The Mayors’ Masters Reception will have a “hick-hop” flavor in addition to honoring a former caddy when the revamped event returns to Augusta Common this year.
Organizers selected Athens, Ga., native Colt Ford, in part because of his background as a professional golfer who has “bridged country music and golf,” said Joe Mullins, whose Mullins Management and Entertainment secured the singer and is an event sponsor.
Under his given name Jason Brown, Ford played for the University of Georgia then put in seven years as a professional golfer before turning his focus to music.
In 2008, Ford released his debut album, Ride Through the Country, which included the singles No Trash in My Trailer and Cold Beer and established a “larger-than-life hillbilly-redneck public image,” while rivaling only Cowboy Troy with his blend of country and rap, according to a Billboard Music biography.
The opening act will be country singer Katie Deal, daughter of Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, and Joshua Scott Jones of Steel Magnolia also will perform, said Wayne Hawkins, chairman of the reception committee.
Organizers believe the bigger-name artists will attract more golfers to the event, “with a trend of bigger names” to headline it in upcoming years, Hawkins said.
The reception also features free samples from nearly 40 Augusta restaurants, which will set up around both sides and across the middle of the downtown common, said Joe Zeller, who coordinates food for the event.
Founded by former Mayor Bob Young as a way for
people to rub shoulders with Masters Tournament players and other elite, the annual reception was canceled last year after organizers said they couldn’t secure a tournament player to headline it.
Revived this year with longtime Ben Crenshaw caddie and Augusta native Carl Jackson as honoree, Mayor Hardie Davis announced earlier this month the reception will now involve all Augusta mayors, past and present, and will feature a concert by a nationally-known artist.
Traditionally open to the public for a nominal ticket price, this year’s reception will cost $10 to attend with tickets available online at Eventbrite.
The April 6 reception starts at 6:30 p.m. with a tribute to Jackson, with the bands playing from about 8 to 10:30 p.m., Hawkins said.