Country music star Toby Keith will perform a concert on the 17th hole of the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass next week as part of THE PLAYERS Championship’s annual Military Appreciation Day.
To be held Tuesday May 10, the Military Appreciation Day Ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. and will include pageantry by military personnel, a flyover by the 125th Fighter Wing of the Florida Air National Guard and the National Anthem performed by Byron Rowe, U.S. Navy Retired. Speakers will include Gen. Mark Welsh, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem; and a PGA Tour player.
The ceremonies will be followed at 6:30 p.m. by Keith’s concert.
“I’m extremely excited to honor the men and women who serve our country by performing at THE PLAYERS Championship,” Keith said. “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.”
Keith has performed more than 200 USO shows and entertained more than 250,000 men and women in uniform and their families. In April 2014, he received the Spirit of the USO Award.
From his first number one hit, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” to subsequent chart toppers such as “Red Solo Cup,” “As Good as I Once Was,” “Beer for My Horses” and “I Love This Bar,” Keith has been one of country music’s biggest stars for more than 20 years. His music has also had a strong patriotic theme evident in songs such as “American Soldier” and “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue.”
“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 the May 10 Charity of the Day, Operation New Uniform. “The Military Appreciation Day concert is always a fan favorite and the new location (on the 17th hole) allows us to entertain an even bigger crowd in the incredible, wraparound atmosphere of 16 and 17.”
Fans will also have access to greater amenities, she added, including a food court and upgraded restrooms, creating a more authentic concert-like experience.
“With a superstar like Toby Keith on stage,” McManamon said, “we know the stadium is going to be rocking.”
The Military Appreciation Day Ceremony and Concert is free to any Tuesday ticket holder; a Tuesday Stadium Pass starts at $20.
Thanking our military
In addition to celebrating them during Military Appreciation Day, THE PLAYERS provides all career military (active duty, reserve, military retirees and dependents) with complimentary admission all week to the tournament, where they will have access to the Birdies for the Brave Patriots’ Outpost, a hospitality tent offering complimentary food, beverages and activities exclusively for the military.
Prior to tournament week, THE PLAYERS will hold its fourth-annual Military Job Fair in partnership with the Jacksonville Military Veterans Coalition. To be held Saturday May 7 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Birdies for the Brave Patriots’ Outpost, the event is free and open to military personnel, veterans and military spouses. In addition to having an opportunity to meet with representatives from more than 40 companies, attendees will receive free career counseling and resume-writing assistance as well as information on local educational institutions with veterans’ programs.
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 noon to 2 p.m. in the Patriots’ Outpost, the event will be hosted by Jim and Tabitha Furyk and will include Operation Shower’s signature Shower-In-A-Box featuring high-quality mother and baby products provided by sponsors and donors.