These college coaches know their football, and golf, too

Urban Meyer is better known for leading the Ohio State Buckeyes, but his golf game isn't too bad.
By Andrew Prezioso

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Thursday, August 28, 2014 | 3:30 p.m.

We are officially in college football season, which means it is the end of the golf season -- for college football coaches. 

Between games, meetings, booster appearances, recruiting and practices, coaching a major program is 365-days-a-year job. Yet some of the best find time to sneak away for 18 holes. Heck, some of them even have club membership in their contracts. 

To celebrate the start of the football season, we thought we would bring you the five best coaches, combining how their team performs on the gridiron with their handicap. Part of the requirement for being on our list is they have a registered handicap so, sorry, Steve Spurrier fans, but the Head Ball Coach is out. 

These coaches must also be active so, sorry, Mack Brown, but your national championship for Texas and 9.7 handicap at the University of Texas Golf Club do not crack the list. 

Video: Saban, Spurrier, other SEC coaches show off their swings

Without further ado, here's our ranking. 

No. 5: Al Golden, University of Miami

Yes, Golden's handicap is a pedestrian 21.3 at The Club of Mediterra in Bonita Springs, Florida, but he can sure swing the club when it matters most. He teamed up with Gino Torretta to win the 2013 Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge, an annual event pairing a college football coach with a former player from that school, and also won the long drive contest in both 2011 and 2012. Golden also gets on our list for bringing the Hurricanes back to relevance.  

No. 4: Gary Patterson, TCU

Patterson has helped shape TCU into a top-flight program. He brought the Horned Frogs to back-to-back BCS bowl games, and won the 2011 Rose Bowl. The Frogs also moved into the Big 12 Conference under his tenure. On the course, Patterson carries a 8.3 handicap at the Cottonwood Creek Golf Club down the road from Fort Worth in Waco, Texas, and a bit unorthodoxically, would prefer some noise on the course. 

No. 3 Jim Mora Jr., UCLA

There's a reason why Mora is a football coach and not a pro golfer. His handicap, 15.7 at Ironwood Country Club in Palm Desert, California, is nothing to write home about. What is, though, is what he's done for the Bruins. Last year, they reached the Pac-12 title game, and are ranked No. 7 in this year's preseason AP poll. 

No. 2 Bob Stoops, Oklahoma

Stoops has a respectable golf resume. His handicap is 11.6 at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Course in Norman, Oklahoma. At the 2012 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Stoops and Hunter Haas finished fourth, nine spots ahead of the duo of Tiger Woods and Tony Romo. What's more than respectable is his football record, with one national championship and a defeat of Alabama in last year's Sugar Bowl. 

No. 1 Urban Meyer, Ohio State

Love him or hate him, Urban Meyer gets results on both the golf course and the football field. Playing at Jack Nicklaus' Muirfield Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, Meyer has an 8.8 handicap despite a not-so-perfect swing that caused him to seek help from CBS Sports analyst Peter Kostis. Where he's been (nearly) perfect is with the Buckeyes, leading them to two undefeated regular seasons. Don't forget he won two national championships at Florida with a quarterback by the name of Tim Tebow.

How will these five coaches fare this season? We have no idea. What we do know is that we'll be watching the kickoff, and feeling sorry for them that their time for golf has been cut short for the next few months. 


Andrew Prezioso is a contributor for Have a good golf story? Send him an email at