Lewis Hancock is considered to be the father of golf in Austin and his story is unique. He learned the game of golf in Scotland and brought it to Austin. He is reputed to have given public exibitions of golf in Austin in 1898. Hancock golf course, home of the first site of Austin Country Club and Hancock Center are named after him. He was an active member of the Austin business community, serving as president of Austin's oldest bank, State National. In addition, Hancock was active in city politics, serving as a City Alderman and as mayor of Austin. He used his influence to promote the game of golf in Austin.
He received a B.A. degree from Harvard University in 1878 and graduated cum laude from Harvard Law school in 1881. Golf was an Ivy league sport at that time and Austinites of that day were not familar with the game. Because of where he was educated, the Hancock family vactioned regularly with the eastern social establlishment at the Hamptons on Long Island and other resorts in the northeast. In 1895, the United States Golf Association staged the first Open and Amateur Championships in Newport, Rhode Island.
To Lewis Hancock and others, golf represented unique challenges. It was a thinker's game. The activity rewards honesty and requires thoughtful planning and committed execution. Participants can be young or old, male or female; stout or thin; athletic or infirm. The combination of his exposure to the game of golf, his love of Austin Texas, and his desire to improve the City of Austin led to his vigorous support of golf in Austin. HeHHHHlis