On July 7, 2016, the National Park Service listed Muny, Austin's oldest municipal course, in the National Register of Historic Places. Muny was formative in the evolution of golf in Texas and remains a local treasure. But more importantly, the course is part of a broader social and cultural narrative around race relations. The most significant historical events at Muny occurred in 1950 when two African American youths walked onto the course and were allowed to play. Their round marked the desegregation of Muny, almost four years before Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), the landmark civil rights Supreme Court case that mandated racial integration in schools and other public facilities. Thereafter the course regularly attracted black golfers from the across the state. Joe Louis - boxing legend and fierce crusader for the rights of African-American golfers - played the course in 1951 and again in July of 1953, shooting near par in 1953.
Since 1973, Save Muny has worked to preserve Lions Municipal Golf Course as an inclusive, affordable place for all Austinites to enjoy the game of golf and the outdoors. Through public outreach campaigns and community events, the Save Muny initiative has demonstrated the course's intrinsic value to the Austin community, leading to three lease extensions for the City of Austin. Save Muny leaders discovered and publicized the civil rights history associated with the course and nominated the property to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Save Muny remains a key stakeholder group in the dialogue between the University of Texas and the City of Austin to negotiate a solution for preservation of Muny as an 18-hole municipal course that benefits both parties.
Never have the stakes been higher in the quest to Save Muny; 2017 will be the most crucial year yet for our community to rally around this important cause. Funds are urgently needed to execute our final community outreach campaign, seeking to increase public awareness about the course's importance to our current and future community and to maintain pressure on city and UT officials to reach a long-term solution.
Donations to Save Muny/ Funds raised during Amplify Austin go directly towards professional services and expenses associated with Save Muny's marketing and community outreach campaign.
-Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, 30th District, Texas
Congressional Black Caucus
"Its role as a local civil rights landmark makes it an ideal candidate for preservation and recognition."
-Congressman Lloyd Doggett, 35 th District, Texas
On October 28th, 2016, Preservation Austin presented the Save Muny organization with a Special Recognition Award for Outstanding Public Service for the Lions Municipal Golf Course National Register Listing.
"Save Muny's efforts are resonating with increasing breadth and depth. Thanks to their hard work, there is now real hope Lions can be saved from development."
- Frederick Dure