Several Southeastern Conference football coaches and other celebrities took to the links on Wednesday in the Regions Tradition Pro-Am, held at the Greystone Golf and Country Club.
Among the celebrities participating were SEC football coaches Nick Saban (Alabama), Gus Malzahn (Auburn), Kirby Smart (Georgia), Dan Mullen (Mississippi State) and Hugh Freeze (Ole Miss).
Saban said his career-best score is around a 75.
“I just try to get it airborne,” Saban said. “That’s my goal.”
Saban laughed about being athletic enough to execute the shots he needed to hit to have a successful round of golf.
“That seems to be the problem mostly with me,” he said.
Malzahn said his go-to club was once the driver, but it no longer is.
“Maybe a wedge, if I get close enough,” he said through a smile.
Smart said that Freeze is likely the best of the SEC football coaches at golf. He wins wherever he goes, Smart said. As for playing in the Regions Tradition Pro-Am, Smart was thankful.
“It’s for charity, and any time you’re doing charitable events, I think it’s a great cause,” Smart said. “Any chance you get to give back to the community, the people who support our game (is good). The SEC is such a passionate territory for football and when you get a chance to come and be a part of a lot of the SEC teams here it promotes our game, and that’s what this is about.”
Malzahn said much of the same.
“There are a lot of Auburn fans in Birmingham, and I like getting out and around and getting to play with some of the professionals is always neat,” Malzahn said. “It’s a big deal. They do a super job with this event. I’ve had a chance to play in a few of them, and this is as good as it gets.”
Among the other celebrities playing were Bo Jackson (former Auburn running back), Taylor Hicks (American Idol), Avery Johnson (Alabama head basketball coach), Booger McFarland (SEC Network), Greg McElroy (SEC Network), Tommy Tuberville (former Auburn head football coach), Greg Byrne (Alabama athletics director), T.R. Dunn (former professional basketball player) and Mark Ingram (UAB athletics director).