The Golf Club of Houston, host of the Shell Houston Open on the PGA TOUR since 2003, is facing significant damage after being flooded by Hurricane Harvey.
Large parts of the city of Houston, the fourth largest in the United States, has been under severe water levels after Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc as it powered its way through Texas.
The devastation is immense as lives have been lost, possessions and homes gone and people left homeless. The full extent of the damage will not be known until water levels recede.
The Golf Club of Houston, located to the north east of Houston near Humble, has not been immune to the floods either—it has been deemed ‘out of action’ for the foreseeable future.
The club is host to the Shell Houston Open, a tournament which brings together the world’s very best players on the PGA TOUR every March. Fred Couples, Vijay Singh, Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan and defending champion Russell Henley are among the winners of the event at the Golf Club of Houston.
What they will find awaiting them for the 2018 tournament remains to be seen with the usually manicured fairways and picture-perfect greens currently hidden under deep water.
The extent of the flooding was revealed by Steve Timms, the president and CEO of the Houston Golf Association, when he tweeted images from the first tee which show kayakers paddling up what would be the fairway.
From the @HouOpen media ctr looking at the back of @GolfClubHouston 18 green at 5 pm yesterday still raining #HarveyFlood #prayforhouston pic.twitter.com/OsbihJhHaX
— Steve Timms (@TimmsSteve) 28 August 2017
Other images showed an 18th fairway and green which are totally submerged under a lake of water dumped on the course after Greens Bayou burst its banks. Timms is unsure of what greenstaff will find when the water levels drop—though the rain must stop battering the city before that process can begin.
“Greens Bayou has been out of its banks since Sunday about 9am,” Timms is quoted as saying. “We’ve had literally massive flooding. We’ve never seen anything like it.
“If it were to stop raining now, I would say we’re probably at least another day or two before we’ll see any significant receding of water. It’s a massive amount of water.
“We’ve received so much rain upstream of us that it’s got to come through major bayous. The longer you keep water on turf, the more silt and turf damage you’re going to have.
“I just can’t even start imagining how much damage there will be. Obviously, it’ll be significant. One thing we do is that greens and tees are built up out of the 100-year floodplain to protect them.
“But this is not a 100-year event. It’s more like a 500-year event.”
Several PGA TOUR stars also tweeted pictures of the course under water including Jhonattan Vegas, who posted a video to Instagram with the wording: “My heart (goes out) to those affected by #Harvey in Houston. Now more than ever we need to unite for this great city”, and Steve Elkington.
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