the longest par four, it leans slightly left and is tough. If you can carry the left fairway bunker you gave yourself a chance. There is a ditch right in front of the green. The 18th is a long demanding finishing hole. Almost a given that there would be water running down the entire left side of the hole. There is also a large fairway bunker on the right side in the landing area. The green is squeezed in between a bunker right and the water hazard left.

A good course but too predictable.

May 04, 2021
5 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

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