Patching up the Patch

City should act like owner, partner with golf course's next manager

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Imagine your betrothed telling you before the wedding, “If I’m not there, start without me.”

That’s precisely the level of commitment – or lack of it – the city of Augusta has shown our public golf course known affectionately as the Patch.

Tired of six-figure losses at the city’s course, Augusta commissioners last year decided to lease it for $1,000 a month to a Scottish interest, which has since left the picture.

Three local brothers recently stepped up to fill the management void, using their own money and sweat to spruce it up before a recent tournament for the First Tee nonprofit organization. But the commission last week turned its back to the Kelly brothers, inexplicably refusing to accept their help under terms similar to the Scottish concern’s. OK. The Kellys walked away, understandably feeling a little jilted.

The slight didn’t hurt them as much as it hurt the city.

Now Administrator Fred Russell reports that firms from all over the country are inquiring about coming in and running the course for the city. So Russell plans to have the city operate the course as a bare-bones operation for a week or so, with workers borrowed from Recreation, and eventually bring in a new management company. The city is formally asking for proposals from would-be managers.

Although, he says anything is on the table.

One of those “anythings” ought to be to consider either selling the course or trading it for something else of value.

If the city does maintain ownership of the course and allows a private entity to run it, let’s hope the commission does the right thing – and acts like an owner.

It’s clear the city can’t just take a monthly stipend and pretend it has washed its hands of all responsibility for the Patch. If the city is going to be the owner of a golf course, it’s time for the city to act like one – and at least be a partner with whichever entity comes in to run it day-to-day.

To this point, the city has been no better than a runaway bride. Yes, the Scottish owner became delinquent in monthly payments – but the Kelly brothers have to feel a bit left-at-the-altar.

If some other golf course manager comes along to say “I do” to the city of Augusta, he needs to know that the city is committed.

It may not say “for better or worse” in those legal contracts they sign in such arrangements.

But maybe it’s time to start.

Comments (18) Add comment
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Riverman1
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Riverman1 09/16/12 - 05:54 am
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Golf Course For The Naming Rights

"One of those “anythings” ought to be to consider either selling the course or trading it for something else of value."

There's been conjecture that ASU would take it over and now Paine appears to be involved. I say we give it to ASU if they agree to keep their name ASU. If that fails, give it Paine and let them change their name to Augusta University. We have to get something out of this.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 09/16/12 - 06:51 am
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What a mess

It didn't have to be this way....:(

Shoot yourself in the foot---why doncha!

willie7
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willie7 09/16/12 - 08:47 am
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One, of the three Kelly
Unpublished

One, of the three Kelly brothers, is a convicted felon.
Dennis Kelly was convicted of Medicare fraud in 1995.

soapy_725
44110
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soapy_725 09/16/12 - 10:10 am
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$300K owed by River City
Unpublished

should be plenty enough incentive to "sign a contract" and move on. LOL

seenitB4
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seenitB4 09/16/12 - 10:35 am
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rm said...

give it Paine and let them change their name to Augusta University. We have to get something out of this.

Get something?/hah......

Riverman1
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Riverman1 09/16/12 - 10:38 am
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Willie7, do you think there's

Willie7, do you think there's even ONE person left in the western hemisphere who doesn't know that?

seenitB4
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seenitB4 09/16/12 - 10:54 am
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Thanks RM

I happen to know Mr Kelly & know he has changed his life ......& has paid a price ...

whatmistake
100
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whatmistake 09/16/12 - 03:22 pm
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What a great idea!

By all means, the city fathers should make haste to turn management of the course over to a private school that's in danger of losing accreditation over it's own financial bungling. Only in Augusta.

harley_52
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harley_52 09/16/12 - 05:11 pm
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I Think We Should Change The Name....

....of the Patch to "Georgia Regents' Golf Course." I think golfers from around the world will be immediately attracted to the new name and flock here to play the course and get the bag tag for their collection. Lord knows we don't want "Augusta" anywhere in the name.

Come to think of it, why don't we change the name of the course where the Masters is played to "Georgia Regents' National?" I'm pretty sure having Augusta in the current name is making people around the world think it's just some rinky-dink cow track from a little, redneck town in Georgia.

Jake
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Jake 09/16/12 - 05:57 pm
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willie7

What does that have to do with running the Patch? Felons can be rehabilitated, you know. Should he have to carry a ball and chain with him the rest of his life?

Bantana
2071
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Bantana 09/19/12 - 11:24 am
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Jake

?

harley_52
25814
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harley_52 09/16/12 - 06:57 pm
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"And what of the the huge sum of funds.....

"....taken from the american taxpayers? Was full and complete restitution ever made? How could anyone responsible for public monies ever justify placing the public trust with such persons?"

Hoo boy, do I ever agree with that.

You are speaking of the Obama Administration, right?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 09/17/12 - 06:02 am
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The Health South scandal is

The Health South scandal is well known around here. Dennis Kelly was one of the officials of the company and was sent to prison almost 20 years ago. That's well known. He served his time and has apparently been doing the right things for many years now. We also have a Commissioner who has been to prison and no one brings it up. The Kelly brothers were NOT given the contract to manage the course so why IT bring up? What does it have to do with the price of tea in China?

I do credit the brothers for cleaning up the golf course to make it presentable for the charity tournament.

OpenCurtain
10049
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OpenCurtain 09/17/12 - 12:17 pm
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Anybody ready for round 5?

Any one taking notes?

Bantana
2071
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Bantana 09/19/12 - 11:25 am
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Riverman1
93467
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Riverman1 09/18/12 - 04:12 am
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Well...yaaaahhhh!!!

It was almost 20 years ago, afterall. Really everyone knows about it. I couldn't believe some throwing out comments like it was a news scoop or something. It's like our Commissioner making a motion and people starting to say well, he was in jail before. Well....yaaaahhhh!!!

seenitB4
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seenitB4 09/18/12 - 07:00 am
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bantana

Do you know where Martha Stewart is today.....just saying ya might wanta check...
She spent some time in prison ....doesn't matter if she is working & giving JOBS to thousands ----we need to remind HER-----she is a jailbird!

Bantana
2071
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Bantana 09/19/12 - 11:26 am
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seenit

?

Riverman1
93467
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Riverman1 09/18/12 - 08:41 am
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Hey, this is a local guy who

Hey, this is a local guy who served his time. That's all. Should someone who served time be allowed to hold office? That seems a bigger deal to me than this. What's your point continually posting about his crime 20 years ago? He's not running for office or anything. He didn't get the contract. So...., frankly, I don't get it.

Riverman1
93467
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Riverman1 09/18/12 - 08:42 am
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By the way, someone tell me

By the way, someone tell me who William Keetings is.

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