Ol’ Colony tackles improvements ahead of two major golf events

TUSCALOOSA, AL — Tuscaloosa County is providing additional support to the Ol’ Colony Golf Resort as the course prepares to host two major golf events in the coming year.

“They’re going to have the best teams in the country, so that’s a big deal,” Brion Hardin said Wednesday, speaking on behalf of PARA and the Ol’ Colony in the request. “We are really trying to make it right.”

Hardin sits on the board of Ol’ Colony, in addition to his company – Hardin Construction – which is undertaking much of the work on the golf course.

PARA Executive Director Gary Minor told Patch on Wednesday that the request was for United States Golf Association (USGA)-approved sand, which he explained is for the sand to be located in a tight diameter specification.

“Over time, you lose sand playing golf and some of it disappears,” Minor said. “You need a grain of sand of a certain size so that your ball doesn’t sink deep into the sand or compact too much and end up like concrete.”

Additionally, Ol’ Colony will also host an Epson Tour event in September similar to the Korn Ferry Tour that will bring some of the best golfers in the world to Tuscaloosa. Of the 144 players, the top 10 from this event will go on to compete in the professional ranks of the LPGA.

Minor said the Epson Tour event at Ol’ Colony is scheduled for the last week of September, moving to the first weekend of October.

“The biggest gap we have left is to redo the bunkers, as far as sanding them,” Hardin said. “That request would help us buy the sand. We’ve made a lot of progress at Ol’ Colony. It looks really good if y’all go out that way. It doesn’t even look the same anymore.”

The Korn Ferry Tour is a developmental golf tour for budding amateur athletes who have yet to reach the professional level.

“If we can put on a Korn Ferry event, it makes a lot of money and brings in a lot of people,” Hardin said.

Hardin then said he would meet with Northport city officials on Wednesday afternoon to discuss possible in-kind donations for improvements. He also pointed out that the City of Tuscaloosa has put in place substantial funding for equipment upgrades ahead of the busy year ahead for Ol’ Colony.

“If it’s a potentially big tournament, everyone will benefit,” said probate judge Rob Robertson. “But it’s good to see the city helping to get the improvements and reopen after going through such a tough time during covid.”

District 1 Commissioner Stan Acker, whose district includes Ol’ Colony, agreed that the upgrades and improvements will benefit more than just elite golfers on tour stops.

“We get that for these tournaments but also for the community and for the taxpayers who can use the course and it’s just an upgrade for them,” he said. “We don’t want to minimize that.”

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Michael C. Ford