$15K settlement ushers workers out at The Patch, allows course to reopen with changes

By: Chris Thomas Email
By: Chris Thomas Email
The Patch

A company from Scotland will officially run a formerly public golf course in Augusta. The Augusta Commission approved this during its meeting Tuesday. (WRDW-TV / Sept. 20, 2011)

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, Sept. 10, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The Patch is set to reopen on Tuesday. Our cameras were rolling as Augusta Municipal Golf Course workers met with city attorneys.

"They are trying to decide who is going to pay us," said Richard Stafford after an expected deal with new mangers at the course, also known as The Patch, fell through late last week. "It's not just affecting them. It is hurting a lot of people."

Guards now stand watch outside the clubhouse that was shut down without a moment's notice last week.

"Went on lunch," Stafford said. "We came back and they closed the course."

Pay day rolled around the next day, and there was no check to be found.

"I think it's ridiculous, to be honest with you," Stafford said. "I do support two children. My buddy supports four. We need that money, and we have no way of getting it."

The focus now turns to maintenance and upkeep of the greens. The city is working on a $15,000 settlement for former workers like Stafford. The plan is to replace them with existing city workers on a temporary basis.

"It is still going to be rough. We are going to play English Rules for a while," said City Administrator Fred Russell. "No carts or anything like that. But it will be open for golf."

Russell says the city is also thinking about the members.

"If you want your money back, we'll negotiate that in some shape or form," Russell said.

Stafford can't help holding a grudge as he now finds himself out of job.

"After what they've done to everybody," he said, "it is putting a lot of people in some situations that they don't need or deserve to be in."

Commissioners plan to go back out for bid for a new manager. The city administrator says it could take up to four weeks for things to get back to normal at The Patch.

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