The RBC Heritage is more than just a tournament to come watch golf; it’s a reunion. People from all over make annual trips to Hilton Head to reunite and watch a little golf. “It’s a nice way to see some friends that are real dear to us,” said Mike Mitchell. “We can spend the weekend with each other.” Mitchell and his wife, who live in Spartanburg, South Carolina, have been coming to watch the tournament for 11 years.
And they’re not the only ones returning. A survey conducted in 2010 by Clemson and the University of South Carolina at Beaufort showed that 70 percent of people in attendance were returning.
“Out of the 13 years I’ve been in England, I’ve only missed one year,” said Steve Boggus, whose job moved him from Savannah, Georgia to London, England. Because Boggus meets his friends up every year, they have developed traditions of their own. Each year they buy colorful shorts and wear them in unison; Boggus and his son even dress up in suits on the last day of the game.
People don’t just plan to meet up at the tournament, a lot of people just bump into old friends or coworkers, especially those that lived or went to colleges in South Carolina. Caitlin Brunson and Ann Evans, both Clemson University alumni, took time off work to meet up friends and enjoy a spring break with friends.
“It’ doesn’t matter how much time we spend apart, the second we come back together, it’s like not a beat was missed,” said Brunson. “That’s pretty much why we’re here.” Brunson and Evans rented out a condo with their friends at Harbour Town, one of the most popular spots to hit up after the game.
If guests want to head outside the tournament ropes, the Harbour Town marina is a hot spot for parties after the tournament. Some friends host small parties on their boats, while others head to Quarterdecks, the Crazy Crab and other restaurants.
There are also plenty of great spots along the green to enjoy the game with friends and family. Most agree that the most fun is to be had between holes 10 and 16. “If you want to be seen, that’s where you’re going to be,” said Rodney McDonald. The Heritage Lawn is located right behind hole 16. There, people can go to buy merchandise, meet golfers, get a bite to eat or a cold beer to drink. There are expo tents, concessions, the Grey Goose Lounge and hospitality tents.