Texas is another country...

Texas is another country...I have driven into Texas from all four directions and can affirm that after crossing that imaginary state line you just know you are in Texas . The world becomes wide open space, the sky feels higher, you can stretch out and rest a spell.

Monday, July 28, 2014

THE OLDEST GOLF COURSE IN TEXAS


In the Hyde Park neighborhood of Austin there is a little 9-hole, 36-par golf course which substitutes as a park at night for people strolling around.  Its boundaries are 38th Street on the south, Peck Avenue on the west, 41st Street on the north and Red River Street on the west.  This is the oldest in Texas, and you can play a round of golf for $12.50.

Created in 1900 by a group of civic leaders, only one of whom had ever played golf, the course was originally part of the Austin Country Club.  Another section of land was purchased by the Club a few years later to create an 18-hole, 93-acre course.  This was before the boundary streets, with exception of Red River Street, had come into existence and the area was still farmland.  The players had to cross Red River to get from the front nine to the back nine and sometimes horse and wagon traffic delayed the trip.

When Austin Country Club moved quarters in 1949, the City bought the Hyde Park course.  In 1959, a real estate development company bought the back nine and turned that into Hancock Shopping Center (aka Sears Shopping Center).   


The original clubhouse was a two-room building on east 39th Street and still stands (as a private residence).  A new clubhouse was constructed in 1908 and burned down a few times before, finally, the it was rebuilt of brick and stone.  The clubhouse is now called Hancock Park Recreation Center.  It’s still got a pro shop, but it’s also used for community activities and classes, line dancing lessons and whatnot.

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