Seven Months After Hurricane Harvey, Houston Ready To Welcome Back PGA Tour

Houston

You may remember the pictures that surfaced back in August after Hurricane Harvey hit of the Golf Club of Houston, home of the Houston Open on the PGA Tour. In case you forgot, here is a refresher:

That was just seven months ago. Looking at those pictures, it’s hard to believe that that same golf course is hosting the PGA Tour once again this week for the Houston Open.

Ryan Lavner of the Golf Channel has more on the scene from back in August.

The Golf Club of Houston is bisected by the Greens Bayou, which carries water from north Houston to Galveston Bay and then into the Gulf of Mexico. The Tournament Course’s tees and greens are built atop a 100-year floodplain, but that offered little protection against Harvey, a 500-year storm that bounced along the coast, stuck between two high-pressure systems.

With floodwaters rapidly approaching the University of Houston’s golf facility on the range, the coaches attempted a daring rescue. As the eye of the storm passed, offering a one-hour window of relative calm, they took off toward the building in kayaks and an inflatable raft.

“I’m paddling like hell,” said Houston men’s coach Jonathan Dismuke, “and the current was so strong that I was still getting pulled toward the Bayou. It was so powerful.”

They retrieved all of the women’s clubs, their new cameras, computers, two TrackMans and other valuables. “Maybe it was out of stupidity and sheer boredom,” Dismuke said, “but we thought it was a good idea at the time.”

Steve Timms, the president of the Houston Golf Association and the man who tweeted the pictures above, estimated the course recieved 40 inches of rain from the storm. The fact that it is even playable, let alone able to host a Tour event this week is an attest to not only the course, but the maintenance staff. Once again, Lavner:

All of the bunkers underwent a complete renovation last fall, but that was the extent of the damage – the course lost only a few trees. PGA Tour agronomist Mike Crawford made a site visit earlier this year and reported that the course is in “good condition,” a testament to superintendent Brian Buckner and his crew.

“If you look at pictures from September and then now,” Dismuke said, “you wouldn’t be able to really understand the scope of the damage.”

While the Houston Open, one of the longest-running tournaments on the Tour schedule will play this week without a sponsor, the fact that it is even being played just seven months after one of the most destructive hurricanes in history is a blessing to all.