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Golfers react to Lions Municipal Golf Course lease decision

Time on the green means something to Lynn Gunn and Custis Wright who have been playing Lions Municipal Golf Course every Sunday for 12 years.

“This is our favorite Sunday afternoon excursion — golf at 3 p.m. in the winter and 4 p.m. in the summer,” said Gunn.

“I had my first hole in one here,” said Wright.

Lions Municipal Golf Course is a unique urban green space tucked into West Austin. The public course has been a fixture since it was built in 1924. It is where golf greats Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite got their start. It sits on valuable land owned by UT known as the Brackenridge Tract. The 350 acres by Lake Austin was donated by Colonel George Washington Brackenridge in 1910. The land runs a mile and a half along the lake, and it is bordered for the most part by Enfield and Exposition Blvd.

When the University of Texas Regents voted to let the lease for Lions Municipal Golf Course run out in May 2019, the women were disappointed.

“Well if UT owned Central Park in New York would they close it?” wondered Gunn.

The group working to save Muny says the fight is not over rather just beginning.

“We look at it as a real opportunity to begin serious dialogue between the University and citizens and the City of Austin,” said Mary Arnold with Save Muny.

Arnold would like to see a possible land swap to help build a University Medical School to save the popular golf course.

“This is where we need our creativity, our financial creativity to see what pieces of the puzzle can be put together and which entities can take care of which pieces,” she said.

Back on the golf course Gunn and Wright hope a deal can be reached

“I hope there can be some kind of compromise that the regents won’t stay as rigid about it as they seem to be now,” said Wright.

So in eight years they will be able to continue their Sunday afternoon excursion.

Members of Save Muny are holding a meeting on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the golf course to plan out strategies. The public is invited.

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