Although they are still in the process of unpacking some boxes and trying to determine what goes where, the transition of city staff from Morris Williams to Lions Municipal Golf Course and Lloyd Morrison's move to Hancock appear to be going smoothly. Of course, that is somewhat similar to the duck that appears to be floating placidy along while underneath the water he is paddling like hell to stay in place against the current.
When asked if the transition has been an arduous process, one employee at Lions smiled and stated "it's been more like an expedition, moving is never easy." Anyone who has moved from one place of residence to another can certainly appreciate what goes into relocating. And, after 35 years of Lloyd Morrison's tenure at Lions, one can only imagine what emotions took place and what decisions had to be made concerning pro shop artifacts and merchandise what stayed and what went, and what memories transpired in the process. That goes for all the staff concerned at Morris Williams, Lions, Hancock and at the Parks and Recreation Department. Hats off to making it work while paddling like mad underneath the surface.
In wandering about the Lions pro shop, one notices that The 2010 Firecracker scoreboard still remains in the hallway betwen the snackbar and the restroom,. You can't help but wonder what happened to the 2011 scoreboard and why it has not taken it's rightful place in a timely fashion. Of course, the answer to that is easy. There was too much going on with respect to the transition to take the old one down and put the new one up. Maybe after things get settled there will be time to update that hallway.
The picture of the Firecracker Open winners are still in place as is the photo board of the 2009 Club Championship. The pictures of Austin based state championship high school teams of Don Beaver at Anderson High are still hanging undisturbed.
The merchandising is being staged differently and is still a work in progress. One comment that was made indicated there was less space to work with in the pro shop at Lions than there was at Morris Williams.
Across town at the Hancock Recreation Center, Lloyd Morrison and staff have been busy sprucing up the pro shop and rearranging things to their liking. Lloyd indicated that with the closure of Morris Williams and the good weather, the number of rounds at Hancock is up significantly.
The pro shop is well organized, functional, and has a new coat of paint. It feels bright and lively. The walls are decorated with memoribilia of Austin golfers and includes items such as the Mildred Bettis Neil scrapbook, which is practically a history of womens golf in Austin. You'll find a nod to George Hannon, Morrison's mentor, in the form of photographs of Hannon with the UT national championship golf teams that included Kite, Crenshaw, George Tucker, Brent Buckman, Tony Pfaff and Jay Campbell.
Morrison's lifelong friendship with Billy Clagget is evidenced by the picture of Clagett in front of the Lions Municipal statue that includes notations of the years of his six wins at the Firecracker Open at Lions Municipal.
You will also find a Firecracker Open Trophy that was retired when Randy Petri notched his third win of the championship. It was replaced with the larger trophy that is currently presented to the winner of that championship. All in all the place has a nice feel to it and the golf course is in great shape after all the recent rains. But Morrison's focus is on the future and not the past. He's enjoying the new schedule of working behind the counter two days a week and working on reports and planning events during the remainder of the week. He might even play a round of golf or two.
Meanwhile, the beat goes on on the golf courses. The maintenance crews work hard at maintaining the condition of the course, having benefitted from recent rains, and the golfers play golf without much regard for staffing changes or who is behind the counter. The game is bigger than any one individual or collection of individuals, although individuals certainly make their contribution.
The photo of this foursome teeing off in the fog at Lions Municipal Golf Course captures the essence of municipal golf. They are just friends out for a round of golf and enjoying the beauty of the day, the course, and good companionship.