Spring time on the island can only mean one thing: golf season.
With the Masters tournament taking place in Augusta, Georgia, South Carolina needed its own golfing claim to fame. In 1969 Charles Fraser designed Sea Pines. And with the first Heritage Tournament, Hilton Head became known as resort golfing destination.
The Heritage was originally slotted for Thanksgiving weekend. It has since moved to the week after the Masters tournament in mid-April. Harbor Town Golf Links In The Sea Pines resort is consistently ranked among the top courses on the east coast by Golf Digest as well as Travel and Leisure. The Island itself is ranked #9 in Conde Nast Traveler’s Magazine for best islands in the U.S.
“We are the premiere sports event in the area,” said Angela McSwain, Marketing and Communications Director for the tournament.
“We are the only PGA tournament in the South Carolina area.”
With an average population of around 40,000 people on Hilton Head, the RBC is a huge draw to the Island area, resulting in an average of 100,000 people attending the tournament each year and, according to a 2010 study by Clemson Economics, the tournament infuses $9.6 million into the state economy every year.
Since its inception, the RBC has raised and distributed over $28 million for those in need around the South Carolina and Georgia areas.
In 2014 alone the tournament raised more than $3 million.
What makes the Heritage so interesting is that the tournament retains the relaxed Hilton Head spirit while managing to create an exciting environment for both players and spectators alike.
“The atmosphere is really laid back and has a comfortable feeling for both our spectators and the athletes. It is almost like a party,” said McSwain.
While the Heritage is a golfing tradition, it is also a huge family event. Children under 15 years have free admission with an accompanying adult, and many of the golfers bring their families as well.
Fans are encouraged to “Get Their Plaid On” and show their true spirit for the RBC Heritage.
Contests and fun are scheduled for fans of all ages to win RBC Heritage swag and tickets to next year’s RBC Heritage. Contests include Hole-in-One and Fastest Clad in Plaid competitions, Tartan Trivia and overall Best Dressed in Plaid.
All photos are provided by the RBC Heritage.
For any information regarding the 47th annual RBC Heritage tournament, please visit their website at http://www.rbcheritage.com/