Celebrity Golfers play the green at Shell Landing

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX)- "The more putts you make the more fun you have," joked Fred Hooter, a pro golfer from Louisiana.

His theory wouldn't help anyone win an average round of golf, but today at Shell landing, the rules were different.  The pros were taking advantage of a day where the competition was low, and the scores didn't matter.  It's a drastic change from a regular tour, which ended Sunday.

"Today you get to have fun. When you're playing for real it's like your office.  You don't get to have any fun when you're in your office and when your'e working," said PGA pro golfer Woody Austin.  "It's very rare when you get to have fun when you're working. But today its all about fun."

"Not a whole lot of adrenaline flowing through my body right now," joked his fellow PGA golfer Jerry Kelly.  "It'd be kinda like the difference of Jimmy Johnson driving on the [NASCAR] track and Jimmy Johnson driving the kids to school."

But beyond the laid back atmosphere, there was a serious cause. The golfers were raising money for Habitat for Humanity for the third year in a row. Organizers hope the event will rake in sixty thousand dollars for habitat.

"It's great to be able to give back because the people help us so much," Kelly said.  "The people from the South down here have really gotten behind me from time to time."

Austin agrees.  "It's just an awesome cause, he said.  "Why not help out?"

Star power works.  Nearly sixty people donated money to play with the pros.

"We have some very fine players and I'm happy that they came and helped us on the coast," said Mickey Bradly, who founded the event.

After the houses are built from funds raised today, the tournament would have funded nine new homes for needy families.