High school golf teams could be united at Oaks Course

COVINGTON -- When one door closes another one opens is a cliche, but that is exactly what is happening in the case of Newton County's golf teams.

Indian Creek Golf Club recently announced that effective Nov. 28 it will be closing its doors. As a result of this closing, Eastside and Alcovy are without a home course. That's where Dick Schulz and the Oaks Course come in.

"We're going to do everything we can to accommodate everyone. Eastside's program has been the dominant program for the last couple of years so we want to make sure we sustain that level of excellence," said Schulz, director of golf operations. "If we can help pull Alcovy and Newton up that will help everyone."

While the news was just made public, Schulz had a feeling it was inevitable. That is why he contacted Eastside golf coach Jay Cawthon and Alcovy golf coach Chris Newsham two months ago offering the Oaks Course to become their new home course.

Schulz already has a plan on practices if Alcovy and Eastside decide to join Newton in making the Oaks Course their new home. One idea is to have a team on the course while the other two alternate between the driving range and the putting green. Another idea is to have the same number golfers on the course at the same time so that they can learn and help each other.

"It's an odd setup, but if they practice together and compete against each other they can become better," Schulz said. "Our philosophy is to teach the kids the game has got integrity, and core values are included in this game. We've always tried to go a step higher to get the kids involved."

The other obstacle Schulz and Oaks Course golf professional Andy Bowman have to overcome is how to schedule matches for three golf teams that compete in three different classifications while also accommodating the local tournaments they picked up which would have been played at Indian Creek.

"We picked up five or six local tournaments that used to alternate between us and Indian Creek. We're going to make it work because these kids have to get out and play and have access," Schulz said. "We're trying to look at our calendar so we could get as many kids involved as possible. The Oaks Course is here to promote golf in the county. We want to help the community any way we can."