Historic Lions Municipal Golf Course in Austin, Texas makes list of most endangered U.S. places

AUSTIN, Texas -- The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, is out with its list of the 11 most endangered historic places in the country.

On the eclectic mix of sites, from steamboats to natural sites and buildings, is one golf course: Lions Municipal in Austin, Texas. You can view the Web site's full spread on Lions, which includes some really neat aerial and historic images, here .

We've covered the struggle to save Lions on numerous occasions recently, particularly during the Dell Match Play World Golf Championships in the spring. I've also written a little more at length about the potential of the property for a local Austin preservation group .

But for both locals and anyone who understands and appreciates the need to save historic, public golf courses, it's great to see national, non-golf entities identify its importance. Lions' story isn't just about preserving a recreational space but its unique place in the civil rights movement.

"As the complex struggle for racial justice continues to take center stage across America, places like Austin's Lions Municipal Golf Course have much to teach us about peaceful efforts towards increased human decency and respect," said Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "But Muny cannot continue to highlight an important side of the American story unless we take action to preserve it as a resource for its community."

As a local (one who loves playing the Austin munis) I'll sum up my thoughts on the issue by saying the University of Texas has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to bring in one of its most distinguished alumni, Ben Crenshaw, to update and enhance Lions into a gem that could be a nationally recognized university course and serve as a teachable moment on civil rights in a welcoming public, beautiful place for generations to come.

UT is quite strangely a rare, top public university that doesn't have an official golf course accessible to its students ( University of Texas Golf Club is located well west of town, and is private.)

Lions Municipal Golf Course has been a staple of Austin since the 1920s.


Golf Channel travel expert Matt Ginella visited with Crenshaw about what Muny means to him in a recent episode of Ginella's Journeys , and anyone can support the cause by purchasing a t-shirt at SaveMuny.com .

Video: Shackelford on Lions Municipal Golf Course's historic status

Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Advisor. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at BrandonTuckerGC.
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Another Texas course is set to close, and it's another one with historic relevance: The Pioneer Golf Course at Texas Women's University in Denton, which opened in 1939.
You have a few days in Austin, Texas, but not a lot of cash? That's OK. Austin is a great city for golf, and it's pretty easy to fill up your weekend with golf at some very good courses -- and do it all for less than $200. Brandon Tucker has done the legwork for you.
While my golf travels often take me to some of the most coveted golf courses around the world, when I'm at home in Austin, I'm walking the munis like everyone else, usually with my dog in tow and maybe a beverage or two stuffed in my golf bag. As a central Austin local since 2008, I've played the courses near my home a good deal; if you're not sure where to begin, here's the skinny on Austin's municipals and courses closest to downtown.
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Historic Lions Municipal Golf Course in Austin, Texas makes list of most endangered U.S. places
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