After seven decades, South Austin golf course may soon be under new ownership

A popular nine-hole golf course may soon be under new ownership.

The Butler Park Pitch and Putt has been under the ownership of the Kinser family for seven decades. The course is on city land. 

“The parks department is basically my landlord.” explained Lee Kinser, the course's current owner and president.

In March, the city put out a request for proposals (RFP), asking vendors to submit bids to manage and improve the course. Kinser, working with a lawyer, submitted a bid, but missed a signature. As a result, her bid was labeled “non-responsive,” meaning she is currently out of the running to keep the property. 

Bids were submitted by  “Butler Park & Pitch,” “Pecan Grove Golf Partners,” and the “Butler Golf Association.” Kinser believes this is the first year other vendors have bid on the course. 

“It makes me sad because I love this place. This place is not just a job for me, it's family.” said Kinser. 

When Kinser's father-in-law built the course, there were so few buildings downtown and players had a view of the capitol. 

“When he built it, it was so far out of town he was worried nobody would come.” she explained. 

A final decision will be made on June 6. 

“I know a lot of guys who have been coming here since they were kids and it's just one of those magical spots in Austin that we don’t need to lose.” said Myles Crosby, a Pitch and Putt customer. 

Kinser is hoping attitudes like Crosby’s will help keep the course in her hands. She has put out a letter on Facebook, asking Pitch and Putt’s fans to contact city council, asking them to reconsider. 

“We're just hoping that with all of this public support, city council will say 'we want to include her in on this'," said Kinser.