Columbus Park Golf Course, 5701 W. Jackson Blvd. in Austin, is a hidden gem. I visited the golf course earlier this week to explore who might frequent the space.

Calvin Mason, 57, told me how he fell in love with the game and bragged about the well-maintained condition of the course.

When entering golf

I started golf 16 years ago. There was this young Puerto Rican guy at my job who asked me if I had ever played golf before and I said, “It’s a stupid, lousy game.” It’s not a man’s game.

He said, “Well, go out to the range with me and hit some balls.” At first I refused but he finally convinced me and we went to Fresh Meadows [a golf club in west suburban Hillside] and after that first swing I fell in love with it and have been playing golf ever since.

On the Columbus Park golf course

I work here in Columbus Park. I am a cashier and starter. I have been golfing here for about 16 years. Columbus Park is great compared to other courses in the area.

Our greens, sands, fairways, etc. We can compete with any other 18 or 9 hole golf course in town.

On what draws people to the West Side golf course

We have people from all over coming here. From the city, from the suburbs, from Oak Park, from the Northside. Especially since the pandemic hit, everyone discovered our gem that we have here. Since then, it’s been packed.

Business is always good, as a golfer it can get a little crowded at times because we can have people coming in just to hit a ball who aren’t really golfers. But if you’re a golfer, it’s heaven here.