PGA pros trade drivers for shovels

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Golfers don't normally tear up the grass; that's not a good thing.  But it was just fine for Jeff Sluman and Loren Roberts on Thursday. The Champions Tour participants were digging up dirt, helping Habitat volunteers with a landscaping project.

Moments after meeting home owners Larry and Sue Kostmayer, the golfers got right to work, preparing the soil for some decorative plants.

"We don't have clay like this in Chicago!" said Sluman, as he worked the shovel.

Sluman and Roberts looked quite comfortable with shovels instead of drivers.  They know plenty about turf, but normally they're not digging it up.

"You want to take the whole corner of the grass out?" Sluman asked the Habitat foreman, "You want to take everything out?"

Habitat for Humanity is the chosen charity for this week's Champions Tour golf tournament.

"Just glad that the tour asked me to come over and see this and be involved in a very, very minor way. But the volunteers are the ones that deserve the round of applause," said Sluman.

A smiling Sue Kostmayer watched the work from her porch steps.

Husband Larry, involved in a serious accident two years ago, is a huge golf fan. That's partly why this planting project means so much.

"It's unbelievable. Chance of a lifetime. Especially to be the golfers. 'Cause he's so in love with the game of golf," said Sue Kostmayer.

"Bring it back this way. All the way back," said Roberts, as he directed the planting work.

Roberts says charity is the "bedrock of the PGA." He's happy to be playing and helping in South Mississippi this week.

"Great project. Obviously when you think about what happened here with Katrina, it's great to come here and play golf, but it's also great to come here and feel like maybe you're being a little bit a part of the community and promoting something that's great for the community," said the PGA golfer, whose nickname is "boss of the moss."

The hard working pros have an open invitation to visit the Kostmayer home.

"They were great. They were fabulous. Unreal.  I'm glad to have 'em," said a smiling Larry Kostmayer.

During its history, the PGA has raised more than $1 billion for charity.

Habitat for Humanity is the primary charity for this week's Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic. Last year's event raised more than $50,000 for Habitat.

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