Talking about college football can sometimes get heated when you live in the South — but a hot day on a beautiful golf course for a great cause can bring all types of fans together.

On Wednesday they came by the thousands, arriving at Greystone Golf & Country Club near Birmingham, to soak it all in. Sun, championship-level golf, and a little college football.

Welcome to the Regions Tradition.

The first major stop for the PGA Tour Champions opened with the annual celebrity pro-am tournament.

Hall of Fame golfers are normally the headliners. But, on Wednesday, they took a backseat to football legends.

When last we left Nick Saban and Kirby Smart, they were squaring off for the 2017 national title. Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide won that one, dramatically, in overtime. They were back together at Greystone, joined by Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, whose Tigers beat both Bama and Georgia during the regular season.

Paul Finebaum, host of the popular show on the SEC Network, was also there, broadcasting live from a patio overlooking the 18th green. Former American Idol winner Taylor Hicks performed live on stage as part of the show. Regions executives John Turner and Scott Peters both had a turn at the Finebaum desk, with the opportunity to talk about the importance of the tournament to the community and how Regions partners with the SEC to provide financial education seminars to student-athletes.

The competitive portion of the 2018 Regions Tradition goes from Thursday through Sunday, but the real benefit of the Tradition comes in things you won’t see on TV including the economic impact and the charitable benefits produced by the tournament.

Take a few minutes to catch some of the sights and sounds of the celebrity pro-am.