Colonial Amateur Tournament next big golf event for Ford's Colony

Ford's Colony will host the inaugural Colonial Amateur Tournament presented by Patriot Buick GMC July 28-30 on the Blue Heron Course, four months after the Colonial Athletic Association Women's Golf Championships were staged there.

The CAA event in April was met with praise by many league players, coaches and officials. Ford's Colony director of golf Mike Krick said player experience is what the big events are all about. And Ford's Colony wants more of those big events following its acquisition by Dallas-based ClubCorp 15 months ago.

"The goal here is to create a golf tournament where players can more or less be treated like PGA Tour players for a weekend," Krick said. "The amateur golfer can come out and feel what it's like to be a Tour player; come out and experience Ford's Colony and all of the amenities that we have to offer."

Tee times will begin at 8 a.m. on July 29 following the players reception on the evening of July 28. Competitors must have a U.S. Golf Association handicap to be eligible for the 36-hole, individual stroke play event. Registration opens June 1 at $125 per player.

Krick, Ford's Colony general manager David Ford and Ford's Colony membership director James Emery gathered Tuesday at Patriot Autos on Second Street with dealership owner David Hines, who touted the partnership as an opportunity "to come together in the community and support one another."

Hines hopes for a long-term partnership with the new tournament that Krick expects will attract close to 100 golfers. It is one of two events on the Virginia State Golf Association calendar for the weekend of July 29-30 along with the Sleepy Hole Amateur in Suffolk.

Emery advised to expect some top local and regional talent for the Colonial Amateur. "If you go from Richmond all the way down to Virginia Beach, there are quite a few really good players," he said.

ClubCorp has invested more than $2 million into Ford's Colony golf course and clubhouse upgrades, according to Ford.

ClubCorp operates more than 200 golf and country clubs or business, sports and alumni clubs in 27 states and Washington, D.C. Nine are located in Virginia including Ford's Colony.

"We're just inviting the people of Williamsburg back out to see Ford's Colony," Ford said, "and let them know that Club Corp is putting an effort into recreating the magic that Ford's Colony had 30 years ago when it first opened."

The competitive golf scene at Ford's Colony gained some momentum with the recent CAA tourney and Krick said the club has already had conversations with the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference about hosting its championships next year.

Ford's Colony is also home to the Blackheath and Marsh Hawk courses. Bermuda grass greens will soon be installed on Marsh Hawk, which could potentially allow the Colonial Amateur field to double next year with the use of two courses.

Marsh Hawk hosted the 1998 and 1999 Virginia State Open tournaments as well as 12 consecutive qualifiers for the now defunct PGA Tour Michelob Championship at Kingsmill Resort.

"We can certainly handle 200-plus players as the tournament grows," Krick said. "And I think it will."

Holtzman can be reached by phone at 757-298-5830.

Colonial Amateur flights

- Men's Championship: 4.9 index or less (all ages)

- Men's Flight: 5.0 index or higher (all ages)

- Senior Men (55-64) or Super Senior (65-plus)

*Championship flight will be play a scratch. All other flights will be awarded both gross and net prizes.

For more information

Call 258-4130.



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