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Augusta Municipal Golf Course draws increasing number of players

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Play at Augusta Municipal Golf Course has increased daily since the course reopened.

“It’s going up every day,” said Ed Howerton, who is managing the course since negotiations fell through and it shut down Sept. 5 for five days. “They just keep coming out.”

About 100 golfers turned out for a free round Friday, Howerton said, up from about 70 on Thursday and 50 on Wednesday.

Reopening the course, which was neglected over the past few months by The Patch in Augusta LLC, has meant hard work for a small city staff assigned to run it until a new operator is found.

Howerton said he and a few others have spent five hours or more each day mowing, taking breaks, then resuming “to cut some more.”

Players “will see a whole lot better course than there was a few weeks ago at least,” Howerton said.

They are returning despite the absence of golf cars or concessions, which were removed when The Patch in Augusta, headed by Aberdeen, Scotland, businessman Brian Hendry, pulled out after not paying rent for five months.

A decision on bringing in a few golf cars and some snacks might come next week, Howerton said.

Negotiations with Paine College, which City Administrator Fred Russell said might lend golf coach Herman Belton to manage the course for a few months, haven’t sent the golf pro or Paine’s team to The Patch, Howerton said.

On Monday the Augusta Commission authorized Russell to rebid management of the golf course, hold Hendry in default, seek temporary assistance and complete numerous needed repairs at the course and clubhouse, using a sales tax allocation that voters approved for The Patch.

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Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 09/14/12 - 08:08 pm
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I'm confused.

I'm confused.

So, they make it FREE to play a round of golf, and the number of golfers actually goes UP?

How does that work?

Maybe that private company they chased off should have tried that. Oh, wait, but then they would be bankrupt. The city doesn't have that concern.

scgator
1042
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scgator 09/14/12 - 09:03 pm
1
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MAKE IT FREE AND THEY WILL

MAKE IT FREE AND THEY WILL COME.................

Riverman1
106707
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Riverman1 09/15/12 - 05:26 am
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Income redistribution from

Income redistribution from the county to the city. Take tax money from the county suburbs and provide free golf in the urban city.

seenitB4
111641
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seenitB4 09/15/12 - 08:03 am
2
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FREE

Give free lunches downtown & they will come .........you will finally get what you want....people DOWNTOWN!

countyman
22728
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countyman 09/15/12 - 11:00 am
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The patch is located in the

When did the area near Wrightsboro/Damascus/Highland become the urban city? I guess when you live in Columbia County everything in Richmond County is considered 'urban' & 'city'... The patch is located in the suburbs, and I'm positive the overwhelmingly majority of players come from the suburbs(including Columbia County).. The CBD is already attracting residents/visitors, and there's thousands of people attending the Arts in the Heart Festival right now...

OpenCurtain
10054
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OpenCurtain 09/15/12 - 01:20 pm
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What has been best said

has already been said above.

Looking forward.
Will there be a followup article after FREE is over,
stating that The Patch Use is dramatically down?

gargoyle
23496
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gargoyle 09/15/12 - 01:46 pm
0
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Countyman ; It's in the old

Countyman ; It's in the old City . I know it pains you to see money spent outside the four square miles and to hear that other parts of the City have activities for residents to do.

Jake
36644
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Jake 09/15/12 - 07:23 pm
0
1
Paying customer

I will be back in Augusta the first week in October and will play the Patch as I always do. This past April, the week after the Masters, it was in very poor shape and I can only guess that it deteriorated even worse after that. Shame, really. I hope the renewed interest will bring results.
We are not talking the River Course here but if you want increased participation at this place then it needs to be properly maintained.
For example, Hole #1 - The useless bunker that was installed under Hendry should be made larger without that "island" in it and made to be a "waste" area that will keep your ball out of the 9th fairway but where you can ground your club.
Hole #2 - The green should be made larger and flatter. The slope in the front is fine but the falloff in the back should be eliminated. Get rid of that useless sand bunker on the left and make it a greenside bunker.
Hole #3 - OK like it is since it is an uphill hole with no bunkers.
Hole #4 - Add a fairway bunker on the right side over the hill for the long hitters.
Hole #5 - Add a greenside bunker to the left of the green where there is a severe drop off.
Hole #6 - As long as that big pine is there then keep it like it is.
Hole #7 - Fine like it is.
Hole #8 - Add a waste bunker down the right side.
Hole #9 - Widen the green a tad but keep the slope of the green.
Hole #10 - Fine like it is.
Hole #11 - Fine like it is.
Hole #12 - Fine like it is.
Hole #13 - I think a bunker was added to make it a risk to drive the green but overall it is fine like it is.
Hole #14 - Put water back into the pond.
Hole #15 - Fairway bunkers or waste area down the right side to prevent ball from going into the range.
Hole #16 - Fine like it is.
Hole #17 - Fine like it is.
Hole #18 - Fine like it is.
All of these suggestions will help speed up play, I think. Also it is assumed that the course would be in pretty good playing conditions at all times.
Hole #19 - Young cocktail waitress and a full bar would go a long way. Fore!

justputtin
1725
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justputtin 09/15/12 - 08:03 pm
0
0
What a country!

Let's see.....give it away and watch the numbers go up? What a concept! Great story! This is amazing!

Tullie
2933
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Tullie 09/16/12 - 11:42 am
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Ha

Augusta is one of the cheapest places around. Never seen so much griping about paying for parking, going to a museum, food, tips, etc.

Why do you think nothing seems to last here? I bet the Golf and Gardens would have made it in say..Charleston, Savannah, etc.
Look at those places and here. Sad isn't it?

But you get these same folks out of town..they think nothing of paying outrageous prices for the same thing..go figure.

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