AUSTIN, Texas - People are teeing off at Butler Pitch & Putt in downtown Austin for the first time since 2019 as the historic golf course opens back up under new management.
Pecan Groves Golf Partners has kept many of the things Austinites have known and loved for the past 70 years but there are some changes.
The park is no longer BYOB but it does now feature a beer garden. Local chef Michael Fojtasek of Olamaie will also be serving up "South Austin Country Club"-style food including Lil' Ola's world-famous biscuit sandwiches.
The park is open daily from dawn until dark and is first-come-first-play. You can get details on rates and more on the Butler Pitch & Putt website.
HISTORY OF BUTLER PITCH & PUTT
According to the course's website, the golf course started as a dream by locals Douglas and Winston Kinser in 1948. The two wanted to design and build a usable green space for Austinites and got to work building and opening the course one hole at a time.
The course officially opened on June 1, 1950. Douglas died in 1951 but Winston managed the course for more than 50 years until he passed away just months after the course's 50th anniversary.
CHANGING HANDS IN OWNERSHIP
In March 2019, the city put out a request for proposals (RFP), asking vendors to submit bids to manage and improve the course. Lee Kinser, who was the course's owner and president at that time, worked with a lawyer and submitted a bid but missed a signature. As a result, her bid was labeled "non-responsive" and she was out of the running to keep the property.
There was some debate about restarting the process but a few months later in June 2019, the Austin City Council ultimately voted in favor of having new management.