Kyle Williams may no longer be playing football, but that certainly doesn’t mean he’s given up his love for sports.
Since retiring at the end of the 2018 season, Williams has turned his golf hobby into much more than that.
Most recently, the longtime Bills defensive tackle participated in a popular celebrity golf tournament. Held in Nevada from July 9 - 14, the invitation-only event featured several well-known athletes, such as Aaron Rodgers, Case Keenum, Andy Dalton and Buffalo’s own Josh Allen, musicians like Justin Timberlake and comedians. The star-studded list of participants even included Bills Legends Frank Reich and Doug Flutie, as well as 16 Hall of Famers from the NFL, NHL and NBA.
For Williams, who brought his wife Jill, five kids and additional family members along for the adventure, the tournament afforded him an opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones in the process. In fact, connecting with others on the course is one of the main factors that fuels Williams’ passion for golf.
“…I don’t think that anything is going to be able to fill the competitive void that playing in the National Football League had,” explained Williams. “Obviously, it’s [golf and it’s] an outlet to be competitive and to have comradery with guys. I think the cool thing about golf is it’s such a relationship builder and it’s a generational bridge. You play with young people, you play with older people, you play with people...from different places. It’s really kind of a bonding sport, where you really get some one-on-one quality time with somebody while you’re on the golf course for a few hours…”
Bonding with Rams safety Eric Weddle, Larry Fitzgerald, Kyle Fuller and even former Bills tight end Nick O’Leary, who caddied for Williams, came easy during the week. With Josh Allen also on-site, Williams made a point to link up with the second-year signal caller.
“You know, we have a good relationship,” said Williams of Allen. “We had a good relationship while I was there my last year. I had him over quite a bit – him and Brittany his girlfriend. I think we’re out here [and] he’s probably trying to enjoy these last few weeks before training camp. So, if we touch on football it will be a very light graze. I doubt we’ll go into it. We’ll probably just be here to have a good time, enjoy a great event and just hang out.”
Paired into different groups of three throughout the competition, the guys had added opportunities to get to know the greats around them. On Sunday, July 14, during the tournament’s final round, Williams found himself matched up with Case Keenum and Jeremy Roenick, whereas Allen was with Joe Mauer and Tyler Seguin.
When it was all said and done, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo sat atop of the rankings, winning the celebrity tournament for the second consecutive year. Williams made a splash, tying for 12th place on the leader board.
With summer winding down for Allen as he gets ready to head off to camp, Williams is already planning his next golf venture.
“It’s a lot of fun…I got to play in a USGA event, which as an amateur, or really as any kind of golfer, is a first-rate experience,” Williams said. “Not a lot of people get to do it because you have to qualify for those tournaments and there are lots of really good players trying to do that. So, it’s been really fun. That was an awesome experience…I’m playing in our state amateur golf tournament in Louisiana next week. Then I’m playing…in Switzerland – it’s at the end of July right before training camp starts up there.
“Obviously, [I] had a good football career and [am] enjoying golf, and being relatively successful at it, has opened up some really cool, fun doors to be able to do some different things all over, really I guess the world now.”