For decades, the RBC Heritage has been the pinnacle event on Hilton Head Island’s social calendar. For one unforgettable week, the cameras of the world point to our beautiful island to capture the world’s best golfers amid lush natural scenery.
When the first Heritage was launched in 1969, the golf world wasn’t sure what to make of setting a tournament right after the Masters on a then-largely unknown South Carolina island. But our island’s resort pioneers knew that with one visit, pro golfers and fans alike would be enchanted by everything Hilton Head Island has to offer, and would want to return. They were proven right, with the Heritage becoming a fan favorite, topping many players’ lists of most enjoyable tournaments.
If you’ve never been to the island’s biggest party, here are a few reasons why you need to make this the year you finally experience the RBC Heritage.
The challenge of Harbour Town and its beautiful surroundings have long attracted a talented field to the RBC Heritage, and this year is proving to be no exception. Some of the top golfers in the world (as well as the top golfer in the world) will be teeing off at Harbour Town this year, with returning champions and new talent vying for the tartan jacket.
Just follow the most crowded gallery to spot the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world (and South Carolina native) Dustin Johnson as he seeks his first Heritage win. You’ll also see his RBC fellow RBC ambassadors Webb Simpson, Jim Furyk, Ryan Palmer, Brandt Snedeker, Graeme McDowell and Matt Kuchar.
Golfers looking add another tartan jacket to their collections will be past champions like Satoshi Kodaira, Stewart Cink, Brian Gay and Davis Love III. They’re joined by top-rank golfers like Billy Horschel, Charles Howell III, Louis Oosthuizen and Cameron Smith.
One of the reasons The RBC Heritage is so attractive to players is its decidedly laid-back vibe. Coming off the heels of The Masters, it’s their chance to unwind, let their hair down a little and bring their families along for a working vacation. That festive atmosphere continues off the fairways, in a tournament that some have called “an open-air party with a golf tournament happening nearby.”
If you’re not one of the local firms buying up one of the luxury tents along 18 (or know somebody who can get you in), you can mix and mingle at the Tito’s stillhouse. The emphasis is on “mix” here, with a slew of tasty cocktails made with the famed vodka in an upscale atmosphere. Spirits not your thing? There’s always the Wine @ 9 wine bar near the 9th hole or the craft beer garden near 15.
“Plaid nation” started out as a marketing term, but it’s been embraced by the community as a banner for who we are The people of Hilton Head Island have a long tradition of volunteering their time during the tournament, shuttling players to the tournament, cleaning up afterward, and serving as standard bearers and marshals. And for many, the tournament is the moment to get out and meet with neighbors you happen to pass along the fairway.
Because this tournament is such a large part of our community’s fabric, it’s a way to really experience Hilton Head’s amazing spirit. For those looking to move here, it’s a perfect introduction to the Hilton Head Island lifestyle.