If the first round of the RSM Classic on Thursday is like Christmas Day for golf fans in the Golden Isles, then the Wednesday before the tournament is like Christmas Eve, full of anticipation and excitement.
Wednesday is Community Day at the tournament with free admission to the general public with the gates opening at 7 a.m. The pro-am, where a professional in the field plays a round with a group of amateurs, also tees off at 7 a.m. with defending champion Mac Hughes and Si Woo Kim teeing off from the 1st and 10th holes respectively on Sea Island Golf Club’s Plantation Course while groups lead by Webb Simpson and Charles Howell III will go off the 1st and 10th holes, respectively, on the Seaside Course at the same time.
Notable pro-am tee times for Seaside include former Masters champion Bubba Watson (7:20 a.m.), former RSM champions Robert Streb and Kevin Kisner (8:10 a.m. and 8:20 a.m.) former U.S. Open winners Graeme McDowell and Retief Goosen ( 8 a.m. and 11:35 a.m.), former British Open champ Stewart Cink (7:10 a.m.) and four-time major winner Ernie Els (12:15 p.m.).
Plantation pro-am tee times feature several of the Isles pros that will be competing in this year’s Classic including tournament host Davis Love III, whose group goes off the first tee at 8:30 a.m. While Love is going off the first tee, Isles pro Brian Harman and his group will be teeing off from the 10th tee.
Davis Love III’s son, Dru Love, is competing for the first time as a pro in the event and tees off at 7:30 a.m. from the first hole. Other locals playing Plantation today include Jonathan Byrd (7:20 a.m.), Hudson Swafford (8:10 a.m.), two-time major winner Zach Johnson (8:20 a.m.), Matt Kuchar (11:15 a.m.) and Harris English (12:25 p.m.).
Also playing on Plantation in the pro-am are three-time major champion Padraig Harrington (8 a.m.) and former RSM champions Heath Slocum (11:35 a.m.) and Chris Kirk (11:25 a.m.).
Wednesday is not just about the pro-am, however. There will also be a Youth Golf Zone at the Sea Island Performance Center’s practice putting green starting at 3 p.m. and a charity putting challenge featuring Tour pros, Special Olympics athletes and members of the Boys and Girls Club at 4 p.m. at the practice putting green.
Other tournament special events include Friday’s Taste of the Golden Isles Food and Spirits at the St. Simons Island Casino, Saturday’s Military Appreciation Day with the Bridgestone Folds of Honor Million Dollar Challenge at the tournament and the RSM Concert Event featuring Jake Owen at 7 p.m. at the McKinnon/St. Simons Island Airport.