Hole in one

Award-winning Austin chef swings in to transform beloved community golf course

Austin chef swings in to transform beloved community golf course

Butler Pitch & Putt
No day at the greens is complete without snacks from Olamaie's Michael Fojtasek. Butler Pitch & Putt

South Austin's beloved Butler Park Pitch and Putt is transforming into a destination for both foodies and golf fans alike.

Operators Pecan Grove Golf Partners, a group that includes golf industry pros Lynn Shackelford and Jason Black, are reviving the 1948 course with an aim towards affordability and accessibility, says a rep. PGGP won the contract via a somewhat controversial 7-4 City Council vote in June. The Kinser family, who ran operations for 70 years, were disqualified due to a paperwork error.

Joining PCCP in the project are members of local hospitality group New Waterloo, owners of La Condesa, Sway Thai, and the South Congress Hotel.

The incoming partnership promises to keep the mission and general pricing of the course intact while improving course conditions, installing new turf, and updating facilities. There will, however, be one major change — the clubhouse and surrounding areas will be restored to accommodate food and beverage service from one of Austin’s most lauded chefs.

Michael Fojtasek of Olamaie has been tapped to help with the culinary program in his first collaboration with New Waterloo. Details about the menu are still pending, but keeping in mind the community goals of the venture, the fare will likely be less upscale than his flagship restaurant.

The team is aiming for winter 2019/2020 to introduce the updated clubhouse, which will include new outdoor seating. The course improvements have already kicked off and will be completed by summer 2020.

Fojtasek, a James Beard Award 2019 finalist and winner of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs 2015, will have plenty else to keep him busy. Mignette, a new restaurant in the upcoming St. Elmo Public Market development, is also set to arrive sometime in 2020.