Public Parking for the Shell Houston Open Thursday through Friday is at the ecopark lot, located just off JFK Boulevard adjacent to Greens Road. Air-conditioned shuttle buses will provide roundtrip transportation to and from the Golf Club of Houston for $5 per person.
The 2015 Shell Houston Open will be played on Tournament Course the week of March 30-April 5, one week prior to the Masters Tournament.
Australian Matt Jones (2014), D. A. Points (2013), Hunter Mahan (2012), Phil Mickelson (2011), Anthony Kim (2010), Englishman Paul Casey (2009), Australians Adam Scott (2007) and Stuart Appleby (2006) and native Texan Johnson Wagner (2008) won the first nine events played on the Tournament Course, designed by Rees Jones with input from PGA TOUR player David Toms. Returning as the lead-in event before The Masters, tournament officials are optimistic about attracting another world class field.
The Tournament Course opened in August of 2005. It is an open-to-all daily fee facility with added amenities like fore caddies.
Designed to host Houston's PGA TOUR event, the Tournament Course is adjacent to the former tournament venue -- the layout now known as the Golf Club of Houston Member Course.
HGA's agreement with Escalante Golf of Fort Worth, TX to play the Shell Houston Open at the Golf Club of Houston runs through 2017. In April of 2013 Escalante purchased Redstone Golf Club and the Redstone Companies' other Houston golf properties, including the Houstonian Golf and Country Club, Shadow Hawk Golf Club and the 36-hole daily fee BlackHorse Golf Club.
Redstone Golf Club opened in December of 2002. Marquee players Fred Couples (2003) and Vijay Singh (2004, 2005) entered the winner's circle during the Shell Houston Open's stay on the Member Course, designed by Peter Jacobsen and Jim Hardy.
The Golf Club of Houston's proximity to U.S. 59 and Beltway 8 has proven popular with golf fans throughout the region. The property is located only 20 minutes from downtown Houston and only five minutes from Bush Intercontinental Airport.
Houston Golf Association ( www.hga.org) is now headquartered across the street (5810 Wilson Road, Suite 112, Humble, TX 77396) from the Tournament Course. It is also adjacent to The First Tee of Greater Houston/David Shindeldecker Campus, which also features a three-hole par-3 course on the new Tournament Course complex.
Houston's PGA TOUR stop was played on The Woodlands Country Club from 1975-1984 and on the Tournament Players Course at The Woodlands from 1985-2002.
The Golf Club of Houston's complex is located on heavily forested property just east of the intersection of U.S. Highway 59 North and the Sam Houston Tollway. There is no commercial real estate development on the Tournament Course.
PALM SPRINGS, CA - On Dec. 6, 2012, the PGA TOUR posthumously presented its 2012 PGA TOUR Volunteer of the Year Award Thursday to Houston Golf Association member Terry Russ of Houston, who served the organization for 46 years until his death in August.
HGA pesident/CEO Steve Timms accepted the award on behalf of the Russ family at the conclusion of the PGA TOUR tournaments annual meeting. "If Terry were here today to accept this award, he would be so humbled," said Timms, who also serves as Shell Houston Open Tournament Director. "In fact, he'd count off a list of others he'd say deserved it before him. That's just the kind of person he was. What he contributed to further the mission of the HGA is unparalleled. No one deserves this award more than Terry."
Russ is the second HGA member to be awarded this national honor from the PGA TOUR. Russ' longtime friend Earl D. Elliott was voted Volunteer of the Year in 2000.
When Russ first joined the Houston Golf Association in the mid-60s, he had two duties; picking up trash and assisting in the parking lot. Performing those tasks as if they were contingent on the tournament's success or failure was the approach Russ always adhered to in his role of as a volunteer, a tenure which spanned nearly five decades.
For 25 years, Russ served diligently as a starter on either hole No. 1 or No. 10 for the annual Shell Houston Open. Additionally, Russ spent time as a Marshal, parking lot attendant, Pro-Am Chairman and PGA TOUR liason. Russ was also one of just three members in the 67-year history of the Houston Golf Association to hold the position of honorary director (Board Member for Life).
In 1981, Russ was elected by his fellow volunteers to lead them as General Chairman for the tournament. He continued to be an active volunteer after that term and also was one of the organization's leading salesmen for many years.
A civil engineer by trade, Russ guided the HGA through countless construction projects over the years, saving the Association both money and time. One aspect of his service that Russ was most proud was involving family with the HGA. Over the years, his son Jim, son-in-law Brad Grimmestad and grandson Travis Walla have all donated time to the organization.
"Pop would be very proud of this award," said Jim Russ. "He was very proud of how HGA impacted the community with the net proceeds of the Shell Houston Open." HGA has now generated more than $59 million for local charity since 1974.
March 20, 2001
By Melanie Hauser
The resume of the PGA TOUR's Volunteer of the Year is amazing, a disparate blend of jobs and careers that make you wonder how one life could take so many turns and be filled with so many rich experiences. Movie producer. Author. Attorney. Commercial real estate developer. Oil business entrepreneur.
But that's only the half of Earl D. Elliott's life.
The half that really makes him smile, that really makes him tick, the part that really gets his juices flowing and recharges all those batteries is golf. Not so much playing it, but nurturing the game and giving back to it.
For four decades, Elliott was general chairman of all but one major tournament held in the area. The nation's fourth-largest city wouldn't be on the golf map without him.
The general chairman for everything this side of the 1967 Ryder Cup -- he was volunteer chairman that year -- Elliott doesn't just chair events, he nurtures every last facet of them.
A wiry man, Elliott is in constant motion. A meeting here. A player there. A parking issue to solve. A former President of the United States to greet. A first tee to preside over as the starter every Shell Houston Open week.
As anyone who knows him will tell you, Elliott is one special man. He receives by giving, and for that -- and so many other reasons -- he was honored Tuesday morning as the PGA TOUR's Volunteer of the Year. The toughest part of it was that he couldn't be in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., to accept it.
Elliott, 73, is home in Houston battling esophageal cancer. He was diagnosed last summer, has undergone surgery and is now battling the disease with chemotherapy. He is resting up for a trip to The Masters in two weeks -- a jaunt that he says gets him recharged and ready for the Shell Houston Open and THE TOUR Championship, which will be held in late October at his home course, Champions Golf Club.
He wouldn't miss any of those three for the world. His only concession to slowing down these past few months has been to name an acting general chairman in Philamena Baird. He still holds meetings with Baird, Marlene Livaudais, THE TOUR Championship director, and others on a regular basis. But while he's undergoing treatment, Baird attends meetings in his place.
In his absence, Steve Timms, the Houston Golf Association executive director, and Steve Elkington, a fellow Champions member, stepped to the podium to accept his award.
"I always thought Earl was the most generous volunteer I've ever seen," Elkington told the crowd of tournament directors. "But this room is full of them."
Like those men and women, Elliott has two families -- his own family and his golf family. Both get all the attention they need.
"After 43 years of service, you can truly say that Earl has given his all to promoting a game of a lifetime," Timms said. "He's been volunteering for the PGA TOUR almost as long as I've been alive."
In 1969, Elliott was named general chairman of the 1969 U.S. Open at Champions and went on to become the youngest president in Houston Golf Association history. He was 39.
Since then, he's served as general chairman for four TOUR Championships, the 1993 U.S. Amateur and the 1998 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur. He also founded the South Texas Amateur Golf Association, was a three-term president and a recipient of the USGA's Ike Grainger Award.
"I put Earl up there as one of the legends of Houston along with Jackie Burke, Jimmy Demaret, Dave Marr and Jay Hebert," Elkington said. "He's been a big part of the game there; a big part of Champions, too."
As for the latter, Elliott also serves in another rare position -- confidant of Jackie Burke Jr. The two have been relying on each other since Burke and the late Jimmy Demaret founded Champions Golf Club in the late 1960s. Burke trusts him when it comes to decisions about tournaments at the club -- and Burke rarely trusts anyone like that.
Elliott is as special as that full head of gray hair he sported until the chemo treatments robbed him of it. He's always there -- whether it's for a player, a sponsor, a reporter or his pastor, who just recently took up the game and can't get in enough rounds. He's honest. He's open. He's loyal to the game -- and his city.
What many of those people don't know is that when he wasn't running tournaments or USGA qualifiers, Elliott produced the '60s cult classic "Billy Jack" and wrote a children's book, which he gave to Elkington's children when they were born. And when THE TOUR Championship became full time? Earl's real estate office and tournament office became one in the same.
Chances are, you know someone like Earl Elliott. Someone who is unselfish and generous and totally devoid of ego. He or she, like Elliott, becomes a bit embarrassed when you tick off their list of accomplishments. They likely blush in the face of praise. They do what they do not for the glory, but for what they get back tenfold. Someone who loves the game and has to give back to it.
A few years ago, Elkington decided he couldn't have a better partner for Champions' annual intraclub Rhubarb. Elk is the captain of the north side of the locker room; Burke captain of the south. And Burke's partner? Teacher Dick Harmon.
"Earl was worried about that match all year," Elk said. "But we won and had a great time playing against them. It was a really good day."
Elliott deserved to brag about it, but didn't. Just like he didn't brag about being chairman of the first TOUR Championship to sell out back in 1997. Or the record amount ($1.6 million) the tournament generated for charity that year.
He let everyone else talk about it. While he went about planning that mid-am. And the next TOUR Championship.