The existence of the former Tennwood Golf Club was threatened after a devastating clubhouse fire in 2008, but new ownership has directed its transformation into a luxury family resort that now features a “grand amenity center” with a resort-style pool, farm-to-table restaurant, shooting range, petting zoo, fish camp, disc golf course and other features. A golf-course renovation, new tennis program and “party barn” are now in the works.
Three Houston, Texas families are well on their way to transforming an historic golf club into an exclusive luxury family resort, the Houston Business Journal reported.
Houston Oaks Family Sports Retreat began as Tennwood Golf Club, which was created by Tenneco Oil and Gas Co. in the 1950s as a recreational getaway for its employees working at its worldwide gas control facility in Waller County, 35 miles northwest of downtown Houston, the Business Journal reported.
Marci and Steve Alvis, Terri and John Havens, and Kim and Chuck Watson took over Tennwood Golf Club after a fire burned down its clubhouse in 2008, the Business Journal reported. The three families faced a tough decision in the aftermath of the horrific fire, said Marci Alvis, who is now CEO of the Houston Oaks property.
“What do we do? Do we throw in the towel and sell it?” Alvis recalled. “We knew we had to do something.”
From the ashes of Tennwood rose Houston Oaks — a nearly 1,000-acre family resort in Hockley, Texas, the Business Journal reported.
The co-owners decided to rebuild the clubhouse into a grand amenity center with a resort-style swimming pool and a farm-to-table restaurant. But after the new clubhouse opened in 2013, the families decided to go further — transforming the 60-year-old golf course into a championship course and adding a bevy of family-friendly amenities, the Business Journal reported.
Houston Oaks now boasts a gun shooting range, an equestrian center, a farm and cattle ranch, a disc golf course, a petting zoo, a treehouse, a fish camp and a lake for boating, the Business Journal reported. Dozens of homes, a 12-room boutique hotel, four cottages, four cabins and a 6,600-sq.-ft. lodge have been built.
An extensive renovation of the golf course — led by golf architect Chet Williams, who designed the Whispering Pines course in Trinity, Texas — is expected to be completed this fall, the Business Journal reported. A tennis program, led by three-time Olympian Liezel Huber, is set to begin later this year. Plans are also underway for a “party barn” for musical events, a maze and additional lodging.
Houston Oaks seeks to have a “decidedly old-world charm,” Alvis told the Business Journal. The co-owners, inspired by the Havens’ home, imported more than a dozen antique fireplaces, as well as a 15th-century chapel from France. Antique wood beams and boards from 80 barns in the Midwest have been shipped on site to be fashioned into wood panels, doors and ceiling beams throughout the property.
Houston Oaks currently has 400 members and hopes to grow to about 600 members in the coming years, Alvis said. These members are looking for a family-friendly escape “minutes away but worlds apart” from the hustle and bustle of Houston, she added.