Eighteen holes of golf at Pebble Beach costs $380. That's about $21 per hole -- or, if you play like me, about $3.50 per stroke. But for the price of one Pebble Beach hole, or even less, you can play an entire round at any number of Houston's municipal courses.Wortham Park Golf Course (7000 Capitol) was once the Houston Country Club. Now, at $14.07 a round ($17.86 weekends), Wortham is a full-on chain-link-fenced urban experience that features "ball trolls," people who fish bad shots out of hazards and -- for a fee -- return them.
Just down the road near Hobby Airport, Glenbrook Park (8205 Bayou Drive) is another muni with the same rates as Wortham. For non-Tigers, the course's ninth hole requires an uphill, wind-impeded 175-yard third shot over water to a palm-sized green. Sounds of the ninth: splash, "Shit!"
Sharpstown Park (6600 Harbor Town) also offers a good course ($13.50 weekdays, $17 weekends), and at 6,600 yards, it's fairly long for a muni. The only downside: The surrounding apartments and houses might have you moving Weber grills and Big Wheels to play your second and third shots. Apologies to residents. For more information on Houston's municipal golf courses, visit www.ci.houston.tx.us/municipalgolf/index.html. -- Eric Norvell
What a Beach
Unlike other beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, the ones in Galveston just aren't very attractive. So Moody Gardens has created a new, improved beach, and it's charging guests a fee to enjoy it. The three-acre Palm Beach accommodates up to 2,500 people and features freshwater lagoons, white sand beaches, palm trees, lifeguards, paddleboats, Jacuzzis and regulation sand volleyball. Think about it: You'll never worry about stepping on a cabbagehead jellyfish again. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends. After Saturday, May 24, Palm Beach will be open daily. Moody Gardens, 1 Hope Boulevard in Galveston. For information, call 800-582-4673 or visit www.moodygardens.com. $7.95 to $35. -- Troy Schulze
Do you know what percentage of your bod is made up of slippery yellow fat? Or -- God forbid -- whether that pain in your gut is a hernia? You can find out just what kind of shape you're in at the Texas Sports Combine, where athletes will be assessed by professional and collegiate team physicians and sports medicine specialists. Then, the fun part: showing off for the other athletes in timed sprint races, throwing pitches and shooting hoops. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, May 17. Reliant Park, 1 Reliant Park. For information, call 713-533-5455 or visit www.texassportscombine.com. $10. -- Cathy Matusow