Discover Austin: Butler Pitch & Putt
There’s a small golf course located in downtown Austin that offers fun for all ages and skill levels. Join me for a quick nine-holes as I practice my short game at Butler Pitch & Putt. If you'd prefer to read about Butler Pitch & Putt, the transcript can be found below the video.
Butler Pitch and Putt is located at West Riverside and Lee Barton Drive just south of Lady Bird Lake. It’s a 9 hole, par 3 pitch and putt golf course that opened in 1949 and has been making golf fun and accessible for all ever since.
Each hole on the course ranges in length from about 60 to 100 yards. There are a few hills and trees to contend with as you play. Hole #7 is the signature hole and features a pond right in front of the green. Golf legends Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite golfed this course back in the day.
Tee times cannot be reserved as this is a first-come, first-play basis course. Simply drop a drop a ball into the chute at the first tee and it’s easy to track when it’s your turn. It takes anywhere from one to two hours to play, depending upon how busy it is. The course is open daily, but check the website for occasional closings for private events.
In addition to the golf course, Butler offers a putting green, beer garden, central courtyard, and private event spaces. In fact, they can accommodate private groups from 20 to 500 guests. The Clubhouse offers custom merchandise, equipment rentals, and more. If you get hungry, you’ve got excellent food options. The culinary team led by three-time James Beard finalist and Butler regular Michael Fojtasek offers the Gimme Burger food truck serving up burgers, fries, okra, and more. Inside the clubhouse you’ll find classic Master’s-style sandwiches, snacks, cookies, and biscuits made fresh by Little Ola’s. There’s also a nice selection of beer, wine, soda, and other non-alcoholic drinks. Yeti coolers are available if you want to keep your drinks cold during the round.
It wouldn’t be Austin without live music, which is available on Thursday nights. For a different experience, enjoy night golf on Friday evenings during which you use a glow-in-the-dark golf ball. Of course, they offer lessons and have a variety of leagues which you can join.
Until the late 1940s, the Butler Brick Company had a clay mine on this land. Upon closing the mine, they gave the land to the city of Austin. Doug & Winston Kinser approached the city with their idea for the golf course and the city agreed. The city maintained ownership of the land, but signed an operating agreement with the two men. They opened one hole at a time as they built them, but the full course officially opened on June 1, 1950. Sadly, Doug was murdered in the clubhouse in 1951. Winston continued to run the course until his death in 2000 at which time another family member took the helm. In 2019, the city awarded the operating contract to Pecan Grove Golf Partners.
The next time you’re looking to have some fun, head to Butler Pitch and Putt for some great golf and a bite to eat.