The Tour heads to the Golf Club of Houston for the Shell Houston Open.
The Shell Houston Open starts all the way back to 1946. The event was played at several different Houston area which included the famous Champions Golf Club which was founded by the legendary Jackie Burke and Jimmy Demaret.
In 2006 the event moved to Redstone Golf Club and has remained here since. The only difference is that they changed the name from Redstone Golf Club to the Golf Club of Houston. The course plays to 7,457 yards and is a good tune up for the Masters as it has some similar traits to Augusta in that there is virtually no rough and shots from 175-225 yards are at a premium unless a golfer bombs his way past those shots.
Generally, the course is well received. Personally, I think the design is so-so, but when it’s well received it usually means 3 things:
1. It’s in great condition
2. There’s a lack of tricked up holes
3. There’s a lot of good courtesy stuff given to the players and the wives.
Despite the Masters taking place next week, the field is pretty strong. It also helps that they just got done playing the match play in Austin which is only about a 2 ½ hour drive away.
I strongly feel the Tour needs to re-work the schedule in order to get strong fields in both the Texas and Florida swings. They may want to go from Riviera to do the WGC-Mexico the following week. Then hit Houston after that and follow up with the Match Play in Austin. Then make the trip over to Palm Beach, then to Tampa and finally to Bay Hill before the Masters.
Anyway, the course will generally favor long hitters due to the length and the lack of rough. However, shorter hitters have some chance due to the difficulty of the greens. The weather forecast looks pretty good, although some wind may pick up. The winning score here is pretty steady, so I don’t expect anything vastly different.
The 18th hole is a great finishing hole as it is the last Critical Hole on the course, so if it’s a close tournament on Sunday, you can see a dramatic finish.
Projected Winning Score: -16
Jordan Spieth +650
Jon Rahm +1,000
Rickie Fowler +1,400
Justin Rose +2,000
J.B. Holmes +3,300
3JACK’S DARK HORSES
Jimmy Walker +6,000
Jason Kokrak +10,000
Jim Herman +10,000
Luke List +10,000
Kyle Stanley +10,000