Every year, the PGA Tour brings some of best golfers in the world to Hilton Head to compete and celebrate the sport.
The tournament kicks off on a Monday with a parade and the opening ceremonies. The previous year’s winner, continues the tradition and tees off into the Calibogue Sound as a cannon fires to start the week’s events.
Golfers will play at the Harbour Town Golf Links in the Sea Pines Resort. The course was ranked 100 in America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses and 21 in America’s Top 100 Public Courses. It is full of small greens, narrow fairways, pot bunkers and abundant water hazards with fronts on the Calibogue Sound and views of the marsh and Harbour Town.
“Our course is a shotmaker’s course; you have to be able to place the ball,” said Angela McSwain, the Marketing Director and Communications Coordinator at the RBC Heritage.
Guests are invited to watch the professional golfers’ practice rounds on Monday and Tuesday.
They are welcome to bring cameras and ask for autographs. On Wednesday some of the best amateur golfers will join the pros in Pro-Am and on Thursday the pros will take over and start their first round.
Every year bright red jackets with green plaid make their appearance. It’s a tradition that has been around since the beginning of the RBC Heritage in 1969. The threads even pull back to the creation of the Harbour Town Golf Links when Charles Fraser, the developer of Sea Pines, asked architect Pete Dye to design the course like of those in Scotland.
To celebrate those Scottish roots, the “Plaid Nation” dubbed Saturday as Tartan Day, so fans can join in the fun.
“For the people that come to the tournament, it’s more than just a tournament. It’s a time to meet up with friends and family and have some fun,” said McSwain.
The tournament has been on Hilton Head Island for more than 50 years.
A lot of people come back each year with their family and friends. It has become an annual tradition to a lot of people.
“Only 30 percent of our ticket buyers are from Hilton Head and 60 percent come from outside of South Carolina,” said McSwain.
Golf fans, their friends and families have kept up the heritage tradition since 1969 and each year the tournament has steadily grown. Now it generates more than $80 million annual economic impact for the state.
“People are traveling to this tournament and making it a vacation,” said McSwain.
The practice rounds will take place on Monday and Tuesday and the Pro-Am on Wednesday. The tournament will begin Thursday morning and conclude on Sunday. After the players finish, the trophy is presented to this year’s winner.