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Nov. 12, 2010

Inks Lake State Park Golf Course to Close

BURNET — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has decided not to renew the contract for the leaseholder who operates the nine-hole Highland Lakes Golf Club at Inks Lake State Park. The current contract expires Nov. 30.

With play at the park’s golf course static in recent years and more resort golf courses having been built in the area during the past 20 years, Texas State Parks leadership decided the roughly 60 acres of prime lakeside property at the increasingly popular park could be put to better use. Highland Lakes Golf Course, which has been operated by Michael Ocel since 2008, averages 16 players per day.

“Visitation to the state park continues to grow,” says park superintendent Terry Rodgers. “We are looking for better ways to use that land, perhaps for additional hiking trails, interpretive programs and additional camping. In recent years, play at the golf course has been declining, but overall park attendance has been growing.”

Park visitation hit 170,000 in fiscal year 2010. State park planners are looking into the different ways the former golf course acreage might be utilized to best benefit park customers.

The golf course originally was leased in 1958 under a 50-year contract. When the lease expired in 2008, it was extended for two more years. The course is located on park property two miles north of the park headquarters. Access to the course is outside of the park’s camping areas.

The Inks Lake State Park golf course is one of three courses located within a Texas state park. Lockhart State Park operates a nine-hole layout, while a private concessionaire operates an 18-hole course at Bastrop State Park.

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