Memorial Park Golf Course

In 1917, Camp Logan was established along the banks of the Buffalo Bayou, approximately five miles from downtown Houston, and a year later the camp’s hospital administrator constructed a nine-hole golf course with sand greens to help injured soldiers recuperate in both body and spirit.  In 1923, due to a Houston Chronicle supporting the Camp’s legacy and honor the soldiers who trained on those grounds, the Hogg family donated title to 1500 acres to the city.  In 1924, Memorial Park was consecrated.

Ten years later the Workers Progress Administration chose the construction of a golf course for its first government sponsored project in Houston. Workers descended on Memorial Park under the supervision of a visionary Princeton graduate, John Bredemus, later known as the Father of Texas Golf as the designer for courses such as Bredemus designed golf courses such as Colonial Country Club, Glen Garden Golf & Country Club and Ridglea Country Club-North Course. In addition to Memorial Park Bredemus designed the layouts for Houston’s Pine Forest, BraeBurn and Westwood Country Clubs, yet considered Memorial Park one of his finest accomplishments.

Babe Didrikson Zaharias graced Memorial Park’s fairways along with other notable golfers. With assistance of Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Byron Nelson and Johnny Weismuller, Jimmy Demaret hosted the 1943 War Bonds Drive at the course.
Great Britain’s Bobby Locke won The 1947 Houston Open played at Memorial Park; Ben Hogan tied for eighth place. The Houston Open return to Memorial Park in 1951 and remained there for twelve years. Arnold Palmer, Jack Burke, Cary Middlecoff, Jay Hebert and Bob Charles are counted among this tournament’s champions. Other players competing, but coming up short included Jack Nicklaus, Ken Venturi, Julius Boros and Roberto DeVicenzo.

Houston’s most popular public golf course succumbed to the ravages of time and the tread of countless municipal golfers. Once again The Bayou City’s citizens rallied to preserve the hallowed grounds of affordable public golf and creatively funded an extensive renovation of the golf course with a mandate to remain true to John Bredemus’ original design. The course reopened in 1995 to rave reviews and within a few years hosted the NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Golf Championship. 

The Dallas Morning News currently ranks Memorial Park in Texas’ Top Fifty Public Courses and Number 6 in the state’s Top Twenty-Five Economy Golf Courses. Over sixty-five thousand rounds a year are played at the golf course. This municipal facility hosts Houston’s City Amateur Men’s, Women’s and Senior’s tournaments in the early fall. In an effort to nurture junior golf the course conducts several junior tournaments and offers summer camps to introduce novice players to the game and course etiquette. 
The silhouette of a soldier wearing a campaign-hat is a prominent figure on the golf course logo. This homage to Camp Logan and our veterans’ sacrifices dovetails with Memorial Park’s commitment to maintaining a top-tier facility for affordable public golf and unwavering support of Junior Golf.


City: Houston, Texas

Course Opened: July, 1936

Course Closed: N/A


Lindy Miller

Fort Worth’s Lindy Miller made a name for himself in the mid-1970s as one of our country’s best amateur golfers, winning such prestigious tournaments as the Southern Amateur Championship and the Pacific Coast Amateur Championship. He was a member of two NCAA Championship teams during his career at Oklahoma State University before graduating with a degree in business administration.

Miller was the low amateur at the U.S. Open in 1977, the Masters in 1978, played on the Walker Cup team in 1977 and was College Golfer of the Year in 1978. He spent six years as a tournament player on the PGA Tour, and then in 1985 began his distinguished career as a PGA Golf Professional and Teacher. He began as an Assistant Golf Professional at Columbian Country Club in Dallas before becoming the first Head Golf Professional at Fort Worth’s Mira Vista Country Club, where he remained for 22 years. As a respected club professional, Miller continued winning awards and recognition. 

During this time, in 1996, he started the Lindy Miller Foundation for Junior Golf, a charitable organization with the purpose of bringing the game of golf to underprivileged youth. Over the years, his foundation evolved into The First Tee of Fort Worth, where he remains an Honorary Board Member. Lindy currently serves as a Teaching Professional at Shady Oaks Country Club in Ft. Worth, the boy’s golf coach at Fort Worth Country Day, and is responsible for corporate development and patron relations for The Ben Hogan Foundation.


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Blaine McCallister

Blaine is an American professional golfer who has played on the PGA Tour, Nationwide Tour and Champions Tour.


McCallister was born in Fort Stockton, Texas. He attended the University of Houston and was a member of the golf team. His college roommates were future fellow professional golfer Fred Couples and future CBS Sports golf host Jim Nantz.  McCallister turned pro in 1981. McCallister joined the PGA Tour in 1982. He had a total of five wins on the PGA Tour, all of which came in the late 1980s and early 1990s. As he entered his forties, McCallister began to split his playing time between the PGA Tour and the Nationwide Tour. He established the tournament record of 265 at the Northeast Pennsylvania Classic, which is his sole win on the Nationwide Tour. 

After turning 50 in October 2008, McCallister began playing on the Champions Tour. 
McCallister is naturally left-handed but plays the game mix-handed; he writes left-handed, strikes the ball right-handed and putts left-handed.  He currently lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.


Birthplace: Austin, Texas

Born: November 25, 1931

Died: July 11, 2003


Joe Finger

Hello

Joe Finger was born in Houston, Texas where he lived until retiring to Kerrville in 1988. 

Mr. Finger earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Rice Institute and a Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  While at Rice, he was a four year golf letterman, serving as Co-Captain of the golf team which won the Southwest Conference Championship.  

In 1941 Mr. Finger began his professional career as a chemical engineer with positions at Pan America Refining Corp (AMOCVO), J.S. Abercrombie & Company where he was instrumental in the design, startup and operation of the 100 octane aviation gasoline refinery at Old Ocean, Texas. In spite of many attempts to get into the armed forces, he was consistently deferred by the Petroleum Administration for War.

After the war Mr. Finger began work for Corrulux, where his innovative work with plastic was lauded.  Corulux was eventually sold to Libbey Owens Ford Glass Company, where he remained as President of the Corrulux Division for four years. He held several patents on the manufacturing process which is used all over the world.  He then turned to his favorite pastime, golf, for his next venture. 

Mr. Finger was an accomplished golfer as he held the Westwood Country Club championship for 13 years, while developing golf course architecture as a serious hobby.  Starting out as an unpaid superintendent and doing all of the engineering work for the golf course, he was hired by the Westwood architect to assist the addition of 9 holes to their course.  Mr. Finger was eventually recommended by the architect to apply for the course at Randolph Air Force base in San Antonio. He got the job.  

From that humble beginning, he became one of the top golf course architects in the country, as judged by the number of his works included in Golf Digest list of Americas 100 Greatest Courses. His courses from New York, though the southeast, southwest and into California and Mexico, earned him many honors over the 45 years he spent in the business. He also built nine courses for the Air Force, and His consulting work took him to Canada, Puerto Rico, St. Croix, Spain, Italy, and Germany.

He was particularly honored when Byron Nelson asked him to help rebuild the 8th green at the Masters.  During his career he was a member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, and served as Director of the National Club Association.

In 1988 he retired, moved to Kerrville and worked with Byron Nelson to redesign the Riverhill Country Club golf course. His final undertaking was the complete remodeling of the Scott Schriener Municipal Golf Course in Kerrville.


Birthplace: Houston, Texas

Born:  June 4, 1918

Died: September 28, 2003


Robin Burke

Robin is the current captain of the women’s U.S. Curtis Cup team.   Robin Burke was the runner-up in the 1997 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, falling to Silvia Cavalleri at Brae Burn Country Club in West Newton, Mass. The following year, she was a member of the USA Team that took a 10-8 victory over GB&I at The Minikahda Club in Minneapolis, Minn. Burke paired with Virginia Derby Grimes for two foursomes victories and lost her singles match.

Burke has competed in more than 35 USGA individual championships, including three U.S. Women’s Opens. She has reached the semifinals of the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship three times, and in 2003, she took stroke-play medalist honors in the Women’s Mid-Amateur at Long Cove Club in Hilton Head Island, S.C. Her 38 Women’s Mid-Amateur match-play victories are tied for third-most in championship history with four-time champion Meghan Stasi, trailing only past Curtis Cup captains Ellen Port (58 victories; 2014 captain) and Carol Semple Thompson (56 victories; 2006, 2008 captain). Additionally, Burke has played for Texas in four USGA Women’s State Team Championships, helping her team to runner-up finishes in 1995 and 2011.

Burke won the 2001 Ione D. Jones/Doherty Championship, as well as the 1992 and 2001 Southern Women’s Amateur Championships. She won the 1990 and 1991 Texas Women’s Amateur Championships, and she is an eight-time Greater Houston Women's City Amateur champion.
Burke is married to two-time major champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member Jack Burke Jr. The Burkes own Houston’s famed Champions Golf Club, where Robin Burke serves as vice president. The club has hosted numerous professional and amateur events, including the 1967 Ryder Cup (won by the USA), the 1969 U.S. Open Championship (won by Orville Moody), the 1993 U.S. Amateur Championship (won by John Harris), the 1998 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship (won by Derby Grimes) and five PGA Tour Championships.


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