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woolie

Hermann Park Golf Coarse

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Is this the highest and best use of this park land? My rough outline of the course and club house is about 125 acres.

Note: Topic title should be "COURSE" obviously. "Coarse" is jargon in my field... Can someone correct the title?

Edited by woolie

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Approximate boundaries and land areas:

Main park area (Red)

94 acres

Zoo (Blue)

54 acres

Museum / Botanical (Green)

26 acres

Parking (Purple)

14 acres

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7251981780_b7787aa5b7_z.jpg

Is this the highest and best use of this park land? My rough outline of the course and club house is about 125 acres.

Note: Topic title should be "COURSE" obviously. "Coarse" is jargon in my field... Can someone correct the title?

Yes, it is.

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I glance at this website from time to time out of, well, I suppose nostalgia is the word (though it doesn't seem quite right!) for my Houston childhood.

Are you suggesting that Houston needs less open space?!!!

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Is this the highest and best use of this park land? My rough outline of the course and club house is about 125 acres.

Yeah, for right now, I don't think that redeveloping the golf course as intensively-programmed park space would lure enough additional people per acre to keep the park from feeling more empty (in terms of the number of users at any given time). If I want a sense of naturalistic isolation, that's what Memorial Park is for.

The part I always wonder about is the gardening center. It can be very inconvenient for someone trying to exit the park walking northbound, especially at night. And I just don't know who uses it. Seems kind of like a fuddy duddy relic of a generation that's dying out.

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I glance at this website from time to time out of, well, I suppose nostalgia is the word (though it doesn't seem quite right!) for my Houston childhood.

Are you suggesting that Houston needs less open space?!!!

Pretty sure he's just saying that a golf course is a very inefficient use of open space. There are only 48 tee times a day for a maximum of 4 people. Even if every time is taken with the largest party possible, that is only 192 people per day (although it could be more with the driving range and other ammenities). So even assuming it operates at maximum capacity year round, the zoo still averages 22.8 times more people per day despite using less than half the space. As a comparison Discovery Green saw an average of 850,000 visitors per year in its first two years ("over 4 million" since it opened, but I don't know as of when.), and that's just a 12 acre park.

While it's nice to have a golf course so close into the city, I have to agree that it is wasted space in its current form.

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Yes, like Yakuza says. The 125 acres for the golf course is already highly programmed -- but to a very specific use that limits both the number of users (a few hundred), and the appeal of the activity (high investment, large block of time, no appeal for children.) It might as well be a polo field. Should the city use such a large block of a very precious and limited resource for this use?

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Quite the utilitarian, aren't you? So possibly 70,000 golfers a year. It won't help much but perhaps you should count "people-hours" (HRU: Human Recreational Unit? - as I type I realize it surely already exists) instead since each golfer will be on the course 4 hours. Whereas who could stand to be at the Discovery Green with their kids for 4 hours?

(Understand that I don't have the slightest idea what the Discovery Green is, but the name makes my eyes glaze over.)

(You kindly reply and explain. I write back, "Oh, sounds fun." Not really.)

Now during my infrequent visits I have seen how they cleaned up the reflection pool in Hermann Park (or bailed it out - who knew it had rectilinear concrete edges?) and thought that looked very nice. But no one can stand in it and recreate. So it's not an amenity in your brute reckoning?

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I believe the 90 year old Herman Park course is Houston's oldest golf course and I think an inner-city golf course is good for the community.

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There are already two other municipal golf courses inside the loop -- Memorial Park and Gus Wortham. Both of these are in more appropriate locations for a low-density/intensity recreational activity.

Hermann Park is in the very core of the city, adjacent to the very dense TMC, a major university, the tourist destination Museum District, and served by fixed route transit. I have been on the train hundreds of times and have never once seen a person carrying a set of golf clubs, despite the fact that the three stations servicing Hermann Park are heavily used. Yet, we've allocated 125 acres of prime urban park to this use. When the Hermann Park Golf Course was first laid out in 1922, it was a legitimately suburban area.

Edited by woolie

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I'm with Fringe, but to be candid when I lived in Houston I was always looking for places to go where there weren't any people (don't forget that kids need somewhere to go when they don't feel like going to school!), so I have a completely different scale of values than the one the rest of you are employing. But when you're talking about a city of 5 million people, is it really so quixotic to assign a value to either solitude or empty space? If I were on board that train, the sight of imaginary golfers in a bit of green space would do me good.

And hey, the value of one round of golf on that 90-year-old course, to one old man (let's make him ninety as well), may be greater than the value of 4 hours spent by a family of four at the Discovery Green, doing and discovering whatever it is you do there...

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If you walk on the golf course, I can absolutely guarantee that within a minute or two, someone will come along in a golf cart and escort you off the premises. I don't see how that helps anyone find an empty space to sit and be alone. Unless of course you make the investment in clubs, drive to the course, get a slot, and commit several hours to an organized group activity. Which isn't really the same thing as quiet open space, either.

...and fyi, Discovery Green is a nice new urban park downtown. It's just a regular park, and like most other parks, it has a name. Which happens to be Discovery Green. Since it's on a small site, it's carefully designed to accomodate many uses (programs) in a limited space. Unfortunately, for reasons that no one can understand, the city did not feel it was necessary to put a golf course on this 12 acre site.

Edited by woolie

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Gus Wortham is the oldest course in Houston, 1908 was when it opened. Indeed, it's actually the oldest course in Texas.

Personally, I don't care for the course myself, having played it once, but I think it does serve a need for the area.

What other use would it have? More medical towers? Bigger park? Bigger zoo area? Super sized skate park?

What about Memorial park? There's a lot of land there that isn't utilized at all, maybe some back trails for people who want to feel like they're doing some mountain biking, that's a lot less efficient use of space though. The Arboretum? How many visitors does that place draw?

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Expand the zoo into the golf course and consider animal enclosures hazards. Charge a sufficient greens fee to offset the occasional vet bill due to some idiot giraffe not ducking when a player yells 'Fore!'

Problem solved - everybody wins! (except maybe the giraffe)

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So you have an urban golf course that is under-utilized, but plays some role in improving air quality and mitigating heat island. It is not well-maintained, so probably doesn't cost that much to run. (I would say this is one reason it is not well-used, but I'm sure the truth is in our culture all outdoor pastimes are on the wane.) You could improve the fun per acre, make it more of an interactive greensward a la the unfortunately named Discovery Green which would increase impervious cover and be expensive, would in fact require a non-profit to step in to provide the amenities as I gather from Googling is the case with DG.

Or you could turn some of the golf course into something a little more democratic like soccer fields. Get ready to lose the trees then, and I'm not at all convinced you'll see round-the-clock games from your train. Or no more golf, walking paths instead.

Or you could privatize it - Schlitterbahn? I'm dreaming big.

Maybe these are worthy ideas, but why on Earth would you ever start by altering something that is not ugly as is, and does no harm, in fact can easily be shown to be somewhat beneficial, in a city like Houston with so much blight? Wouldn't the $$ be better spent increasing your parkland per capita? it's not that hard - you pass some bonds to fund open space. Why are the people of Houston so undemanding? All the things you want to do, do them somewhere it will have the ancillary effect of making the city more liveable. I imagine most of you could throw a rock at such an area.

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To answer woolies question, no you can't edit your topic. I did the same thing awhile back starting a topic, mispelling a word but it seems that once you post it, that's it.

I played on a league with a group of employees a few years back at Herman Park. The course marshall was very unfriendly. He was always dogging us for playing too slow, even though we always let others play through. I'm not a very good golfer, but if you have to be Lee Trevino to keep the marshall off your ass than forget it.

Note: Do any of you remember when the exit off of 288 read Hermann Park spelt with two "n"s?

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Pretty sure he's just saying that a golf course is a very inefficient use of open space. There are only 48 tee times a day for a maximum of 4 people. Even if every time is taken with the largest party possible, that is only 192 people per day (although it could be more with the driving range and other ammenities). So even assuming it operates at maximum capacity year round, the zoo still averages 22.8 times more people per day despite using less than half the space. As a comparison Discovery Green saw an average of 850,000 visitors per year in its first two years ("over 4 million" since it opened, but I don't know as of when.), and that's just a 12 acre park.

While it's nice to have a golf course so close into the city, I have to agree that it is wasted space in its current form.

This is the same logic used to complain about single family homes instead of condos and apartments. Why, we could fit 20 people on your lot if you didn't waste it on your one lousy house! I'm curious. Has Houston run out of land, requiring us to pave over its golf courses? And where did you get the 48 tee times? At 8 minutes per tee, starting at 7 am, I'd bet they get a few more across the course than you estimate.

Look, I haven't played golf in probably 10 years. And, probably like you, I find many golfers to be pricks. But, I don't run around trying to sell off all of the golf courses. The recession took care of most of them anyway. When Houston runs out of land, start a petition, and I'll sign. Until then, I think Hermann can stay.

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Houston hasn't run out of land. It's expanding West at 3/10ths the speed of light, according to some on this forum. But publicly own park land in the center of the city's amenities. Well, that's a pretty scarce resource.

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Simbha has the right idea here. Replace the golf course with a putt-putt that's really an expansion of the zoo. No animatronic lizards sucking your balls down their gullet--real Komodo dragon action! And how cool is this--we could justify an actual moat as part of planned city development. There would even be enough room for go-karts, if planned correctly. Forget that dinky-ass water feature at Discovery Green.

Until economics dictate that all public green space be programmed and designated for maximum density, I would like to keep enjoying a variety of open space. We're not there yet, not even close.

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Splash pads v. golf: this is a false dilemma. You must see that the real problem is that Houston makes no investment in parkland. it's baffling to me that your city officeholders don't even have to pay lip service to the idea. It's a total non-issue to the the small number of people who vote and could make it a priority if they wished.

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Houston Zoo

55 acres

San Diego Zoo

100 acres

Fort Worth Zoo

64 acres

Columbus Zoo

580 acres

Bronx Zoo

265 acres

Audubon Zoo and Aquarium, New Orleans

58 acres

Philadelphia Zoo

42 acres

Phoenix Zoo

125 acres

Smithsonian National Zoological Park

163 acres

Baltimore Aquarium

6 acres

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Houston Zoo

55 acres

San Diego Zoo

100 acres

Fort Worth Zoo

64 acres

Columbus Zoo

580 acres

Bronx Zoo

265 acres

Audubon Zoo and Aquarium, New Orleans

58 acres

Philadelphia Zoo

42 acres

Phoenix Zoo

125 acres

Smithsonian National Zoological Park

163 acres

Baltimore Aquarium

6 acres

Not sure what this is meant to imply, but I'm guessing you're pointing out that the Houston Zoo is smaller in area than many other zoos in the country.

Yeah, it's not the biggest zoo - but it is efficient and has a large assortment of animals. And, it's well-visited. Is larger better? I'm not sure...

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Not sure what this is meant to imply, but I'm guessing you're pointing out that the Houston Zoo is smaller in area than many other zoos in the country.

Yeah, it's not the biggest zoo - but it is efficient and has a large assortment of animals. And, it's well-visited. Is larger better? I'm not sure...

Let me point out that (according to Wikipedia) the Houston Zoo has over 6,000 specimens from over 900 species. In my opinion, variety is more important than number of animals, so here's a comparison of the above-listed zoos which are larger in area by number of species:

Columbus Zoo: 700 species

San Diego Zoo: 800 species

Smithsonian National Zoological Park: 400 species

Bronx Zoo: 600 species

Audubon Zoo and Aquarium: (Not available)

Phoenix Zoo: (Not available)

Fort Worth Zoo: 435 species

At least based on this sample, the Houston Zoo isn't doing half bad. Of course, being smaller than these, it begs the question: Is the Houston Zoo of sufficient size to comfortably house these animals? I have no idea; this isn't my area.

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Houston zoo is big enough that it's already hard enough to see all the animals in 1 visit.

Columbus Zoo is 30% bigger than all of Hermann Park (Zoo, Musuem, golf course, Miller outdoor theatre, Park).... Walking-wise.... that sounds like absolute hell. Do they have golf carts for rent ?

Since this started out as a question of effiency of land-use....

Houston Zoo - 6000 animals on 55 acres - 392 SF per animal

SD Zoo - 4000 animals on 100 acres - 1089 SF per animal

Audubon Zoo - 2000 animals on 58 acres - 1263 SF per animal

Bronx Zoo - 4000 animals on 265 acres - 2874 SF per animal

Columbus Zoo - 9000 animals on 580 acres - 2874 SF per animal

I'm so happy to hear that on average, an animal in the Columbus zoo has an abode bigger than the average Houston residence. Efficiency-wise.. We're kicking ass. Cram those animals in there.

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This pretty much negates my entire last facetious post seeing as we probably can't trust any of those zoo size numbers.

Columbus Zoo is seriously padding their stats.

They've got to be including parking, owned yet undevelooped land, and maybe satelite offices/facilities in that 580 acre stat.

They are defintately including the Zoombezi Bay water park (for humans)(Green area) as part of that area since it's on their official map.

580 acres my ass... Their zoo proper looks to be closer to 50% larger than our, 90 acres tops.

Also.. They're 14 miles outside of town.. just saying.

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Edited by Highway6

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My figures were from the Wikipedia article for each zoo. I'm not saying our current zoo is too small. But could it benefit from being larger? Would a larger zoo provide more benefit than a golf course?

I imagine the major draws at zoos are the large mammals -- lions, tigers, zebras, rhinos, elephants, giraffes, hippos, pandas, and so on. These mostly plains animals need large enclosures, even if in total they are only a few % of the total species displayed. Even recently, the zoo opened a large new exhibit for primates.

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My figures were from the Wikipedia article for each zoo. I'm not saying our current zoo is too small. But could it benefit from being larger? Would a larger zoo provide more benefit than a golf course?

The zoo just grew about 20% bigger a couple years ago with the opening of the African Forest.

I don't golf. Tried it once; was a terrible experience that involved dodging way to many of these...

Highland_Cattle_bull.jpg

Still To answer your question, I'd say no. I'd say its a great size for a single day visit, and it's even pushing it limits now in that regard.

Now.. if you wanna plow over the golf course for say a certain oil derrick/Jeff Bagwell/ space shuttle monument.... or perhaps a relocated astrodome structural system/pterodactyl aviary.... I'm all ears.

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I'm so happy to hear that on average, an animal in the Columbus zoo has an abode bigger than the average Houston residence. Efficiency-wise.. We're kicking ass. Cram those animals in there.

This is basically counter to what most people think make the nation's best zoos more appealing and humane. Large, natural environments are the trend. San Diego and Ft. Worth are good examples.

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This is basically counter to what most people think make the nation's best zoos more appealing and humane. Large, natural environments are the trend. San Diego and Ft. Worth are good examples.

This pretty much negates my entire last facetious post seeing as we probably can't trust any of those zoo size numbers.

The zoo just grew about 20% bigger a couple years ago with the opening of the African Forest.

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No animatronic lizards sucking your balls down their gullet

I just realized why I've been avoiding the zoo for some time now.

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This is basically counter to what most people think make the nation's best zoos more appealing and humane. Large, natural environments are the trend. San Diego and Ft. Worth are good examples.

Agreed in principle, but hard to say without being granular about the species of which we're speaking. For obvious reasons, a large, varied nest of mice needs far less land than a single elephant (assuming adequate food is provided by humans).

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Splash pads v. golf: this is a false dilemma. You must see that the real problem is that Houston makes no investment in parkland. it's baffling to me that your city officeholders don't even have to pay lip service to the idea. It's a total non-issue to the the small number of people who vote and could make it a priority if they wished.

There is no false dilemma, because there's no good reason the golf course needs to go.

It's unsexy, but at the moment there is much more than just lip service being spent on managing parkspace and the effects of the drought.

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If you walk on the golf course, I can absolutely guarantee that within a minute or two, someone will come along in a golf cart and escort you off the premises. I don't see how that helps anyone find an empty space to sit and be alone. Unless of course you make the investment in clubs, drive to the course, get a slot, and commit several hours to an organized group activity. Which isn't really the same thing as quiet open space, either.

...and fyi, Discovery Green is a nice new urban park downtown. It's just a regular park, and like most other parks, it has a name. Which happens to be Discovery Green. Since it's on a small site, it's carefully designed to accomodate many uses (programs) in a limited space. Unfortunately, for reasons that no one can understand, the city did not feel it was necessary to put a golf course on this 12 acre site.

You can walk through the golf course on the improved paths that they've cut through it. I do so often. Also, the jogging paths along the perimeter of the golf course are very pleasant, as is the aesthetic.

If I could play frisbee golf on the golf course, I'm not sure that I'd want to. It's quite isolated. You'd find me somewhere closer to where the people are in the first place. And that's my concern with intensively programming the entire golf course. It'd spread out the people and reduce its aesthetic of urban vibrancy in the core part of the park, but it would also eliminate the sense of lush serenity on its eastern periphery. It'd reduce contrasts to a middling something. Does that make sense?

This is basically counter to what most people think make the nation's best zoos more appealing and humane. Large, natural environments are the trend. San Diego and Ft. Worth are good examples.

I can't speak to the trend, but I'll say this much. If I go to a zoo and the lions are sleeping in a little nook or cranny that isn't visible to me, that's not entertaining. If the giraffes are so distant that I need binoculars, that is not entertaining. Zoos exist for the sake of my entertainment, not so that animals can be stress-free or so that I can make-believe that they exist in a natural environment and that I'm on a research safari.

If that's cruel, then it is what it is. And you know something, maybe there is something to be said for a larger enclosure. But if we're going to do this, let's do it right. Take several plots of several thousand acres each from the Barker or Addickes reservoirs and convert them to African savannah. Install large herd animals. Make it an adjunct to the zoo. When it floods, herd them into an enclosure on high ground. I'm perfectly serious about this, btw. It'd take the Houston Zoo to a completely different level. Simply taking over the golf course couldn't have the same effect (and would come at a higher opportunity cost, IMO).

Edited by TheNiche

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You can walk through the golf course on the improved paths that they've cut through it. I do so often. Also, the jogging paths along the perimeter of the golf course are very pleasant, as is the aesthetic.

If I could play frisbee golf on the golf course, I'm not sure that I'd want to. It's quite isolated. You'd find me somewhere closer to where the people are in the first place. And that's my concern with intensively programming the entire golf course. It'd spread out the people and reduce its aesthetic of urban vibrancy in the core part of the park, but it would also eliminate the sense of lush serenity on its eastern periphery. It'd reduce contrasts to a middling something. Does that make sense?

I can't speak to the trend, but I'll say this much. If I go to a zoo and the lions are sleeping in a little nook or cranny that isn't visible to me, that's not entertaining. If the giraffes are so distant that I need binoculars, that is not entertaining. Zoos exist for the sake of my entertainment, not so that animals can be stress-free or so that I can make-believe that they exist in a natural environment and that I'm on a research safari.

If that's cruel, then it is what it is. And you know something, maybe there is something to be said for a larger enclosure. But if we're going to do this, let's do it right. Take several plots of several thousand acres each from the Barker or Addickes reservoirs and convert them to African savannah. Install large herd animals. Make it an adjunct to the zoo. When it floods, herd them into an enclosure on high ground. I'm perfectly serious about this, btw. It'd take the Houston Zoo to a completely different level. Simply taking over the golf course couldn't have the same effect (and would come at a higher opportunity cost, IMO).

There is something to be said for the alternative view of relocating the zoo to another greenspace instead of taking over the golf course. (I realize Niche is actually suggesting an adjunct, but a pure relocation should at least be considered, if we're fantasizing about what to do.)

I personally don't care for the golf course. Why? Because I don't play the game. I'd much prefer the course be made into something else (not sure if expanding the zoo's a great idea) - but, I also recognize that this is just my opinion. My (actual) suggestion would be to convert the space into a botanical gardens - likely, an extension of the rose gardens that are already there (but, improved significantly). There's talk of establishing a formal botanical gardens in the city, and I think this would be an ideal location. But, again, I recognize that it's just a selfish desire to have something I'd enjoy more than the golf course.

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On a side note - since we're on the broad subject of Hermann Park - I'd really like to see that we somehow make the north corner of the park (Mecom fountain, etc) much more pedestrian friendly. I'm not talking about the areainside the park itself, but rather the walkways to get to the Bloch Cancer Survivor's Plaza, Mecom-Rockwell Colonnade and the Fountain itself. Maybe replace the standard painted walkways with brick inlays as is done over by the Sam Houston statue. That would make it more appealing IMO - and extend the sense of what constitutes 'the park'. This is particularly relevant to the roundabout/fountain. I see people walking to the fountain all the time, but there is currently NO designated pedestrian crosswalk to get there from the park. I'm not sure how to accomplish the latter or where to place a crosswalk, but this would be a good addition IMO.

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There is no false dilemma, because there's no good reason the golf course needs to go.

It's unsexy, but at the moment there is much more than just lip service being spent on managing parkspace and the effects of the drought.

I'm not sure who's misunderstanding whom, but my whole point really boiled down to, if you desire more Discovery Green-type spaces, make it count and put them somewhere that would benefit from remediation, not on top of already existing open space that, in Houston terms, is already quite pretty and as the poster above pointed out, furnishes a contrast to the more "programmed" areas of the park. Indeed, to the whole area. Why waste the good work of an earlier generation? Another Tiger Woods may come along and golf will be popular again (insofar as outdoor recreation ever will be). If not, you've got ready-made walking or biking paths

Also, if the whole park is given over to uses that require a great deal of upkeep/management...if it is anything like where I live, you'll regret it. The novelty wears off and things deteriorate. The parks department can only handle so much. There seems to be a law of conservation of city amenities. (See abovementioned Reflecting Pool, and everyone's surprise when they drained it to discover there was an actual reflecting pool there.) Hedge your bets and leave some of the park as trees and grass.

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Also, if the whole park is given over to uses that require a great deal of upkeep/management...if it is anything like where I live, you'll regret it. The novelty wears off and things deteriorate. The parks department can only handle so much.

I'm pretty sure that the golf course requires more upkeep/management per acre than most of the rest of the park. That's the nature of golf courses. I could be wrong, though...

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I imagine there is a continuum of golf-course maintenance from Hermann Park to Pebble Beach. Mowing, yes, and trimming trees, but it's unlikely they keep it manicured.

Haven't played the golf course since the 80's. Zoo and train when last enjoyed 2 or three years ago seemed fun. Thought the little Japanese-inspired garden was a nice addition. Really dig reflecting pools. Hope the stuffed grizzly bear is still striking awe inside the natural history museum. I also love the huge amethyst - or was it a geode? I'm forgetting - that was just inside the parking garage entrance. Would never have seen it because I'm far too cheap to pay for parking, but Lexus-driving mother loves to pay for parking. Y'all should check it out!

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Hopefully the course is making enough money to pay for it's own upkeep. I haven't played there in about 4 or 5 years. I liked the old layout better. When the clubhouse and number 1 tee was up by the zoo. They used to share the same parking lot. They redesigned it I believe in the 80's. I like old courses like Herman and Sharpstown because they are good walking courses. Newer courses are not designed for walking. Of course I only play about 5 or 6 times a year. I don't even keep score. I just enjoy relaxing and being outdoors. That's the way golf should be played. Some people take it way to serious.

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Hopefully the course is making enough money to pay for it's own upkeep. I haven't played there in about 4 or 5 years. I liked the old layout better. When the clubhouse and number 1 tee was up by the zoo. They used to share the same parking lot. They redesigned it I believe in the 80's. I like old courses like Herman and Sharpstown because they are good walking courses. Newer courses are not designed for walking. Of course I only play about 5 or 6 times a year. I don't even keep score. I just enjoy relaxing and being outdoors. That's the way golf should be played. Some people take it way to serious.

Google Earth historic imagery says the new clubhouse was built between 1995 and 2002. My guess is closer to 2002. I seem to remember it wasn't that long ago.

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Google Earth historic imagery says the new clubhouse was built between 1995 and 2002. My guess is closer to 2002. I seem to remember it wasn't that long ago.

That could be. I played it in the mid 80's and then not again until 02 - 03. Now that I think of it the clubhouse was fairly new when I played around 10 years ago.

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Not sure what this is meant to imply, but I'm guessing you're pointing out that the Houston Zoo is smaller in area than many other zoos in the country.

Yeah, it's not the biggest zoo - but it is efficient and has a large assortment of animals. And, it's well-visited. Is larger better? I'm not sure...

I always liked the idea of the Zoo taking over the golf course. Maybe leave the edges as a part of Herman Park.

I'm not a golfer so I really don't care for the course much.

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It's so funny this topic showed up because I was thinking the same thing about the golf course a few weeks ago! Anyway, I could only come to the conclusion that the golf course is probably being set aside for some kind of future expansion of the zoo though I really do like the idea of a Botanical Garden. IMO, I think any redevelopment of the course will more than likely have a green function, whether it be a future zoo expansion, botanical gardens or a Discovery Green type park.

Edited by intencity77

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There are already two other municipal golf courses inside the loop -- Memorial Park and Gus Wortham. Both of these are in more appropriate locations for a low-density/intensity recreational activity.

Hermann Park is in the very core of the city, adjacent to the very dense TMC, a major university, the tourist destination Museum District, and served by fixed route transit. I have been on the train hundreds of times and have never once seen a person carrying a set of golf clubs, despite the fact that the three stations servicing Hermann Park are heavily used. Yet, we've allocated 125 acres of prime urban park to this use. When the Hermann Park Golf Course was first laid out in 1922, it was a legitimately suburban area.

What is it that you don't think Hermann Park is already doing that it should be doing? Why is extra space needed when Hermann Park's non-golf area is already large and well-used?

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72 hours in Houston: "Let's check out the Discovery Green!" Blood relations were puzzled but complied.

What a very nice space. It definitely softens up the convention center and is a good spot for the "Monument au fantome" (thanks, Google). The nearby hotel guests must be pleased to have somewhere to walk. Is there a peculiar public/private funding mechanism? - because it doesn't seem to be managed by the city. The grounds were nearly immaculate. Lots of children were splashing; I didn't splash because Mother was taking me to a place called "Tiny Boxwoods" for lunch but I understand the allure of splashing, having splashed just in the past month in Rapid City, SD, Trinidad, CO, and Waco. (You'll find, on a road trip, that other people don't mind pulling over to let you splash because it gives them a chance to fiddle with their iPhones.)

That said, DG seems distinctly like a tourism or chamber of commerce initiative. It's a fine use of a city block, but it would never have occurred to me to even speak of it in the same breath as Hermann or Memorial Park or, regarding Waco, Cameron Park, which is hands down the best urban park in the state.

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The golf course serves as a continuom of a cultural imperative. It's not for the masses, but for the masses to aspire to and the few to demonstrate by example. It's like the sport of fishing - not about catching any fish, but taking the time to exercise and think while casually occupied. Golf is far more about a positive social experience rather than manicly slamming the bejeesus out of a little plastic ball then anxiously praying it will miraculously seek a hole. I miss the stables and bridle path that used to allow one to relaxingly canter among the oaks around the park. I enjoyed feeding the ducks while picnicing and climbing all over the locomotive that once rested there when an embryonic Houston was far more bright potential than contemporarily conjested delima.

The best use of that land is preserving a public course where small groups of communicating people engage in social interaction and problem solving outcomes while comfortably recreating rather than hordes herding with blaring iDevices shouting into multi cell phones while trampling everything in sight.

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The golf course serves as a continuom of a cultural imperative. It's not for the masses, but for the masses to aspire to and the few to demonstrate by example. It's like the sport of fishing - not about catching any fish, but taking the time to exercise and think while casually occupied. Golf is far more about a positive social experience rather than manicly slamming the bejeesus out of a little plastic ball then anxiously praying it will miraculously seek a hole. I miss the stables and bridle path that used to allow one to relaxingly canter among the oaks around the park. I enjoyed feeding the ducks while picnicing and climbing all over the locomotive that once rested there when an embryonic Houston was far more bright potential than contemporarily conjested delima.

The best use of that land is preserving a public course where small groups of communicating people engage in social interaction and problem solving outcomes while comfortably recreating rather than hordes herding with blaring iDevices shouting into multi cell phones while trampling everything in sight.

Eloquent and incredibly condescending. Bravo!

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