It is hard to believe that the RSM Classic is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. It seems like just yesterday a reporter from The News was listening intently to a teleconference announcing that the Golden Isles would be getting its own PGA Tour event.

That teleconference was in January 2010. Nine months later, Heath Slocum was standing on the 18th green at Sea Island Golf Club’s Seaside Course hoisting the winner’s trophy.

Since that first year, the Classic has grown in nearly every conceivable way. Sea Island’s Plantation Course is now involved in the first two days of the tournament. The tournament’s annual concert has brought in such big names as Darius Rucker, Toby Keith, Martina McBride and Cole Swindell, who is back for the second time this year.

The tournament has also provided some spectacular golf to watch. Who can forget Tommy Gainey’s epic 10-under 60 final round in 2012 that not only set a tournament record, but catapulted him into to victory. Then there was the 2017 playoff that had so many golfers, everyone had to come back on a very cold and brisk Monday morning to determine a champion. Mackenzie Hughes was eventually the last golfer standing that year.

The RSM Classic’s four days also serve as a tremendous boon for the Golden Isles. For four days, the pristine vistas of our area are featured on The Golf Channel to millions around the world. You can’t measure just how valuable that is to our area when it comes to attracting new residents and visitors.

While all the spectacular golf and amazing concerts are great, they all contribute to tournament’s true purpose. The biggest accomplishment of the tournament has been its charitable contributions.

Through programs like Birdies Fore Love and Friends of Davis Love Foundation, tournament organizers have found unique ways to help raise millions of dollars that are distributed to a wide variety of charities on a local, state and national level. Through its first nine years, the tournament has raised more than $13 million to support charities focused on children and families in need, according to its website.

We are grateful for all that Davis Love III has done to support the Golden Isles. His reach in the area goes beyond the game of golf. But we are especially appreciative that he helped bring this amazing tournament to our area.

We are also thankful for RSM, who has dedicated significant money and resources to make this event a top-notch tournament. The partnership has paid dividends for all involved.

We are also grateful for the local PGA Tour pros who have helped make this area one of the top spots for golf in the country, for Sea Island’s grand golf facilities which provide a good challenge and a gorgeous backdrop for golf, the staff and volunteers that make the tournament happen and all the PGA Tour pros who have come to compete in the Classic.

This is one of our favorite weeks of the year, and we can’t wait to see what happens when the tournament tees off today. Good luck to everyone.

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