The appeal of Austin, Texas is evident when you sit in the backyard of a Tex-Mex joint, Margarita in hand. It can get hot at times, but the outdoor lifestyle is embedded in the city that prides itself on “keeping things weird.” This extends from the outdoor restaurants, breweries, and food truck yards to the parks, creeks, and trails that provide opportunities for year-round outdoor recreation. Golf also falls into this category. Austin has six city-owned public courses, hosts the PGA TOUR’s WGC Match Play at Austin Country Club, and the Tito’s Shorties Classic at Butler Pitch & Putt.
Don’t forget the music scene either. In addition to iconic music venues like Broken Spoke and ACL Live, the Austin City Limits and South by Southwest festivals are both a big draw. With its revamped take on the Southern lifestyle, it’s no surprise that Austin attracts more than 450,000 visitors each year.
Hypegolf drove into town in early November to see what the town had to offer and to watch the second annual Tito’s Shorties Classic, a made-for-TV exhibition tournament hosted at a local pitch-and-putt course featuring four PGA TOUR professionals who fighting it out for the Puppies & Golf charity organization. It turned out that there is a lot to see in two days if you really go for it.
Check in at the Carpenter Hotel
What: The Carpenter is a unique hotel with a long and rich history, located on the south side of the Colorado River and a short walk from the Butler Pitch & Putt. Built in 1939, it was originally a boarding house for workers in Austin’s burgeoning industrial sector. The building underwent several transformations over the years before being converted into a boutique hotel in 2017. The space was completely renovated to combine mid-century modern and industrial elements and now features numerous amenities such as a restaurant, bar, swimming pool, patios and terraces.
Where: 400 Josephine St, Austin, TX 78704
Spend an afternoon in Barton Springs
What: As mentioned above, one of the greatest benefits of living in Austin is year-round access to recreation, and Barton Springs is a happening place every weekend. It is a large natural spring that sits right next to the vast Zilker Metropolitan Park, one side of which is free to the public and the other side requires a small $9 USD admission fee. There’s no better way to cool off after a few hours of golf in the Texas sun.
Where: 2201 William Barton Dr, Austin, TX 78746
Put on your skate at No-Comply
What: In recent years, golf has seen new brands such as Malbon Golf appear that have disrupted the industry by bringing influences from other spheres such as skateboarding. No-Comply Skate Shop manages to pack a ton of inventory, plus a coffee counter, into its walls despite its modest size. This is a classic indie skater’s dream with dedicated sections for decks, headgear, shoes and clothing. Carharrt WIP, adidas, Nike, Vans, Dime MTL and Sci-Fi Fantasy are just some of the brands you can buy in the store.
Where: 812 W 12th St, Austin, TX 78701
Make your move at the Butler Pitch & Putt
What: The Butler Pitch & Putt is a true hidden gem and success story that illustrates what people can do when they work together. The course originally opened in 1950 as a passion project by two Austin residents. Fast forward to today, and it remains a priceless green oasis in the midst of an urban sprawl, owned and operated by local Austin entrepreneurs. There are no start times. All play is first come, first served, and the longest hole on the scorecard is 101 yards. The golf shop rents clubs and balls for a dollar, and is stocked with local brews and Masters-style sandwiches. It’s such an easy and down-to-earth golf experience that really anyone can enjoy, and it was the perfect host venue for Tito’s second annual Shorties Classic.
Where: 201 Lee Barton Dr, Austin, TX 78704
Shop the latest drops at Sneaker Politics
What: Owned by Derek Curry, Sneaker Politics began as a mom and pop store in 2006 and is now recognized as a hotbed for sneaker culture in the South with locations in Louisiana and Texas. They specialize in selling the most sought after and exclusive sneakers from top brands such as Nike, adidas, Jordan, New Balance, Asics and more. The Austin storefront is located along 2nd Street close to the river and will occasionally stock golf items from brands like Quiet Golf and adidas, as the founder also happens to be an avid golfer.
Where: 221 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701
Refuel after your round at El Alma
What: If you’re staying at the Carpenter Hotel, this restaurant is less than a five minute walk away and has some of the best Mexican food in town. Selected as a First Plates winner by The Austin Chronicle, the restaurant offers a Mexico City-inspired menu designed by Executive Chef Alma Alcocer-Thomas. The space is also worth mentioning; a multi-level structure with a white adobe exterior and a rooftop terrace with sweeping views over the surrounding neighborhood. Try the enchiladas with mole verde.
Where: 1025 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704
Visit with the crew at Random Golf Club
What: RGC is the brainchild of filmmaker and creative Erik Anders Lang; a golf lifestyle brand and media company that aspires to create chapters across the country, each functioning as its own community. Its headquarters are located east of downtown in an industrial area where breweries and axe-throwing bars have taken up residence. The RGC store has yet to open to the public. But if it does, it promises to be a must-see place for golfers with an indoor simulator and an outdoor garden complete with miniature golf and food trucks.
Where: 757 Shady Ln, Austin, TX 78702