Continuing a PGA TOUR tradition of honoring men and women in uniform, THE PLAYERS Championship unveiled a full slate of military appreciation activities and programs for the 2016 event, including a special performance by music legend Toby Keith on Tuesday, May 10, during Military Appreciation Day.
New in 2016, the Military Appreciation Day Ceremony (6 p.m.) and Concert (6:30 p.m.) will be held on the 17th hole – instead of the traditional location on the back of the clubhouse lawn – when the tournament returns to THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, May 10-15.
Keith’s performance will cap off the Military Appreciation Day Ceremony, which will include pageantry by military personnel, a flyover by the 125th Fighter Wing, Florida Air National Guard, and a National Anthem performance by Byron Rowe (United States Navy-Retired). Speakers at the Military Appreciation ceremony will be General Mark Welsh, Chief of Staff, United States Air Force and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem; and a TOUR player TBD.
The Military Appreciation Day Ceremony and Concert is free to any Tuesday ticket holder; a Tuesday Stadium Pass starts at just $20.
“I’m extremely excited to honor the men and women who serve our county by performing at THE PLAYERS Championship,” said Keith, who has performed more than 200 USO shows and entertained more than 250,000 men and women in uniform and their families. In April 2014, Toby Keith was honored with the Spirit of the USO Award. “I have always been a proud supporter of the U.S. Military and can’t wait to rock the stage for our troops and their fans.”
“We’re thrilled to have Toby Keith kick off tournament week at the most famous hole in golf,” said Michele McManamon, THE PLAYERS 2016 Volunteer Chairman and co-founder of Tuesday’s Charity of the Day, Operation New Uniform. “The Military Appreciation Day Concert is always a fan favorite, and the new location for 2016 allows us to entertain an even bigger crowd in the incredible, wrap-around atmosphere of 16 and 17. Fans will also have access to the great amenities available in that area – including the Food Court and upgraded restrooms – ensuring a true concert-like experience. With a superstar like Toby Keith on stage, we know the Stadium is going to be rocking.”
In addition to the celebrating them during Military Appreciation Day, THE PLAYERS provides all career military (active duty, Reserve, military retirees and dependents) with complimentary admission to the tournament all week and discounted admission for veterans (to obtain vouchers, go to PGATOUR.COM/THEPLAYERS and click on the Tickets & Parking link). Throughout tournament week, all active duty and Reserve military members, military retirees, veterans and their dependents will have access to the Birdies for the Brave Patriots’ Outpost, a hospitality tent reserved exclusively for the military which offers complimentary food, beverages and activities. Located near the tee at No. 16, the Patriots’ Outpost is financially supported by THE PLAYERS and Jacksonville-area companies and individuals. New in 2016, THE PLAYERS volunteer leadership – the Red Coats are the lead sponsor of the Birdies for the Brave® Patriots’ Outpost. In 2015, THE PLAYERS issued more than 23,000 complimentary military tickets and more than 18,000 military members and their families were hosted in the Patriots’ Outpost.
Prior to tournament week, THE PLAYERS will welcome active duty, Reserve, retired military, veterans, and military spouses to TPC Sawgrass on Saturday, May 7, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Birdies for the Brave® Patriots’ Outpost, to participate in its fourth-annual Military Job Fair, in partnership with the Jacksonville Military Veterans Coalition. The Military Job Fair is free and open to military personnel, veterans and military spouses who are seeking employment. There will be approximately 40 companies on hand, all with open hiring opportunities. Free career counseling and resume-writing assistance will be provided, as well as, information on local educational institutions with veterans’ programs. Previous PLAYERS Military Veterans Job Fairs have seen attendance of more than 500 military job seekers and 40 companies participating.
On Sunday, May 8, THE PLAYERS and Birdies for the Brave® will again partner with Operation Shower to host a group baby shower for 40 military moms-to-be whose spouses are deployed members of the U.S. Navy. Scheduled to be held from 12-2 p.m. in the Patriots’ Outpost, the event will be hosted by Jim and Tabitha Furyk and will feature Operation Shower’s signature Shower-In-A-Box, gifts of high-quality products for the moms and babies that have been provided by sponsors and donors.
More information about THE PLAYERS is available at PGATOUR.COM/THEPLAYERS.