Austin High's 1957 Class 4A state championship golf team included, from left, Robert Dorsett, Gib Kizer, Tommy Wilson and Randy Petri. They could often be found playing at Lions Municpal golf course, where their picture hangs in the clubhouse.
Legends of Lions
Lions Municipal has been witness to numerous golf icons over the years and it was finally time to give them the much deserved recognition. The names below include the 18 Legends of Lions, Honorable Mention Legends of Lions, and the Friends of Lions Legends that include Save Muny Legends, Junior Legends of Lions, Lions Legends by Association, the Pros and Assistant at Muny, the Teachers, the Lions Founders Legends, Lions Media Legends, Special Recognition, and Austin Area High School Coaching Legends. Please also check out the photos from the Legends of Lions Tournament that was held on April 17th, 2010 at Lions Municipal Golf Course in Austin, TX.
The 18 "Legends of Lions"
Hole #1 The Ben Crenshaw Hole
Growing up a short 3 blocks from Lions, Ben cut his golfing teeth on Muny. The youngest player to win the Men's City Championship in 1967, he followed it with victories in 1968 and 1969 before retiring from the event. He won the 1971, 1972 (a tie with teammate Tom Kite), and 1973 NCAA individual titles. In his career, Ben has won over 25 amateur, 19 PGA Tour & 3 international events, including his first professional tournament, the 1973 Texas Open, and the 1984 and 1995 Masters. He played on four Ryder Cup teams (1981, 1983, 1987, & 1995) and he captained the legendary comeback by the 1999 team. Ben was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2002.
Hole #2 The Marion "Doc" Curry Hole
A native of Corpus Christi, Marion Milroy Curry moved to Austin in 1951 to complete his doctorate at UT after earning a master's degree at Ohio State. Doc had learned golf in Ohio and at the all African American Lincoln Country Club of Atlanta, Georgia. When he arrived in Austin there were no courses on which African Americans were allowed to play. Soon after the historic quiet integration at Muny, in the spring of 1951, Doc, along with Lawrence Britton, Calvin Lynch and Lee Hicks became the first regular all black foursome to play at Lions. Doc was the golf coach at Huston-Tillotson College in the 1950's. He was a founding member of the Capital City Golf Association and played at Muny for over 40 years.
Hole #3 The Walter Benson, Jr. Hole
Lifelong Austinite considered by man knowledgeable sources to be one of the most successful amateur golfers in the state of Texas during the 1940's and 1950's; Walter saved some of his best golf for the tree-lined fairways of Lions. He was the Men's City Champion in 1942 and again in 1956 when the tournament was played exclusively at Muny. He won the prestigious Harvey Penick Invitational at ACC in 1946 and 1951. Walter was the 1948 and 1954 Firecracker Open Champion at Lions Municipal. Walter's golfing rounds at Muny span seven decades.
Hole #4 The Betsy Rawls Hole
A South Carolina native, Elizabeth "Betsy" Rawls dominated local women's golf while attending the University of Texas during the late 1940's. The Harvey Penick prodigy won the 1948, 1949, & 1950 Women's City Championship at Lions. The two-time Texas State Amateur Champion turned pro after graduation and was the 1951 Women's US Open Champion in her rookie year. She won 55 LPGA tournaments including 8 major championships. In 1996, the USGA awarded Betsy the Bob Jones Award in recognition of her distinguished sportsmanship in golf. Betsy was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1960.
Hole #5 The Kizer Family Hole
Roy, Viola, Edwin, R.D., Hubert Ray, Gib, Suzie, Milton, Emil, and Joe. The Kizer family lived at the house on Muny near where holes 13, 17, and the cart shop are today. Roy Kizer, patriarch of this golfing family, was the course superintendent at "Old Muny" from 1937 to 1973. Gib won the 1960 Men's City Championship and R.D. won the 1962 and 1963 Men's City Championship, when it was played entirely at Lions Municipal. Gib, along with fellow Lions Legend Randy Petri, played on the 1957 Austin High 4-A Championship golf team, helping to bring the first state title to Austin in any sport.
Hole #6 The Billy Penn Hole
Born and raised in the Capital City, Bill perfected his golf game at Muny during the late 1940's while attending Austin High School. He played for Harvey Penick on the University of Texas golf team from 1950 - 1953. Billy won the Men's City Championship at Lions in 1950, and then again 21 years later in 1971. In 1957 he was the Firecracker Open Champion at Muny. Billy won the prestigious Harvey Penick Invitational at ACC on two occasions in 1966 & 1973. For a large man, he was known for his immaculate golf swing - smooth, relaxed and in perfect tempo. Billy played at Lions Municipal for six decades.
Hole #7 The Dudley Krueger Hole
An institution at Lions Municipal from the 1930's into the 1970's, Dudley has to be considered one of the best amateur golfers to ever play Muny. He won the 1944 Men's City Championship when it was played entirely at Lions. In 1948, he won the prestigious Harvey Penick Invitational at the Austin Country Club. Always in contention at Muny, Dudley was the Firecracker Open Champion twice, in 1946 and 1951.
Hole #8 The General Marshall Hole
Born in Austin, General was reared in Clarksville. During the late 1940's and early 1950's, before African Americans were allowed to play local courses, he was a caddy at Lions Municipal. It was with the utmost pride General witnessed the integration of Muny in 1951. General served as president of the Capital City Golf Association and was a three-time Austin Senior Golf Association Champion. He was a mathematics professor at Huston-Tillotson College and served as the Golf Coach at this oldest institution in Austin from 1971 to 1981. General played his first round on Muny in 1952 and continues to play at Lions to this day.
Hole #9 The Morris Williams, Jr. Hole
The son of an Austin American-Statesman golf beat writer, Morris Williams, Jr. was one of the best young golfers in the history of the state of Texas. A close family friend happened to be Harvey Penick, who helped hone Morris's game into competitive form. Playing for Harvey on the UT golf team, Morris led them to conference championships in 1948, 1949, and 1950. In 1950, Morris won the Texas Junior golf title, the Texas Amateur and the Texas PGA's annual tournament, becoming the only person in history to pull off the trifecta. After graduation from UT, Morris joined the Air Force as a fighter pilot. Unfortunately, his promising career was cut short by a jet training crash on Sep. 13th, 1953.
Hole #10 The Billy Clagett Hole
One of the premier amateur golfers in Austin history, Billy is one of only two people (along with Ben Crenshaw) to be unanimously elected as a Legend of Lions. The 1994 Men's City Champion has been a dominant force at the historic Firecracker Open at Muny over the past three decades winning a record 6 times in 1988, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, and 2001. Billy was low medalist at the 2002 & 2005 USGA Senior Amateur. The citizens of Austin appreciate and congratulate all Billy has done for the public golf community over the years.
Hole #11 The Roane and Barbara Puett Hole
This legendary Austin couple won eleven City Championships between them in their longtime local amateur golfing careers at Muny. Roane, along with honorable mention Lions Legends, Lester Lundell and Jimmie Connolly, were the only three-time winners of the Harvey Penick Invitational held at Austin Country Club. At Muny, Roane won the Men's City Championship in 1957, 1961, 1964, 1975, & 1981. Barbara topped her husband, winning the Women's City Championship 6 times in 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1977, & 1981.
Hole #12 The Randy and Cary Petri Hole
Growing up one block from the driving range, the Petri brothers were extremely successful junior golfers at Muny in the 1950's and 1960's. Their parents, Ed and Evelyn, were excellent golfers in their own right and supported the many tournaments held at Lions. Randy, Robert Dorsett, Tommy Wilson, and Gib Kizer played on the Austin High Golf Team that won the 4-A State High School Championship in 1957. Randy won the Firecracker Open Championship in 1959, 1962 and 1965. Cary won the 1964 City Junior Championship at Lions. The Petri brothers continue to participate in events at Muny over 50 years after they first struck a golf ball here as youngsters.
Hole #13 The David Harrell Hole
Honorable Mention Legends of Lions
1950 Texas State Amateur Golf Association Champion; pioneer African American golfer at Muny
1928 and 1953 Men's City Champion
1953 Firecracker Open Champion
2000 Men's City Champion
2003 and 2008 Firecracker Open Champion
1936, 1937, & 1939 Men's City Champion
1955 and 1958 Men's City Champion
Tom Miller, Jr.
1946 and 1947 Men's City Champion
Dixie Mildred Neill
Multiple Women's championships in the 1950's
Amateur historian for Lions Municipal's rich culture
4 time Men's City Champion in the 1950's
1952 Austin Women's Golfer of the Year
1952 Women's City Champion & AWGA Invitational Champion
6-time ACC Women's Champion
Claude Wild, Jr.
1943 and 1949 Men's City Champion
1947, 1949 & 1950 Firecracker Open Champion
Friends of Lions Legends
Save Muny Legends
Virginia Bedinger, Pete Acost, Mary Arnold, Sally Shipman, Dick Kemp, and General Marshall
Junior Legends of Lions
Mike Hornsby, William Cromwell, Lester Lundell, Jep Willie, Sonny Rhodes, George Machock, Cindy Figg-Currier, Holley Henin, Omar Uresti, Brendon Redfern, and Scott Roudebush
Lions Legends by Association
Austin Golf Association
Formed at Lions Municipal in 1940
Austin Women's Golf Association
Formed in the 1940's, consisting of three groups: Austin Country Club, Hancock, and Muny's.
The Austin Women's Public Links Golf Association was formed at Muny in 1940
Capital City Golf Association
Formed in the late 1950's, the CCGA hosted the Texas State Amateur at Muny in 1960
Pan American Golf Association
Held a 1951 Tournament at Muny - Tom Guedea, Sr., who was the first president of PAGA
Friends of Lions Legends (continued)
The Pros and Assistants at Muny
First Head Pro at Muny 1925 - 1927
Head Pro at Muny: 1927 - 1961
UT Golf Coach: 1927 - 1930
Head Pro at Muny: 1961 - 1974
Head Pro at Morris Williams: 1962 - 1995
UT Men's Golf Coach: 1963 - 1981
Head Pro at Muny: 1975 - present
Assistant Pro to Tom Penick and George Hannon
Assistant Pro under George Hannon at Muny
Assistant Pro under Hannon at Morris Williams
Head Pro at Jimmy Clay: 1974 - 1997
Assistant to Lloyd Morrison since 1975 at Muny
UT Men's Golf Coach: 1931 - 1963
UT Women's Golf Coach: 1973 - 1993
Lions Founders Legends
John H. Tobin, John D. Coper, Horace C. Barnhart, Lee S. Thrift, E.P. Cravens, J.H. Baugh, A.W. Griffith, C.H. Page, F.W. Sternenbert, A.B. Spires, and B.F. Rowe
These Austin Lions Club members were responsible for the original lease with the University of Texas, and oversaw the construction of Lions Municipal in 1924. The Lions Club transferred the lease to the City of Austin in 1937. Without the labors of these Lions Founders' efforts there would be no Legends of Lions.
Lions Media Legends
Morris Williams, Sr., Del Lemon, Charley Eskew, Dick Collins, Chuck Clark, Melanie Hauser, Kevin Robbins, and Doug Smith
All of these legends have been golf writers for the Austin American Statesman
KVET's "Thats Golf"
Sports Director Channel 7
Fox TV Channel 7
KLBJ Sports Director
Radio, TV, Author, Humorist and Austin icon who has played at Muny for the past seven decades
Austin Area High School Coaching Legends
Austin High School Coach (1940's & 1950's)
Austin High School Coach (1950's - 1970's)
McCallum Coach (1950's - 1970's)
Travis Coach (1950's - 1970's)
Westlake Coach (1985 - 2002)