AUSTIN (KXAN) — An historic Austin golf course that many have been campaigning for is getting its day in the sun Tuesday when lawmakers will vote to move its ownership to the state parks system.
The Lions Municipal Golf Course in west Austin 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 of Texas, who owns the land it sits on, announced it wanted to use that land for something else.
The university offered the city a more expensive extension on the lease which currently ends in 2019, but people hoping to ‘Save Muny’ think that, because of the course’s historical significance, it should be saved and be managed as a state park.
“The golf course should be maintained forever because of this historical significance of those brave African Americans that went out there and risked being arrested just to play a round of golf,” said Texas Senator Craig Estes.
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.
A vote on Senate Bill 822 could happen as early as 9 a.m.