Austin Country Club was founded November 14, 1899 by Lewis Hancock, a man of more than ordinary vision. In those days country clubs and golf were practically unknown and we believe it correct to state that the Austin Golf Club (later to be renamed the Austin Country Club) was the first of its kind organized in Texas. The initial membership list contained most of the early pioneer families of Austin and read like "Who’s Who" in Texas. Mr. Hancock became the President of the Club and held that position for 17 years. During his tenure he was the sole authority on the rules of golf and all procedures of the social end of the Club. To his position he lent a dignity and created an atmosphere that made it a real privilege to be listed as a member.

The first clubhouse consisted of a small two-room, frame house with a porch across the entire front; the course was nine holes, and, as was the custom in early days, was constructed with sand greens.

In 1908, a brand new clubhouse was built – two stories, made entirely of wood, painted a brilliant red.

Hole 3, Austin Country Club at original Hancock location.

Harvey Penick graduated from Austin High School and became ACC’s Head Golf Professional. Harvey’s association with Austin Country Club spanned 82 years. He started as a caddie at the club’s original Hancock location when he was eight. Later, he became shop assistant; then assistant professional. Harvey taught golf for seven decades and coached the University of Texas golf team for 33 years – leading the University to 20 Conference championships. Among his well-known pupils were Ed White, Betty Jameson, Morris Williams, Jr. Betsy Rawls, Mickey Wright, Kathy Whitworth, Tom Kite, Ben Crenshaw, and Sandra Palmer.

On the early morning of Sunday, March 19, 1934 an Austin landmark went up in flames. The Club was insured for $12,000 and after the fire the club was left without funds and times were very hard. A new clubhouse was needed and a way was found to afford it. The University of Texas was tearing down old Main building and the used materials were available. Today the beautiful new clubhouse still stands, built entirely of brick and stone from Old Main.

Austin Country Club Ladies’ Golf Association. Helen Penick, second from left standing.

Jimmy Demaret, Ben Hogan and Harvey Penick at Austin Country Club.

In 1949, needing more space, the Club moved to Riverside Drive in east Austin. The Austin American recorded the grand opening of the relocated “Country Club of Austin” on Friday, February 12, saying that it was “a dream come true for members…as the flood lights went on…in their new modernistic brick building.

Harvey Penick was named Professional Emeritus in 1971 when his son, Tinsley, succeeded him as Head Professional. Tinsley continued on as Head Professional until 1995 when he passed the torch on to current Austin Country Club Head Golf Professional Dale Morgan. Tinsley and his wife Betty Ann are now honorary members of Austin Country Club.

The Austin Country Club opened its new course on the beautiful 189.5 acre Davenport Ranch property on February 1, 1984.

In collaboration with Austin writer Bud Shrake, Harvey co-authored four instruction books with millions of copies sold, the number one and two all-time sports best sellers Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book (1992); and his Little Green Book, And If You Play Golf, You’re My Friend (1993); followed by For All who Love The Game (1995) and The Game for a Lifetime (1996), a work in progress at his death.

A statue of Harvey Penick and Tom Kite at the Austin Country Club was dedicated on April 2, 1995.

One hundred years later, nearly 1000 members of Austin Country Club and their families gathered to honor those intrepid founders, to recall a storied past and to embrace a promising future. The Clubhouse was divided into three separate areas, each representing a different era in the life of Austin Country Club, for The Party of the Century.

And the tradition continues…

    Welcome to Austin Country Club established in 1899

    Founded in 1899, Austin Country Club is one of the oldest existing clubs in Texas and home to one of the greatest golf instructors who ever lived, Harvey Penick.

    The Club consists of an 18-hole Pete Dye design golf course, Harvey Penick learning center, 10 lighted tennis courts (two of which are clay surface), heated swimming pool, fitness facility, 57 boat slips and a large clubhouse. The clubhouse includes various dining areas, a large ballroom and meeting room facilities, as well as men's and ladies' locker rooms.

    It is our mission to provide a tradition rich, outstanding private country club known for the quality of its membership and for service that exceeds expectations.