01/16/2013 07:11 am ET Updated Mar 18, 2013

Matt Rapp Loves Ponte Vedra Beach

Matt Rapp is the Executive Director of THE PLAYERS Championship, where he devotes his time to enhancing the fan experience, increasing the event's charitable impact and reinvigorating its vital connection with the local community. Rapp has worked for the PGA TOUR since 2005. Prior to his current role, he worked in the TOUR's corporate marketing department. Before joining the PGA TOUR, Rapp held several senior executive positions with the ATP World Tour, the governing body of men's professional tennis.


Dear Ponte Vedra Beach,

You redefined the word love for me.

Love is walking out the front door every morning and knowing you're living somewhere special.
The ocean waves and the incredible weather make this such an outdoor life. From running on the beach and biking down the coast to golf, tennis and fishing, there are so many things to experience and enjoy here virtually every day of the year. Having lived and worked in many cities around the country and world, I know that the quality of life here is unlike any other, and I cherish that every day.

Love is seeing how much a community cares about each other. Many of the local charitable organizations helped thousands of people in our communities. Year after year, you show me what it means to help those in need. This area is noted for its generosity and volunteerism, but one that stands out is the new Players Center for Child Health at Wolfson Children's Hospital. It is reaching out to the most underserved in our community and helping ensure both basic health through proper immunization and dental care to life-altering behavioral changes in diet and exercise to combat childhood obesity. You show me just how big hearts can be.

Love is every May, when we all get to be a part of the premier golf tournament on the PGA Tour. As guests from all over the world come to enjoy The Players Championship, you open the doors of your businesses with a smile. You show them the true meaning of "Southern hospitality." You show them why it's so easy to love Ponte Vedra.

Love is making golf fans and visitors feel like they're home. Whether it's the contagious smiles I see, hearing the roar of the crowd at the TPC at Sawgrass' majestic "Island Green," or seeing the faces of our guests as they learn about the history of the PGA Tour, I know it's this place that has helped to create the warm feelings in the hearts of golf fans far and wide. You help them feel like they always have a home here.

They certainly do.

Matt Rapp