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.

DAVIS LOVE III 
davis

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.

HARRIS ENGLISH harris

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.”

CHRIS KIRKPhoto: PGA

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.

KEVIN KISNER 
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.

LARRY MIZE 

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.

PATRICK REED   Photo: PGA

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

BRANDT SNEDEKER
brandt-snedeker-pga-tour-pebble-beach_t780

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

VAUGHN TAYLOR Photo: PGA

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

BUBBA WATSON

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.

 

 

James Brown: Visiting Augusta, With or Without the Masters

Augusta tends to attract a few visitors each April for a certain golf tournament, and the city fathers made a savvy move in attracting its closeup during peak season. But there’s another master hailing from Augusta who’s worth a visit year-round: James Brown.

The Godfather of Soul: Mr. James Brown exhibit at the Augusta Museum of History

Inside “The Godfather of Soul: Mr. James Brown” exhibit at the Augusta Museum of History. Photo by Chris Thelan.

The Augusta Museum of History features a permanent exhibit on the Godfather of Soul, documenting native son James Brown’s rise to fame. This year, Brown’s daughter, Deanna Brown Thomas, added a weekly bus tour to the mix. “Dad was proud to grow up in Augusta, and so many fans from around the world are always looking to learn more about him,” Ms. Thomas says of her inspiration for organizing the tour. “After much prayer, I felt good that a tour would be both informative and entertaining,” she adds, working in one of her father’s classic song titles.

Deanna Brown-Thomas leads a bus tour of James Brown's Augusta.

Deanna Brown-Thomas leads a bus tour of James Brown’s Augusta. Photo by Chris Thelan.

Thomas’s cousin Taefa Ayers will conduct the weekly Saturday morning tours, with Thomas pitching in for select private events and special requests, providing participants a family perspective. Stops include Brown’s childhood home and elementary school, and the various local businesses and radio stations he owned. Thomas is particularly proud of JAMP (the James Brown Academy of Musik Pupils), a “non-profit music village” housed at the museum and operated by the James Brown Family Foundation, with a mission of childhood music education and enrichment. JAMP’s house combo was named Best Augusta R&B Band in 2015 by Augusta Magazine.

The tour starts and concludes at the museum, and the $15 fee includes museum admission.

Items on display at "The Godfather of Soul: Mr. James Brown" exhibit at the Augusta Museum of History

Items on display at “The Godfather of Soul: Mr. James Brown” exhibit at the Augusta Museum of History. Photo by Chris Thelan.

Ms. Thomas offered a few of her favorite exhibit items. “An original cape, and an award from the Department of Defense for going to Vietnam.” In 1969 Brown put a modern spin on Bob Hope’s World War II model, performing for troops at the height of hostilities. Always politically conscious, Brown saw the trip as his expression of support for black troops but also took steps to tour with an integrated backing band to send a message of inclusion.

The James Brown Family Historical Tour departs from the Augusta Museum of History at 11 a.m. each Saturday morning. Reservations can be made by calling 803-640-2090 at least 24 hours in advance. The tour runs roughly 90 minutes. Private bookings are available.

While you’re in Augusta, don’t miss the chance to sample two of Georgia’s 100 Plates Locals Love (look under Classic South): the catfish and hush puppies at T’s Restaurant, and Sheehan’s Irish Pub’s green jacket salad. Hmm, I sense another golf reference….

For more music travel ideas in Augusta, check out Explore Georgia’s Augusta music page, featuring an itinerary of music venues, festivals and other points of interest in the city, and a playlist of songs by Augusta-area artists to accompany your trip.

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 GeorgiaMusic.org.

Civil War Wednesday: Augusta Powder Works

Confederate Powder Works

Confederate Powder Works | Library of Congress LC-DIG-ppmsca-3504

Major George Washington Rains left Richmond, Virginia, during the early days of July 1861. North and South had not yet met on the fields of Manassas, but Confederate officials surely knew they would soon need ample supplies of gunpowder and other war matériel. Shortly after volunteering to don the gray, Rains received the assignment to find a suitable site to build a powder mill. The vision of Augusta native Henry Cumming, who in the 1840s formed the idea to create an industrial artery flowing through the city – a canal – benefited Rains, and the Confederate war effort 20 years later.

Augusta offered many incentives for Rains in his search for a proper location to erect the powder works. Besides the canal, Augusta also provided easy access to the railroad and the Savannah River, and the city’s distance from any imaginable battlefront early in the war solidified the spot as the ideal setting. Design of the shops needed to supply the various armies in the field with reliable powder began, and gathering building materials and machinery took much of Rains’s time. In September, just two months after leaving Richmond, the major oversaw construction getting underway for “…the largest and finest Gunpowder Factory to be found in any country.”[1]

Colonel G.W. Rains

Colonel G.W. Rains

Receiving promotion to the rank of colonel, Rains supervised the works through the end of the war. Various threats from Federal troops – namely Major General William T. Sherman’s armies during the November 1864 March to the Sea, and later in the 1865 Carolinas Campaign – kept the colonel and his staff ever at the ready to disassemble, and move the irreplaceable machinery. However, Sherman, unwilling in either campaign to slow his progress to attack Augusta, steered clear of the city, and the powder works.

Stacking of arms at Appomattox Court House, and later at the Bennett Farm in North Carolina, signaled the end of a need for powder. Rains pointed out from the time the mill first opened, until he silenced the machinery on April 18, 1865, the works produced “… 2, 750,000 pounds, or one thousand, three hundred and seventy-five tons of gunpowder.”[2]

Augusta Powder Works

Powder Works site today | Photo courtesy of the author

Signaling a status, which remains to the present, Rains recalled the “…great extent of the Powder Works and their immense capabilities, were the admiration of all visitors.”[3] The vast works, which consisted of multiple buildings on both sides of the canal, stretched for two miles. Progress, in the form of tearing down and rebuilding, took place several years after the war, when all vestiges of the powder works crumbled away to make room for building new textile mills.

Rains wanted the chimney to remain as a lasting shrine for Southern soldiers who gave their all. He got his wish, thus creating one of the first Confederate monuments in the country. Rains could take solace in knowing his tower beside the canal would serve as a reminder of the horrendous casualties during the American Civil War. The obelisk, with “…its battlemented tower and lofty shaft, large proportions and beautiful workmanship,” bearing “…evidence of the magnitude and style of their construction to future generations.”[4]

Today, the Canal Authority, in partnership with the National Park Service, manages the canal and obelisk site. Plans call for development of an interpretative plaza beneath the chimney, so visitors can enjoy the placid setting, while learning about the history of the region. Visit http://www.augustacanal.com for details in planning your next visit to historic Augusta, and check out the ‘Food, Fabric, and Firepower’ tour, a Civil War-themed journey leaving at 1:30 p.m. daily.


[1] George Washington Rains, “History of the Confederate Powder Works,” Newburgh Daily News Print, https://archive.org/details/powderworks00rainrich (accessed July 14, 2015).
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.

MikeMichael K. Shaffer is a Civil War historian, author, newspaper columnist and lecturer. He can be contacted at: www.civilwarhistorian.net.

Stay, Play and Eat in Augusta

Augusta TitleMost people know Augusta as home to The Masters, but that’s only part of the story. There are tasty local eateries, outdoor adventures galore and something for everyone with arts, history, sports and hiking opportunities around every corner. Attractions are relatively close together and many of them are free or affordable. Augusta makes a memorable weekend adventure for the entire family.

Stay
With newly renovated rooms and public spaces, Partridge Inn is the hotel of choice. This beautiful Summerville landmark dates from the early 1800s, but recent updates showcase the architecture with sleek lines and modern touches. Families will love the two-room suites with extra closet space, swimming pool and corner rooms brightened with gorgeous sunlight from large picture windows.

Partrige Inn

Partrige Inn

Play
Augusta Canal National Heritage Area. Tour the Discovery Center; the kids learn from the hands-on exhibits and scavenger hunt. Once you’ve exhausted the museum, take a cruise down the Augusta Canal in a Petersburg Boat. Don’t miss the chance to stamp your National Parks Passport.

Augusta GreenJackets Game. Every seat in the house provides a super view. We welcomed the creat concessions, Cool Zone for the summer heat, and a Kid’s Zone for the littles. It’s adjacent to the field so you won’t miss a pitch. Read more about the GreenJackets here. Sign up for the Kids Club for free kiddo admission on Sundays.

Savannah River Rapids. See the Savannah River and the Augusta Canal…at one time. Walk between the two, or rent a bike for a lovely ride. Don’t miss a stop at the head gates or a kayak adventure down the canal. Free.

Phinizy Swamp Nature Park. Spend an hour or all day. Hike the trails, taking bridges over beautiful streams. Try to spot a turtle or gator in the lakes. Free.

Morris Museum. Morris is the first museum dedicated to the art and artists of the American South. Their collection includes over 5,000 pieces including paintings, artifacts, sculptures and more. Visit on Sunday for free admission.

Augusta Museum of History and Trolley Tour. Purchase tickets for the Trolley Tour and you can visit the museum for free. Will you be brave enough to touch the Haunted Pillar?

Cakes at Boll Weevil

Cakes at Boll Weevil

Eat
The Bee’s Knees. Family-friendly and focused on local, sustainable vegan/vegetarian selections – served tapas-style.

New Moon Café. Very kid-friendly; great patio, too. Love the made-to-order smoothies. After lunch, head across the street for a picture with James Brown.

The Pizza Joint. Great pizza pies, live music, outdoor seating and our boys loved playing corn hole during dinner.

Boll Weevil. Best cakes for miles around, and so many options to choose from. The Ahi tuna salad is can’t-miss.

Saturday Market on the River. Technically, there is much more here than food, but it’s a great breakfast stop on Saturdays. Cinnamon rolls and coffee beckon you to linger longer.

See more details and photos of our Augusta Adventure here: 365atlantafamily.com/AugustaWithKids

 LesliLesli is the Georgia’s official Family Explorer and the owner of 365AtlantaFamily, which offers a daily dose of inspiration for metro-area families. Click here for more Family content from Lesli.

Women’s Sports in Georgia

Women’s sports teams often focus on providing to those communities that they call home, and empowering women and girls through the power of athletics. Fans so often go out and support their local school or college or little league teams, but don’t always realize Georgia has leagues and teams for adults. Here are some of the professional and semi-professional women’s sports teams that call Georgia home:

Atlanta Dream

Atlanta Dream

Basketball
When the Atlanta Dream made it to the WNBA Finals in 2013 for the third time in four years, the team’s fans were ecstatic. While they have yet to claim that elusive title, the Dream are still one of the most successful teams in the Eastern Conference, reaching the playoffs every season since 2009. The Dream play at the top level and thrill fans with season promotions ranging from their Heritage Series to Kids Day, from Dream Pink to Faith & Family Night.

And in Augusta, the semi-professional Georgia-Lina Lady Hurricanes compete in the Women’s Blue Chip Basketball League (WBCBL). Many of the players originally played school ball in the Augusta area and played college hoops in the South, competing with and against each other. The team hosted their first annual Season Kick-Off Tournament this year, featuring teams from the community.

Atlanta Silverbacks Women

Atlanta Silverbacks Women

Soccer
With the FIFA Women’s World Cup currently occuring in Canada, women’s sports are on the world’s biggest stage. And while none of the Atlanta Silverbacks Women were called up to their national sides for this tournament, they are still providing quality entertainment for fans here in Georgia. The Silverbacks play in the highly competitive W-League, which they most recently won in 2011.

Georgia also has a presence in W-20, which is the adult-amateur under-20 women’s league associated with W-League. The Georgia Revolution in Conyers have increased their program to include a W-20 team this year, and the Atlanta Metros FC regularly field a side, though are focusing on local leagues for the 2015 season. Both programs offer extensive opportunities for player development in youth local and travel leagues.

Savannah Sabers

Savannah Sabers

Football
Georgia hosts several women’s football teams across three different leagues. The North Atlantic Division of the Women’s Football Allliance (WFA) features the Atlanta Phoenix and Savannah Sabers. The Phoenix have experienced great success in the North Atlantic Division and enjoy a dedicated fangroup known as the Phoenatics. The Sabers were unable to field a team this season, but look forward to returning to competitive play in 2016. The Sabers say their “vision is a community of strong, independent, confident women and girls where the game of football with empower females.”

Focused on a drive to “empwer women through athletics and serve the greater Atlanta community,” the Atlanta Heartbreakers compete in the Women’s Spring Football League (WSFL). Between playing in the WSFL, and having orginally played in the WFA, the Heartbreakers have won three division titles.

The 2014 Legends Football League (LFL) Eastern Conference Champions also play in metro Atlanta. The Atlanta Steam began playing in 2013 and within two seasons were already playing in the title game. They join several other Georgia sports teams playing out of the Arena at Gwinnett Center.

Soul City Sirens

Soul City Sirens

Roller Derby
The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), a leading organization for roller derby in the US and abroad, has a heavy presence in Georgia. The Atlanta Rollergirls were one of the founding leagues of the WFTDA and hosted the Champioinship in 2012. The league fields four home teams as well as three travel teams. The Classic City Rollergirls field two travel teams out of Athens and host biannual boot camps for anyone interested in learning to derby. In Augusta, the Soul City Sirens have partnered with local partners to benefit the community, all the while throwing down on the rink of the Columbia County Exhibition Center. And the Savannah Derby Devils feature two travel teams, as well as a junior team for theose female skaters aged 10-17 who are intersted in trying out the sport.

Outside of the ‘big-league’ derby teams, the WFTDA sponsors an apprenticeship program for aspiring member leagues. Here in Georgia, the Marietta Derby Darlins in Cobb County and the Muscogee Roller Girls in Columbus compete as apprentice leagues. Additionally, teams such as the Middle Georgia Derby Demons in Macon, Rome Rollergirls and War Town Bombshells in Warner Robins compete individually according to WFTDA rules.

Atlanta Harlequins

Atlanta Harlequins

Rugby
The sport of rugby is quickly growing in popularity, and Georgia is no exception to the craze. Several mixed teams and an all-female team are members of the Georgia Rugby Union (GRU), the local branch of USA Rugby. Teams compete in tournaments here in Georgia – from Atlanta to Augusta, from LaFayette to Savannah – as well as all over the country. The Atlanta Harlequins, a member club of GRU, compete in the Women’s Premier League and hosted the 2014 Nations at Life University.