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Oaks prepares for annual Open

COVINGTON - An old fixture will be missing from the The Oaks Open this year with the loss of the big oak tree on the second hole.

However, the loss of the tree does not make the hole any easier, according to head professional Andy Bowman.

"That hole looks inviting," he said. "But the green is longer than it looks, plus it has the out of bounds on the right side."

The Open is scheduled for Aug. 8 to 9 with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. on the first day.

The staff at The Oaks has been working hard to give the average golfer a U.S. Open-type experience with the high roughs and fast greens.

The roughs this year will be about 3/4 inches, just high enough to penalize the golfer but not too high as to make the finding a ball impossible.

"We want people to have an enjoyable time, but at the same time, walk away with a new respect for the course," Bowman said.

Bowman is looking for a score near par to win the tournament.

"In recent history, the winning score has been around par," he said. "I think a few years back, 3 (under par) won it, but it's usually within a stroke or two of par."

He is hoping 72 to 108 golfers play with, if he could get at least 10 players per flight, a junior and senior flight.

"The junior flight is for golfers under 18. It'd be a good thing for the high school golf teams," Bowman said.

Even if there aren't enough players for a senior flight, players who are 60 and over and are not playing in the championship flight will play from the white tees.

Junior golfers will be put into their appropriate flight if there are not enough players to make up their own flight.

The cost to participate in the open and net flights is $175, which includes a practice round on Friday, two tournament rounds, a tee gift, prizes, breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, and lunch on Saturday.

People who pay before Saturday will receive a Bronze membership for August.

"If they wish to continue their membership, all they will to do is pay for the membership and we won't include the initiation fee," Bowman said.

Other gifts included in the packet are Bridgestone balls, a glove and a hat.

For more information, call The Oaks Course at 770-786-3801.

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com.

SideBar: If you golf

· What: The Oaks Open

· When: Aug. 8 and 9; 8 a.m. shotgun start on first day

· Where: The Oaks Course

· Cost: $175 for open and net flights

· More information: Call 770-786-3801