First Tee wants to partner with The Patch

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email

News 12 First at Five / Thursday, March 14, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The First Tee Program wants to partner with the city at the Municipal Golf Course. The city would pay for the upgrades at The Patch while splitting any profits with First Tee.

Commissioners are split on the possible partnership.

"Yes, I would be for it with the concept that has come forward so far," said Commissioner Alvin Mason.

"If it's going to cost the city $1 million, no," said Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle.

The First Tee program is a nationwide nonprofit that teaches kids skills from the game of golf that can be used in life.

Paul Simon, a former First Tee chairman, says he wants to share the operating cost of The Patch and proceeds with the city.

"For us to pay all the cost and split the proceeds, that's a hard pill for me to swallow," Guilfoyle said.

"It does about three things and it reduces our cost to operate. Number two, it's a way to make money. It allows those who are qualified to go over there and play," Simon said.

"I can't see spending a million dollars for 500 people to play there," Guilfoyle said.

"It's a lot of money, but you can earn that back," Simon said.

The city already has $300,000 in the bank to improve The Patch.

"I'm looking at spending every bit of that $300,000 and starting there. Start making some profits and look at what we can do going forward," Mason said.

The Patch could become home to the next generation of golfers.

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