The future of the Lions Golf Course near Westlake and Tarrytown took a turn this week when the University of Texas offered to extend its lease of the 141-acre property to the City of Austin beyond its term of 2019 – but at a market price. The move, detailed by the Austin American-Statesman, follows years-long wrangling amongst the City of Austin, Austin residents, golfers, and the UT System.
Many residents and prominent figures have joined forces with Save Muny, an organization devoted to saving the course from UT’s original plans for a mixed-use development. The grassroots organization scored a win when the National Park Service added Austin’s oldest municipal golf course to the National Register of Historic Places on July 7, 2016. The course was added due to its civil rights history, which marks it as possibly the first desegregated golf course in the South and certainly one of the first.
The lease in place for the Lions property expires in 2019. Potential market rates could be ten or more times greater than the $500,000 per year Austin pays now for use of the facilities, according to the Statesman article. The notice to the City requests a response to the lease offer by March 1.
Read more about the Historical Marker Dedication at Lions Municipal Golf Course, including information about its civil rights history.