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