St. Simons Island is gearing up for the fifth McGladrey Classic PGA TOUR Event. For a week in October, the quiet coastal beach and golf town takes the spotlight, and each year, shines for its close up.
St. Simons Island is home to a dozen PGA TOUR golfers who live and train on the Island. With a longstanding reputation for world-class golf, players cite dozens of reasons to call the Island home. And with the focus on St. Simons each October, the national media is uncovering those reasons as well.
In 2012, with St. Simons Island resident Davis Love III serving as Ryder Cup Team captain and three other Islanders on the team, The New York Time penned an article titled “A New Capital for U.S. Golf (Pop. 13,000).” The Times pondered how an island with a population of 13,000 could possibly be home to four Ryder Cup team members. A few key findings include the leadership of Davis Love III, the ability to live an everyday life, the outdoor activities, the scenery and, of course, the golf.
Davis Love III “… has been hanging around this barrier island for so long that he has become part of the scenery, a low-maintenance presence invisible to the local residents.”
“Kuchar, whose wife, Sybi, grew up on the island, said he and the other players were able to live like everyday people because of the precedent set by the easygoing Love, whose temperament suits an island that is the size of Manhattan and has the feel of Mayberry.”
The Golf Channel, who broadcasts the annual event, has similar observations about St. Simons Island.
“Take a stroll across the grounds of Sea Island Resort, site of this week’s McGladrey Classic, and the thought occurs, 1960 called and they want their tournament back. Relaxed would be an understatement. Quaint doesn’t exactly do this place justice.”
“While the ranks of PGA Tour winners and major champions comprising the “Sea Island Mafia” continue to grow, the player to whom the transplants attribute their various transitions is clear. Davis Love III moved to Sea Island more than 30 years ago, and over the years has become the de facto spokesperson for golf in the area.”
“They call it ‘island time’ in this slice of the Golden Isles, a gentle, languid pace that moves with all the urgency of swaying moss – and the golf seems to have taken a cue from the laidback landscape this week.”
And USA Today sums it all up nicely.
“What’s not to like here along the idyllic Georgia coast? Mild year-round temperatures, small-town feel with Mom and Pop shops and Football Friday and Soccer Saturday. And world-class golf facilities and some of the best golf teachers in the world.”
St. Simons Island will again be pleased to have the McGladrey Classic and all the excitement it brings. We’ll be riding our bikes to the course and cheering for the locals. Then we’ll watch it all again on television, through the technicolor lens of The Golf Channel. And like Davis Love III himself, we’ll take it all in stride with the quiet confidence that we’ve been lucky enough to discover one of the most magical places on Earth. And we’re able to call it “home.”
To learn more about the McGladrey Classic, schedule, tickets, and volunteer opportunities, visit McGladreyClassic.com.