City to purchase South Austin golf course as future of Lions becomes uncertain

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin City Council members voted Thursday to seal the deal on the $9.6 million purchase of Grey Rock Golf Club.

Grey Rock is open to the public but privately owned, sitting on 292 acres near State Highway 45 and MoPac, adjacent to Circle C Ranch in South Austin.

It will become the city’s sixth municipal course, joining Lions Municipal, Roy Kizer, William Morris, Jimmy Clay and Hancock, which is only a nine-hole course.

Grey Rock offers beautiful natural terrain, eight tennis courts, 18 holes of golf, amenities and the possible development of parkland.

“It is one of the fastest growing areas in the city,” said Kevin Gomillion, the Parks and Rec Department’s Golf Division Manager, saying the course fills a geographic need. “We don’t have a lot of parkland, much less golf course. And we don’t have tennis courts. This offers that.”

But Grey Rock regulars worry about it the course’s upkeep once it gets turned over to the city.

“I don’t know what the city plans to do with it,” said Wally Acosta. “I like it the way it’s run, they do a good job, so I hope they maintain whatever they’re doing now.”

Meanwhile time is running out at Lions Municipal.

After 78 years in the city’s control, Lions was the first public course to integrate in the south. The course is considered Austin’s oldest, most central, most golfed, most loved and most affordable 18-hole layout.

Located at Lake Austin and Exposition boulevards, it sits on University of Texas land and the lease runs out in 2019. The university has other plans for the land, possibly including retail and residential.

Negotiations and impassioned demonstrations have not moved UT to change it’s mind.

“It’s super affordable,” said Lions golfer Jacob Ishimoto. “I’m a newlywed and we’re pinching pennies, but I can still get a few rounds in here.”

“This is a beautiful course,” said another Lions loyalist, Clay Boykin. “It’s been around for years and to take it down to put up buildings would be a shame.”

You can play Lions for $23 during the week, $26 on the weekend. It’s another $13 per person to rent a cart, but more than 40 percent of the Lions golfers choose to walk. A weekend round of golf with cart at Grey Rock currently costs $100.

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