For Tom Kite, a Monday morning in Birmingham made perfect sense. It gave him a chance to visit his daughter and see his youngest grandchild.
And it gave him a chance to talk up one of the PGA TOUR Champions biggest events, the upcoming Regions Tradition.
“This is one of our major championships,” Kite said. “It’s the Champions Tour’s version of the Masters.”
One of the storied names on the tour, Kite plays this week in suburban Atlanta at the Mitsubishi Electric Classic.
That made the quick trip to Birmingham, including an overnight visit with family, an easy jaunt. So did the chance to support Children’s of Alabama, the primary benefactor of Regions Tradition charities.
“The great thing about the Regions Tradition is what it gives back to the community,” said Kite, who’s on the pediatric hospital board back home in Austin, Texas. “Because of that, I’m aware of what this is about and how much it means for the hospital, patients and their families.”
He spent a half hour coaching young patients on their swings from an elevated platform at Topgolf in downtown Birmingham before meeting with the media to discuss the Regions Tradition, scheduled for May 16-20 at Greystone Golf & Country Club.
The tournament may still be a month away, but Kite’s visit, as part of Media Day, coincided with the annual lighting of the Regions Center.
“We only light up the building two times a year, once for Christmas and again for this event,” said Leroy Abrahams, the Head of Community Affairs and Charitable Giving for Regions.
Regions’ corporate headquarters features a 30-story golfer, comprised of lights, and is visible throughout much of the city.
Abrahams said Regions support of the Tradition provides viable entertainment for the community, featuring world-class golfers. But the biggest reason for the company’s participation is financial.
“The economic impact drives $25 million into the local economy, each year,” Abrahams added. “And, since 2011, that’s also meant $4.5 million for local charities.”
Enjoy drone footage of the 2017 lighting of the Regions Center here.