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 
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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
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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.

 

 

Five of Our Favorite Georgia Brands

We sat down with the owners behind some of the best brands to hear their story, how Georgia has influenced their business and what their favorite things to do around the state are. Here’s what they had to say.

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Click here to jump to:
KEVIN’S | PEACH STATE PRIDE THE OLE BULL CO. 
R.L. MARTIN & CO | 
SOUTHERN PROPER 



Explore Georgia: What’s the story behind Kevin’s?
Kathleen Kelly, Co-Owner: Kevin started the company in 1979 in Tallahassee, Florida. It was primarily a gun and hunting store that also carried general sporting goods. I joined him in 1992 after we were married and together we transformed Kevin’s into a plantation lifestyle company. With Kevin being an authority on sporting guns and our company being situated in bobwhite quail country, it just made sense.  Our company is focused on this lifestyle, from the hunt to the home.

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EG: What makes you unique to Georgia?
KK: We have one of the most beautiful and well known high-grade gun rooms in the country with and amazing and unique collection of guns.  We also make our own Kevin’s Plantation Shotguns which have won awards in our industry and been featured in all the main sporting magazines.

EG: What are some of your favorite items right now?
KK: We try to offer as many “Made in America” products as we can! For example, our quail bracelet is made in Thomasville and the camo belt is made in Atlanta. Our customers know they will find unique items at Kevin’s, whether it’s a basic T-shirt or a Kevin’s custom designed Italian pewter bowl, ice and wine bucket we designed and had hand-made in limited quantities in Italy.

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EG: What should travelers see in Thomasville after they’re done shopping at Kevin’s?
KK: Definitely visit Pebble Hill Plantation, dine and shop in our downtown. Our town is amazing! A fun place to stay is Paxton House, within walking distance to us.

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Follow Kevin’s on Social: INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER


 

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EG: What’s the story behind Peach State Pride?
Derek Chitwood, Founder & CEO
 I grew up picking peaches each summer with my Grandpa so I’ve always had a strong love for The Peach State. When I started Peach State Pride in 2009 I wanted to create a logo that instilled pride in our great state of Georgia, and in some way give back to the state.

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EG: What makes you unique to Georgia?
DC: I don’t think what we’re doing has really been done before. We promote our state; our towns, regions, communities, artists, athletes, and businesses, and we give 15% of our profits back to Georgia. We’re a clothing line, but really so much more than that.

EG: What’s on your must-have Peach State Pride list?
DC: Our hottest item is our Georgia Mesh Back Hat. I’m also a big fan of our Classic Button Downs for a more mature look.

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EG: What should visitors do if they’re around Athens?
DC
: You have to stop by Last Resort Grill and grab a meal! When the night rolls in, catch a show at the Georgia Theatre.

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In Watkinsville, it’s easy to relax. The Ashford Manor is an amazing Bed & Breakfast and Chops & Hops downtown is a must-stop for lunch or dinner. If you’re up in Lavonia, 211 Main Street Restaurant and Bakery is right around the corner from the store. And in the summertime, swing by our roadside stand at Chitwood Orchard for some of the best peaches you ever put in your mouth!

Follow Peach State on Social: INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER


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EG: What’s the story behind The Ole Bull?
Miles Tinsley, Co-Founder: The Ole Bull Co. is all about local flavor! Our mission is to connect refined men and local craftsmen across the country. There are so many amazing products being crafted by small businesses in Georgia and other states at this very moment, but these products are difficult to find and even harder to compare.

ole2 EG: What makes you unique to Georgia?
MT: The Ole Bull Co. was founded and is headquartered in Atlanta, GA. We source many of our local and handmade products in Atlanta and other places around Georgia. The Ole Bull Co. is currently working with four Georgia companies whose products all have incredible craftsmanship and integrity. They are Go Forth Goods (Marietta), Proof Cocktail Syrup (Decatur), Cord Shoes + Boots (Atlanta) and Margaret Vera (Atlanta).

EG: What’s on your must-have list right now?
MT: We have some amazing products from our friends here in Georgia!  Two of our personal favorites are The Traveler Mug by Go Forth Goods and The Old Fashioned Cocktail Syrup by Proof Syrup. A lot of these businesses are right here in the Atlanta area.

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EG: What’s on your Atlanta bucket list?
MT: We’re always on the lookout for great places to grab a cold beer or to get our fill of delicious food. We spend a fair amount of time at Three Taverns Craft Brewery in Decatur. They have a refreshing assortment of beers and the brewery itself has a unique and rustic design. As far as sitting down for a classy dinner that is sure to please, we’d recommend checking out Southern Gentleman in Buckhead. They take comfort food to a whole other level, and offer an impressive list of aged whiskey.

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As massive BBQ enthusiasts, our final recommendation would be hitting up one of our three local favorites, each guaranteed to hit the spot. Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, D.B.A Barbecue, & Sweet Auburn Barbecue.

Follow The Ole Bull on Social: INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER



RL MartinEG: What’s the story behind R.L. Martin & Co.?
Devan Martin, Owner: R. L. Martin & Co. is the men’s department inside Only Options, an apparel store that has been serving Valdosta, GA since 1983. My husband, Justin and I purchased the store in 2014, we dedicated a large space in the store to expand the men’s selection. R. L. Martin & Co. is a nod to Justin’s father, Ronald Martin, who was a buyer for Belk Hudson for 22 years before he passed away returning from a buying trip. We hope to continue the legacy of the fine gentleman he was.Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 6.33.45 PM

EG: What makes the store unique to Georgia?
DM: We are one of just a few specialty retailers of our kind in the state. We take a “support local” approach to business, carrying many Georgia based clothing and gift lines from brands such as South Georgia Pecan Co. gifts, Savannah Bee Company honey, Laurie Jo’s pepper jellies and more!

EG: What’s on your must-have list in the store right now?
DM: It is spring time, and we are dreaming of warmer weather and weekends at the club!  The E4 Performance Collection by Peter Millar allows you to look sharp and swing the club without the wrinkles.  We carry a large selection of E4 Performance pants, sports shirts, and outerwear. This breathable, easy care fabric, will look great for a dinner after a great day on the course!

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EG: What’s your favorite thing to do in Valdosta?
DM: Having brunch or dinner at Friends Grille and Bar is a MUST in Valdosta! Using only local produce, they specialize in modern, but laid-back southern cuisine. Chef Randy DeCoudres never disappoints!

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Follow R.L. Martin & Co on Social: INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK


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What’s the story behind Southern Proper?
Ansley Kuhlke, Director of Wholesale: Inspired by the southern pillars of style, tradition, and authenticity, Southern Proper was created as the haberdashery for the Southern Gentleman in late 2005.

Emilie Claire Howard (fondly known as Emmie) and Regan Hardy Howell planted the company’s roots in Atlanta, Georgia and began building a men’s clothing line infused with their mutual appreciation for heritage and fashion, running deeper than a Southern Accent. Operating out of over 300 specialty retailers across the country and online, we continue to grow our brand while sustaining our appreciation for our homegrown roots!

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What makes you unique to Georgia?
AK:  Born and raised in Atlanta, Southern Proper has proudly maintained and celebrated it’s Georgia roots from its creation. Not only do our products display the propersouthern attire but truly represent the southern lifestyle from which we were all raised. Each collection is inspired by the life we all love to live right here in Georgia.

Whether you’re cheering on your team at a tailgate or spending a long weekend in Savannah, Southern Proper has you covered from head to toe! Remembering our heritage and resonating with our customers has always been the foundation of our company.

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What’s on your must-have list right now?
Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 7.51.05 PMAK: We’re all eagerly anticipating warmer weather and even more excited to launch our spring collection. The must-have piece on the shelves right now is our new Dock Pullover.

On any given cloudy day or for chilly nights at the beach, this is the perfect transitional piece for spring in the south. Be sure to grab this fun and lightweight jacket in three great colors, available in stores and online now!

What’s on your Georgia bucket list?
AK: The ladies of SoPro highly recommend earning the triple crown…of Hot Dogs that is. In our humble opinion, a must-do for natives and visitors alike is to visit grab a delicious dog from each of the best places around Georgia: Atlanta’s own Varsity, Nu-Way of Macon, and Monroe’s in Americus. Your stomach will be all the happier after this mouth-watering journey around the empire state!

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Follow Southern Proper on Social: INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

 

 


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

 

Swayin’ to the Music at Cole Swindell’s Favorite Georgia Venues

Cole Swindell shares his favorite places to catch (or play!) a show around his home state.

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Cole Swindell is taking the country music scene by storm! He releases his EP, Down Home Sessions, on November 6, before hitting the road for his first headlining tour on Nov. 11 in New York City with stops in Georgia in Carrollton (Nov. 19) and Athens (Nov. 20)

Cole’s song off of his self-titled album, Swayin’, talks about a taking a girl to see her favorite band play at a concert, savoring the experience and living in the moment. This is what #GeorgiaMusic is all about; seeing your favorite performers and experiencing it all at one of Georgia’s incredible venues.

Now, Cole, who grew up in Bronwood, Ga., and graduated from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, shares with us his favorite places to catch (or play!) a show around his home state:

Aaron’s Amphitheater at Lakewood – Atlanta

Photo courtesy of Aaron's Ampitheatre

Spanning 75 beautiful, wooded acres, Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood is specifically designed with live music in mind. Its high quality acoustics make it a favorite for many artists, including Cole.

Albany Civic Center  – Albany

Photo: Animation Options
The Civic Center holds a special place in Cole’s heart. This is where he saw Reba McEntire perform every year when he was growing up! The center provides a wide variety of entertainment for visitors of Southwest Georgia each year.

 

Atlanta Motor Speedway – Hampton

Located 30 miles south of Atlanta, the 1.54-mile track at Atlanta Motor Speedway is one of the premier motorsports facilities in the country. It’s a dream come true for any musician to play before thousands at a NASCAR race.

Bluewater Bar – Valdosta

Located in a rambling old house in the former mill village of Remerton, Bluewater regularly presents singer/songwriters like Cole Swindell for Valdosta State Blazers and country music fans from all over.

Georgia Theatre –  Athens

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After a fire that nearly destroyed the theatre, the historic venue reemerged in 2011. This year, the ticket company Pollstar ranked the Theatre as No. 15 in the world. It is a must-see on every music lover’s bucket list. The theater also has an amazing rooftop bar, The Rooftop, where guests can grab a bite to eat while overlooking downtown Athens.

Wild Bill’s  – Duluth

 Located in Duluth near Gwinnett Place Mall off of I-85, the venue holds up to 5,000 fans and features different bands and artists each weekend.

Turner Field – Atlanta

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“It ain’t every day you have a view like this at sound check. Can’t wait to see everyone at Turner Field tonight! We gonna #BringTheChopBack” – @cswinde2 (Instagram)

 

 

What’s better than America’s favorite pastime and a concert? Home of the Atlanta Braves (and Cole’s favorite baseball team), Turner Field hosts the Braves Summer Concert Series each year. After you take in a game – catch a free show!


The Gin
– Tifton

A premiere music venue and night club in South Georgia, The Gin hosts a variety of artists each week. Cole and other big names in country music like Florida Georgia Line, Tyler Farr, Parmalee, Sam Hunt and Chase Rice have played the stage. However, The Gin isn’t just for country fans! It also hosts a variety of other artists such as local favorites, hip hop and tribute bands.

Philips Arena – Atlanta

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From the first time Cole saw one of his idols, Kenny Chesney, play Philips Arena, it has been on his list as a favorite venue. Every concert at the Atlanta Hawk’s home is an experience like no other. The venue can hold up to 18,238 of your closest friends!

The Coliseum –  Carrollton

Win TWO tickets to the show!

Coming back down South for his Down Home Tour, Cole Swindell will perform at The Coliseum on November 19th at the University of West Georgia! Performing all his latest hits, with special guests, Adam Sanders and Jon Langston, Cole’s show is guaranteed to be some “down home” fun! Don’t miss it!

And guess what? We’re giving away TWO free tickets to the show so you can be Swayin’ too! Enter HERE to win! 

 

 

Atlanta Chinatown Mall

As a true lover of food, I’m always looking for a great meal. You may be thinking that since I’m a Chef, a great meal means lots of fancy food, served as lots courses-all costing lots of money. Nope. To me a great meal means delicious food with big flavors, lots of fresh ingredients and affordability. I also like to step out of my comfort zone from time to time and try something new. I’ve found all of that, and more, right here in Atlanta at the Chinatown Mall. It’s tucked away off I-285 and New Peachtree Road, and offers Chinese, Taiwanese, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Laotian and Korean culture all in one small community.

Atlanta Chinatown Mall

Photo courtesy of Atlanta Chinatown Mall

My favorite location at the mall is the food court. No surprise there, especially considering it offers six restaurant stalls, a bakery and two dine-in restaurants. The food selections are all authentic cuisines from around China, recipes passed down from generation to generation. I’ve enjoyed Peking Duck, which is a whole duck cooked until the meat is tender and the skin crisps up crunchy and delicious. The Crispy Pork Belly with a Spicy Hoisin Sauce is another dish I like that cooks the pork belly until the fat and lean are both rich and crisp, before being dipped into a sweet and spicy sauce. And then there is my all-time favorite, a big piping hot bowl of Red Pepper Fish Stew. This stew is thick with chunks of succulent white fish swimming in a broth thick with red hot peppers and Chinese vegetables. Yum! The main thing to remember when checking out the Atlanta Chinatown Mall is to bring a big appetite, your sense of adventure and cash-they don’t accept plastic.

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.

Summer in Rabun County

7 THINGS TO DO DURING THE SUMMER IN RABUN COUNTY

Rabun County sits high in North Georgia, situated comfortably just south of the North Carolina and South Carolina state lines surrounded by the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. When you’re looking to beat the late summer heat, Rabun County has great places to stay and play.

Stay and dine at The Dillard House. Generations of Rabun County visitors have stayed at The Dillard House and tasted their signature Southern dishes as part of a menu that changes daily. Accommodations include standard and luxury rooms, cottages and cabins while spa treatments and horse riding are also offered.Dillard House

Visit a state park. The county’s state parks offer a peek into the state’s diverse topography and are both family-friendly, easily accessible, and offer a wide variety of activities to visitors.

Black Rock Mountain State Park is Georgia’s highest state park and features streams, waterfalls, a richly forested landscape and expansive views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Tallulah Gorge State Park highlight’s Georgia’s ecological diversity with must-see waterfalls and lush hillsides. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes for the hiking portion of your visit. Even if you don’t hike, a stop at the family-friendly visitors center offers an education on the area’s history and a chance to see live native animals.Tallulah Gorge Bridge

See a drive-in movie. Step back in time by taking in a movie at the Tiger Drive-In. The outdoor theater originally opened in 1954 and today’s incarnation of the attraction features a digital projector and a snack bar.

See the goats on the roof. No visit to Rabun County is complete without a stop to Goats on the Roof. The quirky attraction features live goats living and playing on the roofs of several buildings that house shops and snacking opportunities. Kids will love the opportunity to  feed the goats using the various unique mechanical devices around the site.Goats on the Roof - Tiger GA

Attend the Dillard Bluegrass Festival & Georgia State Championship Barbeque Cookoff. The annual festival showcases the best barbecue not just in Rabun County but across the neighboring areas. Be sure to bring cash and your appetite.

Visit a local vineyard. Tiger Mountain VineyardsStonewall Creek Vineyards and 12 Spies Vineyards are all nearby offering tasting opportunities.

Go whitewater rafting. There are numerous whitewater rafting opportunies throughout Rabun County and the heat of the summer is the perfect time to explore the region’s rapids.

EileenEileen is Georgia’s official Festival Explorer and the editor of Occupy My Family, the Atlanta area’s most comprehensive resource for family fun. Click here for more Festival content from Eileen.