The Clubs at Houston Oaks - no. 2
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The Clubs at Houston Oaks - no. 2
Even from the member tees, the par-4 second at the new Chet Williams-designed golf course at Houston Oaks in Hockley is a tough hole at 422 yards. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
The Clubs at Houston Oaks - no. 5
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The Clubs at Houston Oaks - no. 5
The par-3 fifth is certainly one of the most memorable holes at Houston Oaks. In this case, the pin is in the very front, making this a very tricky shot. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
The Clubs at Houston Oaks - no. 6
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The Clubs at Houston Oaks - no. 6
The 472-yard sixth hole is the no. 1 handicap hole at Houston Oaks. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
The Clubs at Houston Oaks - flagstick
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The Clubs at Houston Oaks - flagstick
It's all about the oak trees at The Clubs at Houston Oaks. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
The Clubs at Houston Oaks - no. 10
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The Clubs at Houston Oaks - no. 10
Perhaps the easiest hole at Houston Oaks is the short par-4 10th. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
The Clubs at Houston Oaks - no. 11
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The Clubs at Houston Oaks - no. 11
Long hitters can reach the par-5 11th in two, but there are treacherous bunkers on the approach to catch errant shots. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
The Clubs at Houston Oaks - no. 16
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The Clubs at Houston Oaks - no. 16
Again, wonderful oak trees frame the hole on the par-5 16th at The Clubs at Houston Oaks. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
The Clubs at Houston Oaks - no. 18
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The Clubs at Houston Oaks - no. 18
A mostly island green awaits on the par-4 18th at The Clubs at Houston Oaks. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
The Clubs at Houston Oaks - clubhouse
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The Clubs at Houston Oaks - clubhouse
No detail was overlooked at The Clubs at Houston Oaks, including the interior of the clubhouse. Courtesy of The Clubs at Houston Oaks
The Clubs at Houston Oaks - men's grill
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The Clubs at Houston Oaks - men's grill
One of the many areas to eat is the "casual" dining area of the men's locker room at Houston Oaks. Courtesy of The Clubs at Houston Oaks.
The Clubs at Houston Oaks - range
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The Clubs at Houston Oaks - range
The Clubs at Houston Oaks has first-rate practice facilities, including a short course (not pictured). Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
The Clubs at Houston Oaks - Chapel
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The Clubs at Houston Oaks - Chapel
This isn't something you see at every golf course -- a 15th century French chapel. But the owners of Houston Oaks had it imported and rebuilt in 2013 with the opening of the new clubhouse. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
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Sneak peek at a new private course set to open in Texas: The Clubs at Houston Oaks

HOCKLEY, Texas -- It was a long time coming, but The Clubs at Houston Oaks finally has a golf course of which it can be proud. After several incarnations of the old Tennwood Country Club (later Houston Oaks Golf Club, which was open to the public), Houston Oaks has 18 premium holes to compete with the best in the Houston area.

That 18th hole (redesigned by Baxter Spann) is largely the same with a large lake and semi-island green, but Chet Williams, a former longtime Jack Nicklaus associate who designed the state's top-ranked Whispering Pines in Trinity, blew up the rest of the course with a completely new and thoughtful layout. The century-plus old live oak trees, however, remained, and are a central element unique to this 71, 7,007-yard golf course.

With Celebration Bermuda on the fairways and Tif-Eagle greens, the condition of this new course, which is set to officially open April 28, 2017, is already among the best in the Houston area. The project took 15 months -- in large part because of two 500-year floods and the wettest August on record in 2016 -- but it has grown in nicely after a warm winter. The course also has 80 well-crafted and strategic bunkers, with bright-white sand that frames holes well from the tees.

Golf is one of the last elements to be added to the club, which currently has 415 members and an initiation fee of $100,000. There's also plenty of dining, disc golf, boating, fishing, a baseball field, equestrian facilities, tennis, a shooting club,a tree house, archery and other activities at this family-friendly club. While it is fully private, the club does have plenty of accommodations, both with new rental houses and a 40-plus room hotel, making it available for weddings and corporate events.

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.
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Sneak peek at a new private course set to open in Texas: The Clubs at Houston Oaks