Calvin Mason, 57, on the Columbus Park Golf Course. | Shanel Romain/Staff

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

Calvin Mason, 57, talked to me about how he fell in love with the game and bragged about the course’s well-kept condition.

On getting into golf

I started golfing 16 years ago. There was this young Puerto Rican guy at my job who asked me if I’ve ever golfed before and I told him, ‘That’s a silly, wussy game. That’s not a man’s game.’

He said, ‘Well, just go to the range with me and hit some balls.’ Initially, I refused but he finally talked me into it and we went over to Fresh Meadows [a golf club in west suburban Hillside] and after that first swing, I fell in love with it and have been golfing ever since.

On Columbus Park Golf Course

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

Our greens, our sands, the fairways, etc. We can rival any other 18-hole, nine-hole golf course around the city. 

On what draws people to the West Side golf course

We have people from all over come here. From the city, suburbs, Oak Park, the Northside.  Especially since the pandemic hit, everyone found out about our gem that we have here. It’s been jam-packed ever since.

Business is always good, as a golfer it could be a bit crowded at times because we may have some people that come out just to hit a ball who aren’t really golfers.  But if you’re a golfer, it’s paradise here.