Parkview head football coach Cecil Flowe watches his putt during Monday’s Touchdown Club of Gwinnett Golf Classic.
SNELLVILLE — There was some bad slices, a double bogey or two, moans and groans and some good-natured ribbing at Summit Chase Country Club on Monday.
Gwinnett County football coaches hit the links for the inaugural Touchdown Club of Gwinnett Golf Classic, but don’t worry football fans, judging by some of the scores posted none of the coaches will be applying for a PGA Tour card anytime soon.
“You can tell there’s a lot of guys that spend more time coaching than swinging a club,” said tournament director Dr. Gary Levengood with a laugh.
The event featured 20 of the 22 football-playing schools in Gwinnett, giving coaches a chance to unwind for a few hours and not think about the looming football season, which begins on Aug. 1.
“For a long time we wanted to do something for the coaches,” said Levengood, founder of Sports Medicine South. “They work those long hours and no one does anything for them. They’ve all had a chance to relax and play golf.”
Collins Hill and Grayson were the only teams unable to make it to the tournament due to team camps taking place. Each of the teams featured three coaches along with a guest player, which included the likes of former Atlanta Falcon and New Orleans Saint Joe Horn, former Georgia players Curt McGill and Martrez Milner and former Georgia Force coach Bob Kronenberg. Former Georgia standout Davey Pollack was in attendance giving players a hard time about their swing before leaving for the ESPYs.
“The Gwinnett Touchdown Club does a lot for advancing football in Gwinnett,” Levengood said. “Since we do have the best football in the state bar none, whatever recognition we can give to the coaches we’re happy to do.”
The tournament also featured three sponsor teams and the foursome from Team 1 Orthopedics claimed the tournament title. Bob Pavloff, Bruce Des, Mark Biter and Patrick Fullerton shot a 58 for the victory. The Gwinnett Touchdown Club officer team of Dave Hunter, Kevin Priger, Tom Balsamides and Dolford Layson was runner-up with a 59. Balsamides also won the closest to the pin contest on hole No. 11.
Buford had the top score among the Gwinnett County coaches. Trent Adams, Kasey Laws, Justin Johnson and Gordon Walker shot a 60.
First-year Meadowcreek coach Dario Grimmage hit the links for the first time ever and had a pretty good showing. It probably didn’t hurt that he had two NFL players on his team. With a little coaching from Horn, Grimmage, Stacy Allen and Milner shot a 61.
“I was getting coaching on the run,” Grimmage said. “I had fun. I think I’m gonna go to the driving range this weekend.”
Mountain View posted the highest score of the tournament with a 79 and was awarded a gift certificate for a driver or putter fitting for their clubs.
“I think we misunderstood the game,” Mountain View head coach Tim Hardy quipped. “I thought it was who had the higher score like in football that won.
“But it was fun to be with the coaching staff and Dr. Levengood puts on a great event.”
Norcross’ Keith Maloof admitted he didn’t play great and was just hitting the ball. South’s John Small said he had fun and Duluth’s Corey Jarvis said his game was all over the place.
It wasn’t the best golf ever played at Summit Chase, but that’s not what Gwinnett County football coaches are known for, it’s producing some of the top athletes and teams in the state.
“I’ve been at four different schools and no one does it like this,” first-year Central Gwinnett head coach Todd Wofford said. “This is a big deal and no one does it like Gwinnett.”