Firm offers ways to improve 'Patch'

Recommendations include raising rates, boosting rounds

Lost in the din of the Augusta Commission's debate over government restructuring, the administrator's authority and a new day-care operation at a Summerville church last week was a presentation by James Kendrick on Augusta Municipal Golf Course.

Kendrick, the chairman of a subcommittee charged with studying operations at the popular course known as "The Patch," brought a detailed list of 10 recommendations for improvements at the course made by Atlanta-based Affiniti Golf Partners, which also manages Forest Hills Golf Club.

The subcommittee hired Affiniti to study operations at The Patch and is paying it with donations, though Kendrick would not disclose the price of the study or who paid for it.

Among the firm's recommendations are renaming the course "The Patch," raising rates and dues, creating a Web site, removing clubhouse clutter, enhancing the appearance of staff, expanding food and beverage offerings and, most importantly, increasing the number of rounds played annually from about 20,000 to 32,000.

It also recommends hiring a management company, but states: "We will tread lightly on this subject as our opinion as a management company certainly comes with some bias."

The course is one of several money-losing services targeted for privatization, and the city issued at least two requests for proposals from interested management firms last year.

The name of an approved, qualified bidder that responded to the last request issued has not been released by the city's procurement office.

While none of last week's hotly debated items are listed on today's agendas, the commission has a called, closed-door legal meeting at noon today, to be followed by several committee meetings.

 

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