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Firm offers ways to improve 'Patch'

Recommendations include raising rates, boosting rounds

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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.

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Augusta Municipal Golf Course is one of several money-losing services that the city has targeted for privatization. A firm offered 10 recommendations last week for improving the course, from creating a Web site to raising rates and dues.  File/Staff
Augusta Municipal Golf Course is one of several money-losing services that the city has targeted for privatization. A firm offered 10 recommendations last week for improving the course, from creating a Web site to raising rates and dues.

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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Just My Opinion
Just My Opinion 02/21/11 - 05:51 am
You know, I do hope they are

You know, I do hope they are able to do whatever it takes to save this place, but I do have a question about this so-called "study" and it's recommendations. Don't you think that Kendrick's folks could've come up with pretty much the same recommendations from LOCAL people, ones that they wouldn't have had to pay? I know people that would've sat and given their thoughts for nothing...maybe a free round of golf!

raul 02/21/11 - 07:44 am
That was pretty lame. It

That was pretty lame. It didn't take much to come up with those recommendations.

smartie 02/21/11 - 08:15 am
what a waste of time. here's

what a waste of time. here's what needs to happen. the staff that works here needs to actually charge the ones that do play. charge 'em for the beer that they drink. charge 'em for the hotdogs that they eat. i used to go play the patch , on occasion, with some of the regulars. it got so discouraging, watching these guys ripping off the place, that i lost all respect for the golfers and the staff. i LOVE the patch. i LOVE the history. i hate to think it'll be a parking lot one day. it's a $20.00 golf course, with $2.00 beers, and $1.00 hotdogs. that's all it'll ever be. BUT, it can survive, and even profit, as long as everyone PAYS!!!

ReleehwEoj 02/21/11 - 08:16 am
Yep - just increase annual #

Yep - just increase annual # of rounds by 60%. if "the patch" could have done this they already would have and we wouldn't be reading this story.

pointstoponder 02/21/11 - 08:24 am
The Commission prefers to

The Commission prefers to believe information from paid consultants more than staff, even when the information is the same.

Boston93 02/21/11 - 10:24 am
First round of golf at The

First round of golf at The Patch 55 years ago and I can remember my first birdie that day on #18. Have played there many many times and due to health problems for several years have given up golf. Last time was 3-4 years ago and loved the improvements. Would hate to see it go after all the years there. I saw needed improvements then and now and hope someone will purchase the course and get it moving forward.
Good luch PATCH and hang in there. It has got to be profitable though for it to remain.

justfred 02/21/11 - 11:27 am
Profitability can be had next

Profitability can be had next week. Simply lease the course to a private company for $10,000 per year and make them responsible for all costs. Lots of companies would sign up for this tomorrow.

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