GALVESTON — The worn city golf course here will be scraped to bare dirt and entirely rebuilt into one of the best municipal courses in Texas, according to a $14.1 million proposal favorably received Thursday by the City Council.
The management proposal by the Moody Foundation, operator of the Moody Gardens tourist attraction, satisfies the longing by Galveston hotel owners for a well-groomed course that will appeal to tourists.
The foundation's proposal promises to maintain the Galveston municipal layout on par with the best city golf courses in Texas, including Memorial Park in Houston, Tenison Highlands in Dallas and Cottonwood Creek in Waco.
The only quibble from council members was on the changing of the course name from the Galveston Island Municipal Golf Course to "Moody Gardens Golf Course on Galveston Island, a Premier Public Golf Course." But council members quickly dropped their objections when Moody officials said they felt strongly about the name.
"Not a single dollar of the $14.1 million, which is a gift to the city, will ever be paid back by the city and there will be no management fee," Moody Foundation attorney Buddy Herz told the council.
I should think the city would drop its objections. If a company or other private entity is willing to spend $14 million to renovate your city golf course, then manage it for free, they should be allowed to call it anything they want.
The article in the Houston Chronicle says that the Galveston muny was not exactly considered a dog track by locals. Rather, the impetus for the renovation seems to have come entirely from the local hospitality industry, which feels tourists need a truly special place to play golf on the island.
The plan isn't without opposition, however, as greens fees at the course will go up quite a bit. For example, the current weekend greens fee of $32 is expected to rise, post-renovation, to somewhere between $50 and $100.
(Hat tip to Greg at New 2 Golf)