Lions Municipal Golf Course

Austin, TX
United States
Lions Municipal Golf Course

Landscape Information

Lions Muny; Muny


Occupying 141 acres near Lady Bird Lake, this golf course was the first to desegregate south of the Mason-Dixon Line, permitting African Americans to play in 1951. The first public course in Austin, opened in 1924, was constructed on a leased portion of a 503-acre parcel given to the University of Texas in 1910 by one of its benefactors, George W. Brackenridge. Constructed on wooded, fairly level, riparian land, a brick clubhouse designed by local architect Edwin Kreisle was added in 1930. The Lions Club operated the golf course until donating it to the City of Austin in 1936. The golf course was designed by Austin Lions Club member B.F. Rowe, who also supervised construction. In 1936 eminent golf course architect Albert Tillinghast contributed to the course enhancements, redesigning several holes.

In 1951, prompted by a suggestion that a course for African Americans be built in East Austin, Councilwoman Emma Long recommended that they be permitted to play on all municipal courses. When two African Americans began playing in an act of non-violent civil disobedience, authorities allowed them to continue, thus desegregating the course. In 1972, the University announced plans to convert the property to student housing, prompting the creation of the “Save Muny” campaign, which eventually was successful in preserving the course, with a redesign following in 1976. Today, the eighteen-hole course comprises greens and fairways designed around expansive groves of mature cedars, oaks, and pecans. Occasional ponds, slightly undulating topography, and meandering paved paths lend to the park-like environment, flanked on the northeast by single-family neighborhoods. Lions Municipal Golf Course was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2016.