Rain needed, but pushes back golf course open­ing

The Covington News - - Local - GABRIEL KHOULI gkhouli@cov­news.com

The re­cent spat of rain­fall has pushed back the pub­lic open­ing of the Ash­ton Hills Golf Club to Tues­day, Aug. 21 as crews were un­able to fin­ish work on the course’s bunkers and rough.

The ren­o­vated 18-hole course will now open to mem­bers Fri­day and will open to the pub­lic the fol­low­ing Tues­day, along with the course’s res­tau­rant, the Vil­lage Grille.

Bryan Raines, a par­tial owner and the course’s golf pro, said the course has re­ceived a lot of rain in Au­gust, which pre­vented work­ers from get­ting any equip­ment on to the course, in­clud­ing trail­ers to dump new sand and mow­ers.

“We couldn’t get any equip­ment on the course be­cause it would have done dam­age,” Raines said. “There was no rea­son to push and not have ev­ery­thing done and open up be­fore we were ready. We de­cided it was smarter for us to push off the open­ing for a week to give us more time.”

The ini­tial early signup ben­e­fit pack­age has been ex­tended un­til Fri­day; the ini­tial pack­age in­cludes dol­lar cred­its on ac­counts, two monthly friend passes and free range balls to use on the driv­ing range, in ad­di­tion to get­ting to at­tend the early open­ing for mem­bers only from Fri­day through Mon­day. Raines said 90 mem­bers had signed up as of Satur­day. Re­cent rains needed

Cov­ing­ton has seen its fair share of rainy days so far in Au­gust, seven, as 1.47 inches have fallen on the city as of Fri­day, ac­cord­ing to Geor­giaWeather.net. How­ever, the 30-year av­er­age for the same time pe­riod is 1.37 inches, so the rain­fall hasn’t been sig­nif­i­cantly higher.

In ad­di­tion, even with the re­cent rain­fall, Cov­ing­ton has re­ceived 10 inches less of rain than av­er­age. So far, the city has re­ceived 22.44 inches of rain, while the 30-year av­er­age is 32.7 inches.

Ac­cord­ing to U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture’s Drought Mon­i­tor, New­ton County and a swath of cen­tral and south Ge­or­gia are in an “ex­cep­tional drought.” Farm­ers in ex­cep­tional drought ar­eas may be el­i­gi­ble to re­ceive as­sis­tance.

The county is expected to get be­tween 1 and 2 inches dur­ing the next two weeks ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice Weather Fore­cast Of­fice in Peachtree City.

file photo /The Cov­ing­ton News

Bryan Raines ex­am­ines the greens which were be­ing prepped for the Aug. 14 pub­lic open­ing be­fore the rain de­lay it.

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