The Augusta Country Club, located at 1610 Fairway Drive, is celebrating. This year marks 90 years since the club's founders formed the country club.
On May 29, 1922 a group of 20Augusta men gathered to form a corporation that would become the Augusta Count ry Club. At that meeting, held at 10 p.m., they elected a Board of Directors and officers. Members of the board were G. M. Smith - President, H. E. Uncapher, A. R. Peckham, Roy Schoeb, H. B Gardner, A. G. Bissonette, W. A. Penley, J. C. Bunten – Vice President and N. A. Yeager. G. S. Harrington was elected Secretary and Treasurer.
The motion was made "that Kuster Eighty….be purchased, said premises to be used for a golf course for the Augusta Country Club." And thus was the local golf course formed and named. Other stockholders at that meeting were H. C. Leonard, F. H. Schoeb, Stephen Lehr, R. A . Haines, W. B. Jones, D. A. Kirchner, R. C. Brownlee, J. J. Russell, H. E. Cease and O. C. Jones.
The founders issued one hundred shares of stock for $100 each and built a sand green nine hole golf course. The course served the community into the 1950s when a new bond issue was sold. Five hundred shares were sold at the price of $100 and the resulting $50,000 was used to build greens and install irrigation. By 1961 the greens were in and for the first time golfers could putt on the challenging grass greens the course is still using.
The club had been using a very small frame building as a pro shop. In 1974 construction began on the current clubhouse. The old building was torn down and replaced with the current clubhouse in 1975. The clubhouse has a pro-shop and concession area and one large meeting room on the main floor. The basement was recently remodeled to allow for a larger meeting room, bar, locker room, dance floor and storage room. The basement meeting room is available for any kind of meeting for both members and non-members.
Over the course of two summers, 1999 and 2000, the fairways were replaced with a more heat and drought resistant Bermuda grass. The Bermuda requires less water and has proven resilient even during the recent drought.
In 2009 the stockholders of the country club voted to improve the irrigation system on the golf course. The pond on hole number 8 was deepened and wells were dug to provide water to irrigate the course. Two years later the pond on hole number 5 was deepened and pipe was installed to provide water from that pond for irrigation.
The country club hosts a number of tournaments each year. The annual Little Masters Golf Tournament in April, which coincides with the Masters at Augusta National in Georgia, is the most famous. It has been featured in Golf Digest and Sports Illustrated. It pairs local golfers with professional golfers playing the Masters to make two man teams for competition. The course is also available for third party golf tournaments. Some of the tournaments the club hosts are the annual Chamber of Commerce tournament, Rod Davidson Memorial Tournament, Jake Cauthron Tournament and Knights of Columbus Tournament.
Page 2 of 2 - In addition to tournaments, there are special group nights for golfers. Tuesdays at 6 pm is the 19th hole club. Men play nine holes of golf, eat dinner and play cards after the golf. On Thursday evenings, the ladies play nine holes of golf in a scramble format. Saturday afternoons, around 5 pm depending on the time of sunset, is couples golf. Couples play with other couples in various golf formats culminating in a couple's tournament at the end of the season.
The Augusta Country Club is also very kid friendly. Children under 12 play for free with an adult paying regular price whether walking or riding a cart. Each summer also brings dozens of junior golfers to the course for six weeks of junior golf instruction and play. Junior golf starts in June and is taught by the high school golf coach with assistance from high school golfers. In 2011 a new program was started in cooperation with Envision, an organization that assists low sighted and blind children and adults. The first summer of "Blind Golf" taught eight low sighted or blind children to play golf over a three week period. This year the group grew to sixteen golfers and culminated in a tournament where the students played with sighted golfers from the country club. Plans are underway to continue this program in 2013.
The club also has a driving range located on the south side of the golf course. The newest grass simulating Astroturf was installed on a concrete slab to provide an excellent practice facility. Baskets of balls are available in the pro shop and a $50 discount card is available. A large practice green is adjacent to the clubhouse and can accommodate several golfers.
The country club is currently open from 7:30 a.m. until dark each day. The course is open to the public and non-members are welcome. Tee times are not needed at this local course, carts are available and the clubhouse is here for everyone to use.
During the first week of October, the Augusta Country Club will be offering two specials. Give the course a try and play nine holes with a cart for only 90 cents. Play a second nine with cart for only $9.90. A coupon is needed and is available in a Gazette advertisement in this issue. The coupon is good for up to four golfers. The second special is for 2013 membership. New members joining in October and paying their 2013 dues get October, November and December 2012 free. The way the weather has been lately, that could mean a lot of golf for free. Cart memberships are also available on an annual basis.
The Augusta Country Club President is Rusty Patterson, the clubhouse manager is Jill Keazer and Juin Robinson is the grounds supervisor.
The country club is located at 1610 Fairway Drive, just behind Dillons and Wal-Mart. Call the country club at 775-7281 or contact online at www.augustaccgolf.com.