First Tee of Augusta’s ninth annual Drive For Show, Rock Fore! Dough concert rocked its new venue Tuesday.
The annual benefit concert moved from the First Tee driving range in Augusta to the Lady Antebellum Pavilion at the Evans Towne Center Park.
“I think it was a good change,” First Tee Executive Director Jill Brown said. “I think everybody likes (the venue).”
The new location allowed organizers to save time and money.
“It’s beautiful,” Steve Farmer, of Blythe, said of the Lady A Pavilion. He was one of the first people through the gates to get a front-row seat with his wife, Jamie, and children Stephanie and Michael. The Farmers also attended the concert in 2007. “It really is nice.”
Former Christian rock group Needtobreathe headlined the event along with Grace Potter of the Nocturnals.
Renell Hyman, of Evans, was joined by more than 15 family members for a rare local performance by her son, Steven Bryant, a guitarist in Carey Murdock’s band. She proudly held her phone high taking video him in action. The family hurried in the gate to make sure they’d get a good seat.
“I’m the one that’s had to put up with all the music since he was 11, at my house, all the practicing,” Hyman said jokingly.
The sun shone in typical Augusta fashion as musical acts like Murdock and Occasional Milkshake took the stage.
Playing Rock Fore! Dough for the second consecutive year with Occasional Milkshake, Mark Bryant, who also played Rock Fore! Dough for several years as part of Hootie and the Blowfish, said he enjoys playing the outdoor venue.
“This is Augusta’s biggest event of the year,” Bryant said referring to the Masters Tournament and all the associated Masters Week events. “I’m just stoked.”
Bryant said playing the First Tee benefit concert fits well with The Monday After Masters, a charity Hootie founded that promotes junior golf among other things.
“We’re just a good fit,” Bryant said.
Proceeds from Rock Fore! Dough support First Tee of Augsuta, the Augusta chapter of The First Tee Network. The organization provides golf education programs aimed at promoting healthy choices and providing an affordable and accessible golf facility. In the previous eight years, the concert raised nearly $550,000.
“We’re all excited,” Brown said as the musical entertainment got underway. “I think it’s going to be a great night. The weather is perfect.”
The concert is previews three days of events at the park as part of the Columbia County Championship Festival.
A free Family Day at will be noon to 8 p.m. with fireworks to follow.
Country artist Christ Young will perform Thursday. Tickets cost $35 at the gate.
Southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd will take the stage Friday. Tickets at the gate will cost $55. Military discount tickets cost $34, and children under 12 get in free.
For more information, visit www.columbiacountychampionshipfestival.com.