The storied course is receiving the attention and care it sorely has needed.
For the past few years, Texas National Golf Club, Willis, had fallen into disrepair. The course, north of Houston, has deteriorated over the years as the greater Houston market became vastly overbuilt, reports the Houston Chronicle.
But things appear to be turning around at Texas National.
Taken over by Gantz Management Group on Jan. 1, the course is coming back to life slowly but surely. Despite an antiquated irrigation system, the course surprising has held up well during the recent drought, surprising players with grass on the fairways and greens that are smooth.
“It takes us all night to water nine holes,” said Louis Gantz, owner of the company that manages Texas National and Country Place Country Club in Pearland. “A lot of it has to be watered by hand, but we’re getting it done.”
The course is still rough around the edges, but golfers can play for as little as $20 or $25.
Gantz, who had stints as a Head Professional at the Battleground at Deer Park and Southwyck before forming his own management company, believes he can affect the course one step at a time.
Combined with exceptional customer service, in which his employees take ownership of the process, Gantz hopes the improved product will bring players back for repeat rounds.
Gantz’s advantage with his management company is that he can pool his resources from TN and Country Place – another course that is coming back to life after years of neglect. In particular, Joseph Williams, the company’s agronomist who oversees maintenance on both courses, came up with a plan.
First, a pre-emergent was applied to kill the weeds coming out of winter, and then that was followed with an intense fertilization program. The maintenance staff also eradicated a mole cricket problem that had decimated the fairways, worked on the bunkers, cleared out some of the underbrush near the greens and alongside the fairways, and tried to improve the tee boxes.
There also are plans to add some native grasses as well as colorful wildflowers.
“With increase of play, we will be getting more aggressive with our weed management and fertilizer programs,” Williams said. “All in all, the next couple of years we will be making the course better in playability and aesthetically.
For now, Texas National is getting back to its old self. By Sept. 1, the snack bar will reopen.
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