Max Homa trusts the architects who are in charge of the Colonial Country Club’s $20 million renovation, but he has one message for them.
Don’t mess too much with a great thing.
The Colonial is the longest-standing non-major venue on the PGA Tour, but a long-planned major renovation will begin shortly after the final putt drops at the Charles Schwab Challenge on Sunday.
Homa is one of eight top-20 players who made the trek from last week’s PGA Championship in Rochester, N.Y. to Fort Worth, Texas because of his fondness for Colonial. Dubbed “Hogan’s Alley” for Ben Hogan, who won four of the first seven editions of the event, Colonial is steeped in golf history.
“Mr. Hogan has his clubs here. He made this place. Them two are synonymous, and that’s special,” Homa said Tuesday. “Obviously we come to a lot of pretty amazing places out here, and we’re lucky to play some tremendous golf courses, but you add some of the history to it, it makes it even more special.
“It’s always a cool vibe here. The city turns out really nicely for it. It has some meaning to the area, which is cool.”
Homa said he doesn’t know much about the renovation plans, but that it’s “scary” to see a course with a great layout undergo significant changes and that “it gets you a little anxious for it.”
“When you come to a golf course you like and respect how it’s laid out, that adds to, I think, a lot of people’s love for this place,” he said. “It’s nice to see that it stands the test of time, and it’s done such a good job of being a mainstay on this tour.
“I’m sure they’ll make some great decisions. But I do think that they don’t need to do much at all to this place. If you want to re-grass it, that’s one thing, but the holes themselves are awesome.”
Homa said that he’s also looking forward to a more laid-back week after grinding for four days just to tie for 55th at Oak Hill. He played the week after a T43 at the Masters, but Homa admitted he didn’t want to be at Hilton Head and used the extra time after missing the cut to work on his game.
That work led to a T8 in his only other start between the year’s first two majors. Homa, who has a pair of victories this season, enters the week ranked seventh in the world and is one of the pre-tournament favorites.
“Last week I learned so much about what I need to improve on, not just physically, but mentally,” he said. “I think this (week) provides a great opportunity to work on those things.
“Everything’s under such a microscope at a major for yourself that you see where you got exposed, and you can put that to good use immediately, having this event for me right after that.”