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Thursday, July 3, 2014
Coaches' favorite courses, more

By David M. Hale
ESPN.com

Gus Malzahn
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has become friends with professional golfer Jason Dufner, who is an AU alumnus.
Here's what a few college football coaches had to say about playing golf with players and other coaches, their best rounds and favorite courses and more:

Favorite courses

• "We have a place down at Crescent Beach, Florida, and they have a course down there called Marsh Creek that I really enjoy trying to play. There's a lot of marsh. You hit a bad shot and you're putting another ball down." - South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier

• "Of course Augusta National would be up there. I'm actually a member at Grandfather [Golf & Country Club] in the North Carolina mountains. That's where I grew up. I grew up caddying there." - Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson

• "Our [family] tournament was always played at Tyndall Air Force base. They have their own private course. We played for 30 years, and unfortunately it closed last year. So we had to discontinue something that went on for 30 years." - Akron coach Terry Bowden

• "I belong to Shoal Creek in Birmingham, and that's one of the better courses. It's one of the first courses Jack [Nicklaus] built. And I had a chance a few weeks ago to play Valhalla. I compare that to Shoal Creek. There's nothing like the old courses." - Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville

Best round

• "It was in 1987. I'd just taken the Duke job. Our radio announcer, Bob Harris, and I were at a convention down in Pinehurst, and they were going to play Whispering Pines. He asked me if I wanted to play with him. I said sure, I had nothing to do all afternoon. We played the white tees. I shot a 66. I had seven birdies and one bogey. And that's still the best round I've ever had. And I've got Bob Harris to verify it. He's still the voice of the Blue Devils." - Spurrier

• "I shot 69 at the university course here a couple different times. Now, let me clarify, on that course I can make par from almost anywhere. It's not as hard a course as many others, but any time you shoot under par, it's a good round. But that's not normal." - Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze

• "My best round ever was at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix at the Fiesta Bowl, and I shot a 68. That was a big day for me. ... Everything I hit it seemed like was right that day. Ever since then, I've been searching for -- how'd I do that?" - Tuberville

Best golf advice

• "Me and Ralph Friedgen were down there playing golf, and we both thought we were better than we were, and we were cussing and hollering and throwing clubs and talking about our game, and finally an older guy, retired military, worked there on the campus said, 'You mind if I give you a little advice?' He said, 'You guys already take one game serious. You ought to come out here and enjoy this.' He was right." - Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer

• "It's a humbling game and once you think you've got it figured out, you don't." - Johnson

• "I've got a loop in my swing, and a lot of people watch it and want to help you fix it. And you know coaches, we're not going to go out and practice this time of year. If I go out, I want to play. I was playing with David Frost in a Pro-Am and he said, 'Coach, your hand-eye coordination is plenty good, you hit it plenty far -- just ignore all those people and trust your swing. Don't worry about how pretty it is or ugly it is. Ignore those people and trust what you can do.' " - Freeze

• "Try to keep both my feet on the ground when I swing. I'm a pretty wild swinger. They kid me that I actually get both my feet off the ground when I swing." - Bowden

Reaction to a bad shot

• "I've quit throwing clubs a few years ago, but I'll probably utter an unsanitary word once in a while. It's probably changed a lot over the years. I'm probably a lot calmer on the sideline than I used to be, too. It's called age." - Johnson

• "I don't curse at all. I try not to anyway. I have three daughters and that's how my dad raised me, and I don't want others to see that in me. So typically, I talk to myself and say, 'You idiot.' " - Freeze

• "I'll beat myself up pretty good. I've gotten a little better at that, but the competitive side still comes out." - Auburn coach Gus Malzahn

Golfing with players or coaches

• "Kyle Fuller just told me the other day that he's taken it up and can't wait to challenge me. I look forward to that one. Michael Vick tells me now, I played with him way back when he was just starting and wasn't very good, but he told me he's improved and is ready to take me on again." - Beamer

• "When I was coaching the Dallas Cowboys, it was Tony Romo's first few years in the league, and Tony could hit it. That's probably the best guy I saw play." - Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre

• "Gus [Malzahn] and I just played in the Coaches vs. Cancer at Sawgrass. The island green, No. 17 is one of the most famous Par 3s. Gus birdied it, I parred it. And the other guy in our group hit a hole-in-one. That's a memory there." - Freeze

• "I golf for fun, but a long time ago I learned that if I wanted to spend any time with my father, I'd have to play golf. He doesn't want to fish, he doesn't want to hunt, he doesn't want to play chess. He wants to golf." - Bowden

• "Steve Spurrier and I have probably played more golf [with each other] than with any other coaches. It's kind of hard to get money out of him if you win." - Tuberville

• "Sam Bradford is a great player. Sam, his last year [at Oklahoma], getting ready for the season, he'd only played a handful of times, he goes over to Southern Hills and plays the tips with the pro and beats him by 1, shoots even par." - Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops