Can You Name 11 PGA Golfers Playing in the Masters with Ties to Georgia?

One of the best weeks of the year is finally here… it’s Masters week! Not only is the coveted and world-renowned PGA tournament held in the beautiful city of Augusta, but these 11 PGA Tour golfers also have deep ties to the Peach State.


CONNECTION:  The Golden Isles golf “revolution” all started with Davis Love III, or “Uncle Davis,” as the younger PGA Tour pros who also live on the island call him. This will be Love’s 20th Masters appearance.

Love lives just a short drive away from Sea Island and Brunswick on a plantation simply known as “Sinclair Farm.

Even a portion of I-95 in Georgia is named after him! In 1998, the part of I-95 that extends from the McIntosh County line to Highway 341 at exit 7A and B was designated the “Davis Love III Highway.” Love also has a restaurant named after him on Sea Island called the Davis Love Grill.

In 2010, Love hosted the inaugural McGladrey Classic (now RSM Classic) on Sea Island’s Seaside Course where he continues to be an instrumental figure to the tournament, He is the 2016 captain of the Ryder Cup, one of the greatest honors that golf can bestow on a player.


CONNECTION: English was born in Valdosta and played college golf at the University of Georgia. He now calls Saint Simons home.

ZACH JOHNSON  Photo: Golf Week

CONNECTION: Johnson, the 2007 Masters Tour­nament champion lives in Saint Simons and trains at the Sea Island Golf Performance Center. Johnson spoke to the Augusta Chronical about living on the island and said, “the beauty of the place is everything else. It’s the people, it’s the mom-and-pop shops, it’s the food.”


CONNECTION:  Kirk was born in Atlanta and played college golf at The University of Georgia. He now resides in Athens and is sponsored by Georgia Jet, a private jet charter company out of Lawrenceville, GA.

Photo: Golf Week

CONNECTION: Kisner, the 2015 RSM Classic Champion, played college golf at the University of Georgia. He trains at the Sea Island Golf Performance Center and lives on the island.

MATT KUCHAR Matt Kuchar hits his drive from the fourth tee during the final round of the Tour Championship golf tournament at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

CONNECTION: Kuchar played college golf at Georgia Tech. While in college, he played in the Masters twice as an Amateur. He now lives and trains on the Golden Isles.


CONNECTION: Mize, the 1987 Masters Champion, was born in Augusta and worked on a Masters Tournament scoreboard on the third hole at Augusta National during his early teen years. He played college golf at Georgia Tech. Mize now resides in Columbus.


CONNECTION: Reed played college golf at Augusta University. This is will be his third invitation to play in The Masters.


CONNECTION: Snedeker resides in Saint Simons and trains at the Sea Island Golf Performance Center.


CONNECTION: Taylor was raised in Augusta and attended Hephzibah High in Hephziba, GA. He attended Augusta State University and still resides there.


CONNECTION: Watson attended the University of Georgia. He is one of the few left-handed golfers on tour and won the Masters Tournament in 2012 and 2014.


*Photo Credit for the player profile pictures by GolfWeek

B6RUpoACEAAGPPb.jpg-large2Parker Whidby is the Digital Content Specialist for Explore Georgia. She loves to write & photograph all the amazing things our state has to offer. In her spare time, Parker enjoys painting, going to concerts, trying new restaurants & spending time with family, friends & pups, Doc and Baxley.



Your Picks: Best Fried Chicken in Georgia

In the south, its all about home cookin’ and southern favorites like mac-n-cheese, BBQ, turnip greens and most importantly: FRIED CHICKEN. In Georgia, we’re known for fried chicken so juicy and delicious, people travel from all over just to taste this southern delicacy!

With so many amazing fried chicken spots, how could we decide which restaurants had the best in Georgia?! The answer was right in front of us. Ask the locals, of course!

We asked our Facebook fans, “Who do you think has the BEST fried chicken in Georgia?!”  Their picks came from all over the state from Alma to Greensboro to Waycross. Share your favorites with us on social media by using #GeorgiaEats!


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Photo: Britt Reints

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The Year of Georgia Music and the Artists Keeping it Flowing

2016 Georgia Travel Guide coverIt’s official: 2016 is the Year of Georgia Music. Governor Nathan Deal made the announcement at the State Capitol last Tuesday as he unveiled the cover of the annual Georgia Travel Guide, which features country superstar and Leesburg, Ga., native Luke Bryan.

The designation is a welcome acknowledgement of the $3.6 billion annual impact and 26,000 jobs music brings to the Georgia economy, but it’s nothing new — music has been part of Georgia’s lifeblood for decades. Its generational strength was in full display at a Travel Guide launch party, where entertainment included 17-year-old Marietta-born Zach Seabaugh, a recent semi-finalist on “The Voice.” Zach was followed on stage by Macon’s Robert Lee Coleman, the 75-year-old bluesman who played guitar in James Brown’s legendary band the JBs. The talent stretches throughout Georgia as well, as evidenced by the guide’s photo of notable musicians from every corner of the state.

It’s easy to rattle off the classic names (Otis Redding, the Allman Brothers, R.E.M., Ma Rainey) but Georgia’s new guard earns plenty of acclaim as well, via the recent Grammy nominations. And it would hard to top the variety:

  • Cedartown’s Sam Hunt for Best New Artist and Best Country Album for his 2014 debut “Montevallo.”
  • Veteran Atlanta rockers Sevendust for Best Metal Performance on “Thank You.”
  • Christian rockers Third Day for Best Contemporary Christian Performance/Song for “Soul on Fire.”
  • Rounding it off, HBO’s documentary “Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown” is nominated for Best Music Film.

For another barometer of the latest Georgia sounds, check out the Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop Poll, an aggregation of nearly 500 critics’ best-of lists that provides a comprehensive snapshot of 2015 music. Macon native Mackenzie Scott, who records as Torres, finished an impressive #28 with her sophomore album “Sprinter.” Young Atlanta-based rappers Rae Sremmurd landed at #40 with their debut “SremmLife,” also topping Pazz & Jop’s “hipness” scale based on the poll’s own definition. Savannah’s Baroness crashed the party with their mid-December album “Purple,” rating a callout as one of the only metal bands to make this year’s chart — they also garnered as many votes as both Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez despite the late arrival.

Be sure to check out the new landing page. I’m particularly fond of the interactive “Today in Georgia Music” calendar, yet another example of the state’s deep, diverse musical roots. For example, February 1 is the birthday of OutKast’s Andre “Big Boi” Patton (Savannah, 1975). Oh, and 10 years earlier on that same date, James Brown recorded “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag.” Not bad for a day’s work.

Start making plans today to discover many more local artists on your next trip to Georgia with your free copy of the 2016 Georgia Travel Guide.

glen-headshotGlen Sarvady is Georgia’s official Music Explorer. He has lived in Atlanta for more than 20 years, and has written about music both locally and nationally for at least as long. More recently, he has written regularly for the music/arts publication Stomp & Stammer as well as

3 Bodacious Burgers You Must Try

I’m a burger lover, and these three always have a place at my table!

Burger at White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Ga.

Burger at White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Ga.

White Oak Pastures, Bluffton. I recently had the opportunity to eat my way through Georgia Grown’s Hwy 37. I ate a lot of delicious food (more on that in later posts), but the Farmer John Burger at White Oak Pastures’ dining hall was the best meal of the trip —and one of the very best burgers I’ve ever eaten. It was a huge grass-fed beef burger smothered in cheese, farm-raised bacon, micro greens from their own garden and an egg gathered from their own free range chickens.

Holman and Finch Burger in Atlanta.

Holman and Finch Burger in Atlanta.

Holman & Finch Public House, Atlanta. H&F is known for great food — especially “The Burger.” House ground beef burgers, cheese and H&F pickles all on a freshly baked bun makes this burger legendary. In the past, you could order it anytime during Sunday brunch, but during the rest of the week, the kitchen only served 24 burgers and only after 10 p.m. With H&F Burger newly opened in Ponce City Market, you can now get “The Burger” on the regular Holeman & Finch dinner menu every night of the week.

Sliders at Sly's Siders and Fries in Savannah

Sliders at Sly’s Siders and Fries in Savannah

Sly’s Sliders and Fries, Savannah. Sliders and hot dogs and hand-cut fries — Oh, my! The next time you’re in Savannah (and want a break from all of the awesome seafood you’ve been eating) give Sly’s a try. Their classic cheeseburger slider is a winner, and adding a fried egg on top just takes it to a higher level. Not feeling like a burger? Well, the menu also offers jerk chicken, falafel, and even brisket sliders. Since they’re mini, feel free to eat two or three!

jennifer-hill-booker-1436890751-thumb-230-230-438-151-820-444-90Jennifer is Georgia’s official Culinary Explorer and the author of “Your Resident Gourmet,” full of innovative recipes, cooking trends and fun kitchen gadgets. Click here for more content from Jennifer.

5 of Georgia’s Best Sunrise and Sunset Views

Traveling and camping around Georgia, I’ve seen my fair share of gorgeous skies. These five destinations are the best places to experience twilight transformations.

Cumberland Island National Seashore

Sunrise on Cumberland Island. Photo by Candy Cook.

Sunrise on Cumberland Island. Photo by Candy Cook.

Magnificent ruins, wild horses, and miles of sandy beach make camping on Cumberland Island an unforgettable experience. In the afternoon, the day-use visitors ferry back to the mainland, leaving behind a limited number of overnight campers. There’s nothing like watching the sun rise over the Atlantic from the deserted beach on Cumberland Island.

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

Kayaking in the Okefenokee Swamp. GDEcD Photography

Kayaking in the Okefenokee Swamp. GDEcD Photography

The twilight hours are glorious in the Okefenokee Swamp. The glassy blackwater reflects pretty pinks and orange hues of the clouds above. Birds and frogs join voices with a chorus of crickets. In the evening, the sun makes way for the best view of stars in Georgia. In the mornings, carefully woven spider webs glisten with droplets of dew. It’s a magical time for visitors in the swamp.

Brasstown Bald

Sunset from Brasstown Bald

Sunset from Brasstown Bald. Photo by Candy Cook

When it comes to watching the sun set over the great state of Georgia, there is simply no comparison to this view. A visit to Brasstown Bald takes visitors to the highest summit in the state. As the sun rises and sets, the rolling silhouette of the Northeast Georgia mountains is a spectacular sight to behold.

Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island

Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island. GDEcD Photography

Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island. GDEcD Photography

A well-known location for hauntingly beautiful photos, Driftwood Beach is located on the northern end of Jekyll Island. The twisted, gnarled remains of island trees are especially beautiful as twilight colors scatter across the sky, creating an interesting play of light and shadow.

Panola Mountain State Park

Sunset from Panola Mountain State Park Photo from Facebook.

Sunset from Panola Mountain State Park. Photo from Facebook.

Panola Mountain is a strikingly beautiful experience any time of the day. Blanketed in a kaleidoscope of multicolored mosses, hikes around the summit are scheduled with a naturalist guide to ensure preservation. Occasionally, these hikes coincide with a view of the Atlanta skyline at sunset followed by a bonfire and s’mores.

candycookCandy is Georgia’s official Outdoor Explorer and the author of the blog “Happy Trails Wild Tales.” Click here for more Outdoor content from Candy.