AUSTIN, Texas - The Butler Pitch and Putt will eventually change hands.
The Austin City Council has voted in favor of having a new management. The founding family had been operating the golf course for more than 70 years, but were left out of the selection process after forgetting a signature on some paperwork.
The new company, Pecan Groves Golf Partners, is set to take over management in August.
"The whole thing was so nerve wracking and it was devastating," said Lee Kinser.
The Butler Pitch and Putt course will soon have new managers after being in Kinser's family for more than 70 years. "We built it, grew the trees, did everything," said Kinser.
The course is on city property and with the current contract coming to an end this year the Parks and Recreation Board opened it up for companies to apply for ownership by detailing improvement plans.Kinser was left out of that process after forgetting a signature on the paperwork.
The issue sparked debate during a board meeting on whether to restart the process, but they eventually voted in favor of recommending a new company to take over ownership.
Thursday, the city voted in favor of that recommendation.
Kinser worries the course will lose its old Austin feel. "I can't imagine that they are going to keep it like it is," said Kinser. Golfers on the course Friday worried the course won't be as accessible as it is now. "My biggest concern is that they would increase the fees such that your average Austenite could not consider coming out here just in the afternoon to just get 9 holes' in," said Taylor Green.
Members of Pecan Grove Golf Partner spoke at a board meeting last month, where they stated they want to keep a lot of what's already at the park like being accessible.
While city council's vote was heartbreaking for Kinser, she said the silver lining is the support she's recieved from those who go to the course, "The customers have supported me big time. I've gotten so many texts and emails in the past day or so and I love the customers."
For now, Kinser said she doesn't know what's next for her but is eyeing retirement.
Kinser plans to take a few days off before returning to the course next week.