Trophy symbolizes hope that Muny reaches the century mark

Amid the photos and other memorabilia occupying a corner of the pro shop at Lions Municipal Golf Course stands a new, slyly worded trophy.

“2024 MUNY OPEN,” reads the white lettering on glass. “Celebrating 100 years of great Austin Golfing.” Smaller print notes that it was “donated by the Walter Hopkins family.”

Last time I checked, we’re still in 2017. The wording, of course, is aspirational, and that’s the point. The course dates to 1924.

A trophy, with hopeful wording, donated to Lions Municipal Golf Course.

Relatives and friends of Hopkins, who died in June, donated the trophy to the pro shop as a way to memorialize him. Those relatives and friends, like Hopkins, don’t want the University of Texas, which owns the 141-acre, city-operated course in West Austin, to shut it down and lease the property to developers.

Jerry Frazee, a retired chemist, came up with the idea for the trophy. He and Hopkins were close friends and played golf for many years at Muny. “He came to love the game even though he only broke a hundred on good days,” Frazee said of Hopkins.

Frazee and his son, Don, who is married to Hopkins’ daughter, Teresa, presented the trophy recently to Erik Lopez, a pro at Lions. “My dad’s a lighthearted jokester,” Don said.

UT President Gregory L. Fenves has said he hopes to work out an arrangement with the city that would preserve Muny while perhaps giving the university additional development rights elsewhere on the Brackenridge Tract and on other UT-owned parcels, including those in the Montopolis neighborhood and North Austin.

The university’s governing board had long contemplated leasing Muny for development as a way to boost rental income, but that stance softened as a result of legislation that passed the state Senate — though not the House — to transfer Muny to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department without compensation to UT.

Don Frazee (left) and Jerry Frazee (right) presenting trophy to Lions pro Erik Lopez.

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