Urban Meyer Q&A: The legendary college football coach has an envy-inducing list of favorite courses

Former college football coach Urban Meyer plays a shot from a bunker on the 18th hole during the third round of the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club on January 20, 2024 in Orlando, Florida

Urban Meyer played in the 2024 Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions.

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This interview was originally published in the May 2024 issue of GOLF.

GOLF: Jack Nicklaus did really well in Ohio, where he started. You did really well in Ohio with the Buckeyes. Jack’s done really well in Florida, where he is now. You did well in Florida when you were coaching the Gators. Are there any other similarities between you and Jack Nicklaus?

Urban Meyer: [Laughs] Probably not. I got to play golf with Jack every year for, like, seven years. He’s a big-time Buckeye fan, obviously. He played at Ohio State, and he’s a great friend. So that’s the biggest similarity: We’re both Buckeyes, love the game of golf and love the football team.

G: You’ve played at a ton of great places, including several rounds at Augusta National. What are your top five favorite courses?

UM: Well, Augusta is number one for sure. And then there’s a place I love called Wade Hampton Golf Club up in Cashiers, North Carolina. My gosh, that place is spectacular. Calusa Pines has become one of my favorites down in Naples. I mean, talk about tremendous.

G: That’s a strong lineup. How do you round out your top five?

UM: Let’s see — and none of these but Augusta is in a particular order. I’ll go with Oakmont and Pebble Beach.

G: You’ve got a couple guys you work with on Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff — Matt Leinart and Brady Quinn — who like to play golf. Can you hold your own with them?

UM: Of course I can! Yeah, I’m the old man that can still scrape it around a little bit.

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G: Nick Saban said he never played golf during the football season except that sometimes he would play on open weeks when the team had some time off.

UM: I’ve actually played golf with Nick Saban several times. He’s good.

G: Well, now that you’re both retired from coaching, you’ll have more time to play together.

UM: [Laughs] I guess that’s true.

G: What were your in-season guidelines for getting out to play golf when you were coaching?

UM: Well, really, never. I would shut it down.

G: You didn’t play, like, during open weeks or anything like that?

UM: No, no. I was too tied up.

G: How about during spring ball? Did you and your staff ever try to squeeze in some golf between practice or meetings?

UM: Yeah, sometimes. It depends, you know, on what kind of practice we had. If we had a good day, everything was good, I was willing to get out. But if things [laughs] weren’t going good, I was not. So, it was all about the temperature of the day. And I don’t mean the air temperature; I mean about how the program was doing.

G: I wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of that deal.

UM: You would not.

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Art Stricklin


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