It’s been a Birmingham favorite at Greystone Golf & Country Club since 2016, but do you know the full story of the Regions Tradition? As Alabama’s only professional golf tournament, the annual spectacle delights crowds and celebrates community through five days of competition. Read on to learn more about how the tournament made its home in Alabama and became a beloved Birmingham tradition.

PGA TOUR Champions

Regions Tradition is the first of five major championships on the PGA Tour Champions, a men’s professional senior golf tour for players 50 and over. The idea for the tournament stemmed from a highly successful event in 1978—“The Legends of Golf”—a competition of two-member teams that featured some of the greatest senior golfers of the time. The tour was formally established in 1980 and was first known as the Senior PGA Tour, followed by The Champions Tour, until finally adopting its current name in 2015.

The tour celebrates and recognizes the “legends of the game” as they compete for prize money, and to show the crowds that with age and practice comes skillfulness and mastery. The championship game also shines a spotlight on the city of Birmingham as the tournament is broadcast both nationally and internationally, and has an estimated economic impact of around $25 million for the Iron City. 

Coming Home to Birmingham

The Regions Tradition hasn’t always been played in Alabama—its original home in 1989 was at The Desert Mountain Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. After three years, the tournament relocated to northwest Oregon at The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club, just outside of Portland. The event then picked up again, making its way to the high desert of central Oregon at Bend’s Crosswater Club.

Finally, in 2010, the championship game landed in Birmingham at the Shoal Creek Golf and Country Club, and the “Tradition” was renamed the Regions Tradition as Regions Financial Corporation took over as the title sponsor. The tournament took the place of The Regions Charity Classic, which had been a Birmingham favorite for golf enthusiasts since 1992. 

The Regions Tradition just completed its eighth tournament at the Greystone Golf & Country Club, where it will remain through at least 2032, thanks to a recent tournament venue extension.

“Not many tournaments have that kind of longevity,” says George Shaw, Regions Tradition tournament director. “It really speaks volumes about our city and state.”

The Celebrity Pro-Am

Perhaps the most beloved component of the event is Wednesday’s Celebrity Pro-Am, which has traditionally hosted Alabama coaches, athletes, and football royalty; however, the competition has also brought in a multitude of actors, comedians, musicians, and government officials over the years. In the history of the event, Regions Tradition has hosted names like Nick Saban, Bo Jackson, Charles Barkley, Steve Harvey, and Condoleezza Rice.

“It’s really the heart of the event,” Shaw comments. “The professionals get to enjoy a practice round with some big names in Alabama athletics, and the community engagement is incredible to see.” 

The Pro Am tradition continued with another round of celebrity spotting this year, with many big names returning to the green including Nick Saban, Kalen DeBoer, Hugh Freeze, Riley Green, Condoleeza Rice, and many more. 

Winners History

While the Regions Tradition brings together 78 of the top PGA Tour Champions players and World Golf Hall of Fame members, there are a few names that have become synonymous with the tournament due to consecutive wins. Jack Nicklaus, Gil Morgan, Fred Funk, Tom Lehman, and Bernhard Langer all have multiple wins under their belts. The player to watch as he defended his title was Steve Strickler, but Doug Barron tapped in for par to win the 2024 Regions Tradition, solidifying his name in the history books.