Society / Featured Parties

Billionaire Tilman Fertitta’s Showcase Penthouse Suite Transformed For Texas Children’s Houston Open Tee Off Party

Creating a Dreamy Golf Scene in the Sky

BY // 02.27.24
photography Jenny Antill

There could not have been a more interesting setting for the Texas Children’s Houston Open Tee Off soirée than the swank 32nd floor penthouse of the Post Oak Hotel where Texas Children’s Hospital CEO Mark A. Wallace and Houston Astros owner and father of the Astros Golf Foundation Jim Crane welcomed a VIP throng.

The PGA tournament returns to Memorial Park with the first round set for March 28 and with Texas Children’s Hospital on board with a five-year commitment as title sponsor. That partnership was celebrated in sporting style on this evening in a grand two-story suite that for the night saluted the links.

Kelli Blanton practicing her putt at the PXG activation; Photo courtesy of Jenny Antill
Kelli Blanton on the temporary putting green at the Texas Children’s Houston Open Tee-Off in the penthouse suite at the Post Oak Hotel. (Photo by Jenny Antill)

The suite’s basketball court (yes, this suite comes with a basketball court) was converted to a driving range courtesy of Parsons Xtreme Golf (PXG) and one section of the 32nd floor activation level of the suite was transformed into a putting green. Festive balloon bouquets, golf-inspired florals, lavish buffet tables and open bars set the ambiance for the jubilant evening that one seasoned party goer aptly described as having a Super Bowl buzz.

And that was well before the impressive drone show that had the crowd of longtime Texas Children’s supporters whipping out smartphones and jockeying for position on the 33rd floor balcony’s edge, avoiding the plunge pool. (Although one guest, entranced by the show, did briefly step into the water.) The 10-minute exhibition was a 300 drone, glittery salute to Texas Children’s, the Houston Open and Texas.

Another highlight of the evening was the introduction of toddler Elle Fertitta, daughter of Lauren and Tilman Fertitta, as the Texas Children’s Houston Open youthful ambassador. With that honor, the absolutely precious youngster was presented with a mini golf cart and a pair of mini golf clubs, each bearing the Houston Open tournament logo.

“Anytime that you can do something with Mike Linn (Texas Children’s former board chair who stewarded the partnership), Mark Wallace and Jim Crane. . . They said, ‘Why don’t we do it (the Tee-Off) up there on your 33?’,” Fertitta says in welcoming the crowd to his hotel. “I don’t play good golf and I don’t do good at running hospitals. But I am good at hospitality, so this is my little piece.”

Elizabeth Anthony

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Linn, Wallace and Crane made comments on the partnership, the importance of the exposure that would mean more money for charities including Texas Children’s. Likewise, the spring date, two weeks before the Masters, will bring impressive brand expansion for Texas Children’s, the largest children’s hospital in the country. Linn shared that the tournament coincides with the launch of Texas Children’s $1 billion capital campaign.

Special among the party amenities was the Maven Coffee Company bar where guests could belly-up for a Maven Espresso Martini or a Carajillo. Maven was co-founded by Astros star pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. and rising star entrepreneurs Juan Carlos Martinez de Aldecoa and Blake Fertitta. The coffee company was born from an idea to transform a simple cup of “bean water” into high grade, versatile coffee products by controlling the bean from beginning to end.

Jim and Whitney Crane with Kory and Geoff Blum; Photo courtesy of Jenny Antill
Jim & Whitney Crane, Kory & Geoff Blum at the Texas Children’s Houston Open Tee-Off in the penthouse suite at the Post Oak Hotel. (Photo by Jenny Antill)

Departing guests, who included Texas Children’s executives, board of trustees, advisory board members, special friends of the institution and Astros Golf Foundation execs, were presented with generous gift boxes that included branded hat, golf club covers, golf balls, a golf towel, ball marker and water bottle.

Mike Linn, Brian White, and Carol Linn; Photo courtesy of Jenny Antill
Mike Linn, Brian White, Carol Linn at the Texas Children’s Houston Open Tee-Off in the penthouse suite at the Post Oak Hotel. (Photo by Jenny Antill)

PC Seen: Texas Children’s president Debbie Sukin and Steve Sukin, Shannon Wallace, Whitney Crane, Lauren Fertitta, Cathy and Joe Cleary, Carol Linn, Nancy and Jim Gordon, Kory and Geoff Blum, Blake Fertitta, Dr. James Versaolvic and Dr. Kjersti Aagaard, Kory and Geoff Blum, Angela McPike, Victoria Pappas Bludorn, Dr. Renee and Scott Rice, C. Park and Mary Eliza Shaper, Dan DiPrisco, Linda Aldred, Matt Girotto, Dr. Dean Andropoulos, Keith Nelson, Cindy and Allan Taylor, Tym Tombar, Suzanne Nimocks, Vanessa Gilmore, Julia and Mark DeWalch, Earl M. Cummings, Martha and Mark Carnes, Sheila and Mark Hulme, Manolo Sanchez, Willie J. Alexander, Emily and Holcombe Crosswell, and Teresa and Eduardo Aguirre Jr.

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