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Rain delays golf course opening
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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 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.