Pro golfer Josh Broadaway, a Byne Christian School graduate, will host his annual Crosshanded Golf Classic April 11 at Doublegate Country Club. Golfers on the PGA tour and other invited guests will join Broadaway for the charity event.(Special photo)
ALBANY — Much of life’s good fortune is about timing, and for the organizers of Josh Broadaway’s annual Crosshanded Golf Classic, the timing couldn’t be better.
Broadaway, who has come oh so close to qualifying for his PGA tour card while playing on the web.com tour, is poised to make a push for that elusive card, while the artist returning for his second Guitars & Golf concert at the downtown State Theatre, a show held in conjunction with the Crosshanded Classic, is one of the hottest artists in country music.
Bronwood native Cole Swindell, who left a short while ago for Nashville in search of country stardom, has two hot singles to his credit — including “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight,” which quickly became the most added song on country radio when it was officially released Tuesday — a first album that debuted at the top of the country music chart and at No. 3 on the Billboard all-formats chart, and two songs that he co-wrote sitting at No. 1 and No. 10 on this week’s country chart.
“I guess you could say I’m living my dream right now, but I never really saw this coming, not this quick,” Swindell said after paying a visit to his high school alma mater, Terrell Academy, on Tuesday. “Everything’s kind of in a whirlwind right now; I’ll wake up and not even know what day it is some days.”
“Lonely’s” meteoric debut on the country charts follows in the footsteps of chart topper “Chillin’ It,” which Swindell played on “Late Night with David Letterman” in his network TV debut. Swindell’s self-titled debut album topped the country charts on its realease and has sold more than 100,000 copies already, making it one of the biggest country smashes of the year.
Perhaps as impressive are the songs that currently bracket Billboard’s Country Top 10: No. 1 “This Is How We Roll” by Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan and No. 10 “Get Me Some of That” by Thomas Rhett. Both were co-written by Swindell.
“Things don’t normally happen like this,” Swindell said after a needed visit home to see family and friends. “I was glad to get a couple of days at home to try and take it all in and enjoy some good food. I think I enjoy watching my family enjoy my success as much as I’m enjoying living it.”
Broadaway, meanwhile, has recruited PGA pals like Will MacKenzie, Blake Adams, Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown to play in the 44-team Crosshanded Classic scramble, which the Byne Christian School graduate initiated to help him in his quest to play golf professionally but now uses as a way to raise money for local families in need. The name of the event comes from Broadaway’s unique crosshanded grip on golf clubs.
“I started the tournament back when I first started playing professionally to help support myself, and it’s just grown like crazy,” Broadaway said. “Since I’ve been able to have a little success in my career, I wanted to keep the tournament going, but I decided to turn it into a charity deal.
“We started last year giving the money we raised to a local family that’s going through tough times. We decided to do that again this year, to keep things individualized rather than working through a charity.”
In addition to his friends on the PGA tour, former New York Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes, who attended Troy University with Broadaway, will take part in this year’s classic, which will be played April 11 at Doublegate Country Club.
“We call these tournaments part of the ‘Barbecue Tour,’” Broadaway joked. “There’s no prize money, just plenty of good food and lots of free beer. I’m proud that when we announced the tournament, the 44 three-man team format was filled in two weeks. We have a waiting list of eight to 10 teams.”
Broadaway said he will also use the Crosshanded Classic to “chip off a little rust” from his winter layoff. The web.com tour has featured four tournaments in South America so far this year, and Broadaway has made the cut in two. The tour kicked off the American leg of its schedule over the weekend in Louisiana.
Swindell is currently touring with Southwest Georgia superstar Bryan on Bryan’s “That’s My Kind of Night” tour and trying to come to grips with his rapid ascension among country music’s elite.
“I don’t feel any different, but things sure are different for me,” Swindell said. “I mean, I know folks are asking ‘What’s this South Georgia boy doing on the Billboard charts with people like Beyonce?’ I don’t really feel any different than that kid who grew up idolizing all the country stars I’d hear on the radio, but it’s a little crazy to be on this side of that feeling.
“I was excited to come back for the Guitars & Golf tournament this year. They said we wouldn’t have more than a couple of hundred folks at last year’s concert, but it turned out to be real big. I understand there’s a little more excitement this time around. I’m really looking forward to coming back and playing where I grew up.”
Broadaway’s brother, Drew Broadaway, who is helping organize the Crosshanded Classic and Guitars & Golf concert, said country fans would be well-advised to get their tickets to the State show as early as possible.
“There are a few tickets still available, but this show is going to sell out,” Drew Broadaway said. “It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.”
Advance tickets, which are $25, for the April 11 concert are available at Harvest Moon restaurant in Albany and online at ticket-alternative.com.
Perhaps the next Southwest Georgia country talent to ride the region’s pipeline to Nashville, Highway 55, will open for Swindell. Doors at the venue open at 8 p.m. and music starts at 9.