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HJJ003

Memorial Park Renovation by Tom Doak (Future Home of Houston Open)

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Listening to Tom Doak on the Fried Egg golf podcast, I seem to remember him saying something along the lines of not wanting to put too much out there to advertise your course.  Put out enough to get people there, but then keep some gems "hidden" so that anybody that goes there gets another wonderful experience beyond what you could see from pictures.

This is likely for more high end, vacation style courses compared to one that will be played on the PGA tour, but it could be that they're keeping some of the best for last.

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Well they haven't covered the 16th yet (though we have seen a good deal of it in other vids), and we haven't seen the 18th at all but we have otherwise seen the back nine and nothing on the front. 

This hole will be a good one, but nothing overcomplicated here for the Pros. Should play under par as a par 5 typically does for them. May play a bit tougher for the high handicapper as a hook player has the stream to worry about and the slicer will make the hole considerably longer. It is feasible that a tour player will finish the stretch of 13-17 at 5 under par or more if they are on their game. 

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Tom Doak! This looks like an exciting hole for sure. A lot of people are going to enjoy watching it in the tournament, but I am looking forward to playing this hole. I am sure I will lay up more often than not, but in the right wind after a good drive...I may be tempted. This par 5 was pretty dull before and I only looked forward to it in the round because I usually made Par. That will be much harder to do now!

I wondered what he would do with #18 here. I was thinking maybe a centerline bunker because the corridor was so wide, but looks like a fairway ridge instead. This is the second green I have seen on the back nine that runs way from the golfer. The shaved edges will repel those golf shots for sure, and make up and downs interesting. 

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Ah the first hole. One of my favorite opening tee shots (probably my favorite actually) in all of Houston with some of the skyline in the background. The playing corridor looks the same for the most part, but the hole bends more left than it used to. I am glad they drained that stupid lake that seemed to never been in play unless you bombed the ball or hit a worm burner on your second shot. I like the contouring of the hole instead. Really glad they moved the green site a little more to the left, and brought the ravine into play. I don't agree with Kibbe that it will come into play on long second shots for the weekend guys...I think it will come into play more with bladed wedge shots on the third shot into greens. Ready to see more of those ravines!

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Wow this is one of my favorite holes thus far. #2 was a fairly simple short par 3 before, but now geez what a great short par 3! That makes one short par 3 on the front as well as the back. This larger ravine is supposed to be in play on holes 2-7, so I am very excited to see the other holes and how they utilize it. 

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Pretty cool tee shot for the back two boxes. The rest of the hole is good, but doesn't wow me. From what I can tell the fairway bunker won't come into play for me no matter what tees I play. I like how Doak has "opened up the course" not from a corridor perspective but from course cohesion perspective.

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Wow what golf hole! Playing from the correct set of tees, a player will have to have strong and accurate tee shot to have a reasonable chance of hitting this green. Looks like the play is up the left side to have the best angle. The green complex is the best I have seen so far (though there have been some good ones!) and the ravine in the background makes this hole stunning and dangerous if one gets too cute with a back or right pin position. Plenty of room to bail out left though. 

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1 hour ago, HJJ003 said:

Wow what golf hole! Playing from the correct set of tees, a player will have to have strong and accurate tee shot to have a reasonable chance of hitting this green. Looks like the play is up the left side to have the best angle. The green complex is the best I have seen so far (though there have been some good ones!) and the ravine in the background makes this hole stunning and dangerous if one gets too cute with a back or right pin position. Plenty of room to bail out left though. 

That looks like it would be one of my favorites.

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Another fun hole here that utilizes the nature ravine. I think the front 9 uses both natural ravine/creeks on the property with 2-7 using the more interesting ravine. Giles is correct, #5 was a fan favorite (along with #9 and #15) for those who played Memorial on  a regular basis. Honestly though, #5 was just kind of meh to me previously. The Tee shoot did have a chute of trees to drive through, but it often backed up play because so many people couldn't hit it through the chute. And as stated in the video, anything hit right was a total mystery as to what your shot had done once it landed. It was a pretty hole, but not worth the praise it was given IMO. This hole looks fun to me now. I am not entirely sure if I will be playing blues or orange tees (whatever is in the 6200-6500 range) but the typically harder ground and the slightly downhill grade will make for some interesting shots out of that bunker for anyone that hits driver her. I actually think most players will land far short of the bunker, but good players and long hitters will have to at least think about the risk. I wouldn't be surprised if its a 3-wood hole for me, followed by a short iron approach. 

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They paused this for the Houston Open week, but glad they have brought it back as we are less than a month from opening day of the new venue and I cant wait to play this course! Another fun Par 4 on the front. The stretch from 2-7 which uses the natural ravine on the property will be something special. Another great approach shot here with a bail out area to the right for the average golfer or nervous golfer. Another tee shot which has the better player want to favor a specific side, but pretty open driving hole for us average joe's. This hole used to be a shorter par 4 with a pond, that required nothing more than a 3 wood and sometimes just a hybrid. Not the case anymore. 

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I played Memorial Park probably 2 or 3 times a week for the first 5 years I lived in Houston after moving here in mid-70s.  Then played it a few times every year probably up until 15 years ago.  Played in the City Amateur there 2 times.  I can truly say that I hardly recognize the holes they have shown so far.  What a transformation!!!  If they can keep it in good shape should be a wonderful track.  Looking forward to playing it once again.

Edited by RickK

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I was stoked when I saw they did a double feature this week. I guess they had to make up for Houston Open week when they didn't show any holes from Memorial, and they are still on track to open in like two weeks or so. 

I am pumped about this hole. I told a friend that I had heard Doak was going to build a Redan, and if he did it would be #7...I was right! Less slope than the usual redan, but with more trouble than usual as well if you miss left. Nice big bailout area to the right for the higher handicappers, but still a tough position to score from when the green runs away from you. I agree with Butch in the video...the collection of par 3 holes are great now at memorial park, where previously they were not notable at all save for #15. 

Ready to play this bad boy!

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Ahhh yes #7.  I was waiting to see this one.  For years, I told everyone that this was the only dogleg left Par 3 I knew of.  From the back tees, if the pin was back left, you were forced to hit a draw around that big pine tree.  😊

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Unsurprised by this hole. When you Keep #7 a Par 3 and take the previously par 4 #9 and make it a mid Iron Par #3 the hole in between will have to get a lot longer. The previous #8 was a very short par 5, with no trouble other than a diagonal tee shot and some green side bunkers. The bunkers are gone, but the hole plays over 600 yards from the tips (as expected), and the green site brings the small front nine creek into play. Nothing more than a "routing" hole really to get the golfer between two far more interesting holes. Probably the least interesting hole I have seen on this new course, but thats ok...its still better than a lot of what was there before!

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Wow, the last hole of the week and its a great one! This will be my favorite par 3 on the course I am sure of it. They took the approach shot on a well known par 4 on the course and made it into a par 3. I am glad they did this as the hole was overrated before IMO, and Doak did wonders with it as a Par 3. I think the Tee shot is plenty challenging for players off all levels, and the green complex makes the short game/putting fun and interesting. I hope to have a "boomerang" putt every once in awhile just for the fun of trying to get it close. I think a lot of good players will try and bail out long and and the bunkers on the left will protect the back pins pretty well I think. 

The course is now open and I hope to play it this month! (tee times are booking up quickly and my Job has not been kind in giving me time to play so far). When I do play I will take pictures and give a write up of my thoughts. 

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Well the new method of booking tee time is to get online at 6am three days before your desired day of play, and me and my buddy both got on (he was up at like 4:15 checking just in case!) at the right time and no tee times were available before 3pm. I called the golf course to see if they had a tournament or if there was technical issues but the lady just told me they sold out in less than 1 minute. To be honest, I am not entirely sure I believe that, but I have no evidence to say it isn't true either. Unfortunately, I will not be playing the course this week and maybe not anytime soon due to work and holidays. Bummed!

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1 hour ago, HJJ003 said:

Well the new method of booking tee time is to get online at 6am three days before your desired day of play, and me and my buddy both got on (he was up at like 4:15 checking just in case!) at the right time and no tee times were available before 3pm. I called the golf course to see if they had a tournament or if there was technical issues but the lady just told me they sold out in less than 1 minute. To be honest, I am not entirely sure I believe that, but I have no evidence to say it isn't true either. Unfortunately, I will not be playing the course this week and maybe not anytime soon due to work and holidays. Bummed!

Yeah - things were better in the old days, when you had to show up at the pro shop at 6:30am to put your name in for the 7:00 draw on Friday morning for a weekend tee time. It was quite a diverse group of people at Memorial, this would have been around '82-'88, then we joined a club for a few years and by the time we were back playing Memorial they had a call in reservation system. 
These on-line systems seem to get overwhelmed, especially for popular courses or high density population centers

 

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4 hours ago, Wally Fairway said:

Yeah - things were better in the old days, when you had to show up at the pro shop at 6:30am to put your name in for the 7:00 draw on Friday morning for a weekend tee time. It was quite a diverse group of people at Memorial, this would have been around '82-'88, then we joined a club for a few years and by the time we were back playing Memorial they had a call in reservation system. 
These on-line systems seem to get overwhelmed, especially for popular courses or high density population centers

 

For real man. My buddy thinks this will get enough flack (more than few people have started raising heck about it) will bring back the lottery, but I don't know. I am not sure one method is better than another it just sucks cause I am dying to play it haha. 

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