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FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2007

Despite sale plans, Indian Hills course is still open for golf

By Paul Huggins · 340-2395

Contrary to public perception, Indian Hills Golf Course remains open, its disheartened owner said.

“People are calling me every day saying, ‘I heard you sold your place,’ ” said Cleo Teague, who has been negotiating a land sale with Tuscaloosa developer Joe Brown Duckworth for 11/2 years but has not closed the deal.

“We have some contingencies we need to resolve, and until we settle those, I need to still run this golf course,” he said, declining to specify the contingencies.

The contract involves about 168 acres atop Burleson Mountain that has served as a golf course for more than 50 years.

Duckworth aims to build an upscale residential community there that would support 400 homes. He secured a purchase option on the property in 2006 in hopes of making a land swap with Decatur Country Club. That effort failed last fall, and the option expired this month.

On Monday, the City Council removed a major obstacle to development by approving a cost-share program for extending sewer service. Duckworth was a leading proponent for the program.

Still, Teague said, there will be no development until he sells the land, and he hopes golfers will return to his course.

He said seven golfers played so far this week, and the course is making less in a week than he used to make on a Saturday or Sunday.

“My business is just going to pot,” Teague said. “I’m paying more for help and fuel than income.”

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