Picking for a purpose

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – The driving range at Shoal Creek Golf Course offers fans with the opportunity of a lifetime when the Regions Tradition rolls into town – a chance to get up close and study their favorite golfers.

“I’m just really amazed at the tempo of the touring professionals,” said Doug Entz, a golf fan who spent time examining golfers practicing on the range on Thursday afternoon.

But at the driving range, there’s more than just the hard-working professionals, putting in work to perfect their craft.

There’s also the picker, the person in charge of picking up the golf balls hit onto the range.

John Travis is a the range attendant at the driving range, but he doesn’t pay too much attention to the golfers that spend time practicing before hitting the course.

“[You] get golfers of all different types, shapes and sizes. It’s very interesting,” Travis said. “It’s never a dull, never a dull moment.”

The Regions Tradition is particularly special to Travis, though.

The tournament raises money for Children’s of Alabama, a place he knows all too well.

Travis’ son , now 27 years old, used to benefit from the great medical attention provided at Children’s.

“Once a year he’d go get a major operation for cerebral palsy,” Travis said of his son. “I get really choked up about it.”

Now, on a calm and warm Thursday afternoon, though he may be playing a background role,  John Travis still has a special opportunity to give back to a tournament that means so much to him and his family.

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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