The public is invited to a historical marker dedication at Lions Municipal Golf Course on Saturday, October 22 at 10 a.m. The celebration will mark the listing of the famed central Austin course on the National Register of Historic Places and will include a press conference and a “Hands Around Lions” reception in Muny’s historic clubhouse ballroom. World Golf Hall of Famer Ben Crenshaw is scheduled as one of the speakers.
The National Park Service named Lions Municipal Golf Course as a historical site over the summer, on July 7, 2016. Austin’s oldest municipal golf course, Muny is distinctive because it is believed to be the first desegregated golf course in the South. This developed after two African American youths walked onto the course in 1950 and were allowed to play, four years prior to the Brown v. Board of Education civil rights case that stated “separate but equal” facilities were unconstitutional and that resulted in racial integration in schools and other public facilities.
According to the event invite, Muny “regularly attracted black golfers from the across the state. Joe Louis – boxing legend and fierce crusader for the rights of African-American golfers — played the course in 1951 and again in July of 1953, shooting near par in 1953.”
“Muny is significant because of its history, the beauty of the course and its green space, as well as it being a gathering place for all of Austin,” said Volma Overton Jr., who championed “Hands Around Lions.”
Lions Municipal Golf Course is on about 140 acres near Tarrytown, between Lady Bird Lake and Lake Austin, on a tract owned by the University of Texas. It is possible the property could be redeveloped when UT’s lease with the City of Austin expires in 2019.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Lions Municipal Golf Course on its 2016 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.
Learn more at http://www.savemuny.com/.
(Photo courtesy the Save Muny Facebook page.)