Golf Hall of Fame cleanup effort ruffles feathers

Chris Thelen/Staff
Volunteers pull weeds at the Augusta Golf and Gardens Saturday June 6, 2009 during a cleanup of the overgrown property.

Anthony Esposito and his Growing Augusta the GreenWay volunteer group might have trouble getting permission to return to the Golf and Gardens property, which would wreck their long-term plans for maintaining the grounds.

 

The Georgia Golf Hall of Fame's board of directors isn't happy with the way it went on Saturday, chairman Bryan Persons said in an e-mail Wednesday.

"All I can say right now is there are some logistical problems and our board was not pleased how the first cleanup was handled," he said. "It appeared to be a media event and the banner was very out of taste and a violation of our agreement."

During the cleanup, one of the volunteers hung a banner over the main gate reading, "Georgia Golf Hall of Shame, Property of the State of Georgia."

Mr. Esposito and 25 volunteers mowed and cut weeds in "the quad" -- the area around the pedestal where Bobby Jones' statue once stood -- the parking lot and the mini course.

Mr. Esposito said Wednesday that Mr. Persons told him by phone that he didn't appreciate the media coverage and that he might also have trouble finding someone to unlock the gates in the future. Former marketing director Robyn Jarrett unlocked them Saturday, but she has been laid off because of the golf hall's lack of funds.

Mr. Esposito had planned to do another cleanup June 27, then every other Saturday after that during the growing season, hopefully with help from other volunteer groups.

Reach Johnny Edwards at (706) 823-3225 or johnny.edwards@augustachronicle.com.

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