BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Championship play begins at the Regions Tradition Thursday. The top PGA Tour Champions golfers will begin their quest for a trophy at Greystone Golf & County Club. But the event is about much more than golf.
The tournament draws large crowds each year, especially for the Pro-Am, which took place on Wednesday. Fans stay in local hotels and visit local restaurants, which helps out the economy.
“The community embraces it, the city certainly embraces it, and really the entire Birmingham-Hoover metro area embraces it,” Hoover mayor Frank Brocato said. “And it just means a great deal for that entire area. I mean, we have people coming from all over the country, even from all over the world.”
It helps Birmingham and Hoover and draws attention to the area.
“It does a lot for our community. It has a lot of positive impacts,” Birmingham mayor Randall Woodfin said. “I like the charity aspect of it, the economic development aspect of it, but over all the positivity of it that we can showcase our city and our community.”
Children’s Hospital of Alabama is the charity the tournament benefits. The tournament has raised millions of dollars for the hospital over the years, and hospital leaders say it goes to their impact fund, which helps them create programs and purchase equipment they otherwise might not have. In the past, it’s funded a rehab clinic, a psychiatric intake response center, a surgical microscope and more.
“When you look at the dollars that are raised through the Regions Tradition and the individuals that it ends up touching their lives, you can’t really put a price tag on it,” Emily Hornak, director of cause marketing for Children’s of Alabama, said. “But we’re grateful for the dollars that are donated through the Regions Tradition.”
The tournament itself is a great opportunity for some of Children’s of Alabama’s patients. Several kids and their families attended the Pro-Am Wednesday and had a chance to interact with pro golfers and celebrities.
“It’s just really beautiful to see these kids get so enthusiastic, not only about representing Children’s of Alabama but to be here and to be part of this whole tournament and just to have the chance just to be a kid,” Hornak said.