Masters champion Ben Crenshaw talks Lions golf course

Ben Crenshaw talks to KXAN about his plans for the Lions Municipal Golf Course (KXAN Photo)
Ben Crenshaw talks to KXAN about his plans for the Lions Municipal Golf Course (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin City Council met behind closed doors Tuesday to discuss the University of Texas at Austin’s offer to extend the lease on the historic Lions Municipal Golf Course in west Austin. University regents wanted to use the land for something else, but last week they offered the extension.

On Wednesday, Austin native and two-time Masters Golf Champion Ben Crenshaw is expected to lay out plans to restore the “Muny” course—if the city were to sign the lease. KXAN’s John Dabkovich spoke with Crenshaw about spending his childhood days on the course as well as its historical significance.

“Just like every other kid, my mother dropped me off here at the first of the day and picked me up at dark. It’s just that kind of place,” said Crenshaw.

The Lion course was one of the first golf courses in a former Confederate state to be desegregated. It has been in the middle of controversy since 2011 when the university announced it wanted to use the land for something else.

For Crenshaw, he’s just happy the process is moving forward. “It is a remarkable landmark for that to happen.”

It will be up to the Austin City Council to decide whether to extend the lease. Right now, Lions is one of six golf courses run by the city at the cost of $7.5 million a year. The city bought the Grey Rock Golf Club in southwest Austin three years ago as questions about the future of Lions started to grow. In the last fiscal year, city courses made $7.8 million, topping the amount the Parks Department spent to run them.

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