Future dim for Patch after Virginia group withdraws bid - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Future dim for Patch after Virginia group withdraws bid

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

Louis Laurence has played his fair share of rounds at The Patch.

He's been golfing at the Augusta Municipal Golf Course since 1958, and says no matter where in the world he plays, he always returns home.

"I love this place," Laurence says. "I've been to Hawaii and played golf over there, and played golf out west. I hit balls here probably four or five times a week."

But Laurence may have played his final round at The Patch.

On Wednesday, the group hoping to lease the course from the city, Virginia Beach Golf Management, pulled its bid after commissioners failed to approve privatizing the course Tuesday night.

The group says the uncertainty of the entire process led to their withdrawal.

"After we successfully negotiated the lease with the evaluation team and then having the motion to approve the lease agreement fail three times, we had just decided to withdraw the offer," says Virginia Beach Golf Management President Mike Fentress.

That means the city is still managing the course, but without any money in the 2013 budget to do it.

Some commissioners say that leaves the city with very few options.

"My choice right now: there's no funding in it from the general fund," says District 8 Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle. "I say shut it down."

Guilfoyle admits it's not the popular choice.

But he feels it's the only one remaining after Tuesday's decision.

"We had the opportunity [Tuesday] to do what's right," Guilfoyle says. "We had some that wanted to have more dialogue, more discussion."

That means golfers may have just a short time left playing at the course, leaving those like Laurence disappointed.

"It's home to me," he says. "I just would hate to see it go away, I know that."

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