The PGA Tour is set to get it done Austin-style this week—in town a second-consecutive year for the WGC Dell Match-Play, getting underway Wednesday at Austin Country Club.
Having spent time on the road at several Tour events the past few years, we’ve relied on the advice of friends and locals to always steer us towards the best a town has to offer. William Murray calls Austin, Texas home and for our friends on and around the Tour—a few suggestions for you while you’re looking for fun in our spirited city.
Austin Country Club is a good dozen miles northwest of the area William Murray calls home, so most of our suggestions will be based in this area. You’re also going to want to take advantage of your courtesy cars as well-known ride-sharing options pulled up there stakes and left a while ago. (It’s a long story, but should you be interested…)
Quick disclaimer; we’re coming off two weeks of SXSW and rolling right into a PGA Tour party week—so bear with us. Working to bounce back before situations escalate at ACC starting on Wednesday.
In no particular order:
— There’s a TopGolf in Austin. We realize there are over three dozen more locations nationwide, but the fact we have one in our backyard deserves mention. If you’re in from out of town to take in some WGC action and have never visited a TopGolf, it’s worth your time. Food and drinks, music and golf—firing at targets, focused on having fun instead of competition—the evening will fly by. Our location is less than ten miles from Austin Country Club.
— For the purist looking for a different experience, but not quite in the mood to commit half a day to playing 18 holes—the Butler Park Pitch and Putt has been an Austin tradition since 1950 and makes for a fun outing. The nine-hole “Butler Park” course features 805 yards of golf (from the longest tees for a par of 27). This par-3 course is near downtown Austin, the Hike and Bike Trail and Lady Bird Lake (all worth checking out, as well.) Not enough vintage spots like this exist in this day and age. Worth checking out for a twilight round if you have the time.
— Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is a must for the movie-buff. The chain began in Austin back in 1997 and part of its charm is old school etiquette—no babies, no talking or texting during the movie, no showing up late. Aware-winning cuisine, exceptional cocktails and the finest craft beers enhance your experience of taking in the latest and greatest films, as well as retro ones that occasionally make a comeback in 35mm.
Check out any one of the handful of local locations. We’re fans of the location on Lamar Street and have done some damage at The Highball next door; especially in the private karaoke rooms. Garage Bar is also a stones throw from the area and is a worthwhile option to get things rolling.
— Austin City Limits remains legendary and if you’re around through Sunday evening, Dave Chappelle—fresh off two new Netflix specials—is doing a week-long residency.
— The bar at the Driskill Hotel is our favorite spot to get an Old Fashioned. Worth posting up and knocking a few back.
— Texas BBQ is a must and we all have our favorites. Lamberts on 2nd Street never disappoints, while Frankin BBQ on 11th is a favorite of the man, the myth, the Murray. The Salt Lick is cash-only, so plan accordingly, while Rudy’s features a country store with some great rubs and sauces to bring home with you.
— A few non-BBQ food-related lunch or dinner gems worth mentioning; Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, which lives up to it’s billing—as does Ramen Tatsu-ya. You won’t find a better slow-cooked broth for hundred of miles. If you’re on the go downtown, the walk-up Burger Bar on Congress is a game changer. Get it to go and pop over to the bar at the JW Marriott to knock down with a glass of bourbon at the bar. If you ask nicely, they’ll let you knock down a worthwhile snack with a refreshing cocktail.
— Regarding nightlife, for any ambitious players with late tee times, or fans skipping the early rounds in favor of a solid night out, sleeping in and a legit breakfast, again, some options. When choosing which direction to go nightlife-wise, you have a few options—West Sixth, Dirty Sixth or Rainey Street your best options.
If you go the West route, we’re big fans of Dogwoods, Green Light Social, Steam Punk, Rustic Tap and Parlor and Yard.
Dirty is a different beast all together. Casino El Camino is worth a fly-by—a monster burger with a decor and vibe that feels like something out of From Dusk Til Dawn, while The Blind Pig pours a stiff one, offers up some live music and had a legit rooftop patio. Buffalo Billiards is also over that way, should you want to get your stick on. Whistler is another spot featuring both character and characters.
If you take it to Rainey, good options are Bungalow, Container Bar, Luster Pearl, Bar 96, Javelinaor Bangers—and you’re (sort of) right in the heart of food truck country, with countless evening or late-night grub options.
— Dinner options are endless in Austin, but if looking for something other than beef, beef and more beef, we’re big fans of Uchi or Eberly.
— Lastly, whether you’re looking for hangover breakfast after a dinner-less late night out, or a laid back way to start the day—some great breakfast options are available in ATX. 24 Diner is just what you’d expect (in a good way), while South Congress Cafe, June’s and Hillside Farmacy all deliver the goods. (Perlas also offers a solid weekend brunch.)
Whatever direction you go, cheers to a great week in Austin.