The Patch in Augusta LLC reinstates wellness program for city employees

City employees soon might resume discount golfing at Augusta Municipal Golf Course because the course’s new operator has decided to reinstate an employee wellness program.

The program, which reimburses city employees for memberships and rounds but not cart rentals, had stopped when The Patch in Augusta LLC began leasing the course for $1,000 a month in January.

Brian Hendry, the chairman of The Patch, said he reconsidered the option after Augusta Commission member Corey Johnson asked for it during a recent Public Service Committee meeting.

“If people want to play golf, the door’s always open,” Hendry said.

He said the plan will be closely monitored. Employees must register with the city first and must check in before play.

After they join, however, employees who play four or more rounds a month will be reimbursed the full amount on the subsequent month’s paycheck, said Robby Burns, the city’s human resources manager.

Burns, a golfer who lamented losing The Patch from the wellness program offerings in January, said about 60 city employees were enrolled in the golf program last year.

“It gets people to do something rather than sit on the sofa all weekend,” Burns said.

The city offers similar reimbursements for employees and their dependents at the Kroc Center, Family Y, Newman Tennis Center, Augusta Aquatic Center, Anytime Fitness and Live Fit Augusta.

Johnson, who did not return calls requesting comment, cited the lack of a wellness program at the golf course when he voted against designating $300,000 in sales tax money for improvements at The Patch last month. The measure needed one more vote to pass.

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