by Ann Fowler
The Oak Hill Golf Range, home to weekend linksmen for three decades, announced its plan to close on Sunday, May 14.
Officials from Baylor Scott and White recently unveiled a proposal to purchase the property if they could get permits to build a 50-bed hospital.
J. Michael Ussery owns the property. He told the Gazette in March that he has a letter of agreement to sell the property, although the timeline of the sale would depend on city approval of the project.
Ussery purchased the property in 2005. “Inevitably something was going to be done with this property,” he said.
On April 22 the Golf Range posted its intention to close on its website: “After 30 years of operation, Oak Hill Golf Range will close permanently on Sunday, May 14, 2017. The property is being sold to make way for development of a Baylor, Scott & White hospital. We thank all of the many golfers who made Oak Hill Range their place to practice over the years.”
But the hospital is not ready to announce a done-deal just yet.
Julie Smith, director of media relations for Baylor, Scott & White Health, provided this statement to the Gazette: “We are always looking for opportunities to increase access and provide quality health care to more Texans, and we continue to evaluate how we can become further integrated in the Austin/Round Rock market and better serve the community. We do not have anything to announce at this time.”
Evenings and weekends are always busy at the driving range, and this past Sunday was no different, with two-dozen golfers honing their skills under sunny skies. One of those was 5-year-old Nate Evans, accompanied by his dad, Todd. The Evans family lives near Nutty Brown Road and have been frequenting the Oak Hill Golf Range for the past two months.
Between practice swings, Nate said his favorite golfer is Jordan Spieth. Todd would occasionally help Nate with his stance, but the main goal was for Nate to have fun.
Asked where they will go when the driving range closes, Todd said they would likely head to a facility in Dripping Springs. But, Todd lamented, the benefit of using the Oak Hill Golf Range was its proximity to U.S. 290 West. He pointed out that his son’s enthusiasm can be somewhat loud, and the traffic noise made it barely noticeable.