By Hope Arent, PVC Content Guru
For the last 50 years, the RBC Heritage has been a keynote event on the Lowcountry’s calendar – bringing the PGA Tour to our very own Harbour Town Golf Links for a week full of golf, memories, and fun for the whole family! The RBC Heritage presented by Boeing will take place April 9-15, 2018 at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head.
This year is special for the Heritage as we celebrate 50 years of the tournament calling Hilton Head home. We spoke with Angela McSwain, Marketing & Communications Director for Heritage Classic Foundation, who gave us the inside scoop on the upcoming events this spring. For more information, feel free to explore the RBC Heritage website.
How will the 50th Anniversary Celebration this year be unlike other years, what will make it special? What events should spectators be sure to attend?
50 years is a major milestone! Only four other tournaments on the PGA TOUR have been played on one golf course longer than the RBC Heritage. We are proud of where the tournament started, how far it’s come and where we stand today. The longevity of the RBC Heritage speaks volumes to the unwavering support of our fans, volunteers, sponsors, partners, dignitaries, trustees, board members and golfers who make this event possible each year.
The official 50-day countdown to the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing golf tournament, scheduled for April 9-15, will kick off on Sunday, Feb. 18, in Harbour Town. The Lowcountry will celebrate in truest Plaid Nation style at a special Countdown to 50 Party hosted by the Heritage Classic Foundation. The highlight of the event won’t be the food. Instead, the focal point will be Hilton Head Island’s historic lighthouse, which will feature the tournament’s traditional plaid in celebration of the RBC Heritage’s 50th anniversary.
The party on Feb. 18 is open to the public from 2 to 4 p.m. at Harbour Town’s yacht basin and Liberty Oak area. The standard Sea Pines gate fee will apply. Food and drinks will be available for purchase at outdoor stands hosted by Sea Pines Resort. The five-piece variety cover band Muddycreek will provide live music throughout the afternoon. A portion of the lawn in Harbour Town will be reserved for the hardworking volunteers of the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing. The iconic lighthouse will also offer free admission for the day, courtesy of the Heritage Classic Foundation. In addition, RBC Heritage’s mascot, Sir William Innes, will be available for photo opportunities in front of the plaid lighthouse.
Lowcountry Radio Group, the tournament’s official radio stations are highlighting 50 RBC Heritage tournament memories. PGA TOUR Entertainment produced a three-minute video highlighting the best of 50 years – linked here: https://rbcheritage.com/about/50th-anniversary
The RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing and Art League of Hilton Head welcome community members to a special exhibit, called The Art of Golf, Celebrating 50 Years of Golf Champions. On display are reproductions of the famous handcrafted, one-of-a-kind portraits featuring each RBC Heritage champion to date. The exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, March 1-31. Additionally, it will be open 90 minutes before all Arts Center of Coastal Carolina performances. An opening reception, with members of the RBC Heritage and Art League available for dialogue and photos, will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 7. It is free and open to the public.
To honor the tournament’s 50th anniversary, Coca-Cola created a special limited-edition bottle that can be purchased in retail outlets across South Carolina.
Tournament-week festivities will include a special opening ceremony, a history trail, a commemorative Golden Ticket and poster.
The Tuesday of Heritage Week, before the tournament is Coca Cola Youth Day. What could a family expect if they wanted to come out and get involved?
Bring a sharpie and something for the PGA TOUR to sign because Tuesday is a great day to get autographs. The pros are playing their practice rounds, so they are more relaxed and there are plenty of opportunities to talk to them and get an autograph or two. We have two main events for children on Tuesday. Kids 15 and under are always admitted free with they are with a ticketed adult.
The first 200 kids to participate will get a free tournament souvenir. Every child who sinks a putt will also receive a prize courtesy of Coca-Cola. Children 15 and under are admitted free to the RBC Heritage every day as long as they are with a ticketed adult.
In the evening on Tuesday, from 4:30 – 6:00 PM, there will be a Family Movie hosted on the Heritage Lawn between the 17th and 18th Holes. Bring the family to watch a family-friendly movie on the Heritage Lawn’s video board.
Saturday, for Plaid Nation Day, what is the greatest display of plaid you’ve seen? If you’re someone trying to win “Best Dressed in Plaid”, what elements should your outfit include?
The fans that win the “Best Clad in Plaid” go all out.. they wear plaid from head to toe. Scottish kilts are always a big hit and kids in plaid are always everyone’s favorite.
A lot of people don’t realize that every PGA Tour event has a beneficiary for the communities they are involved in – last year the RBC Heritage raised $2.9 million for the Heritage Classic Foundation. Can you describe the impact the contributions to the Heritage Classic Foundation make in our community?
One of the great things about the Heritage Classic Foundation is that we help many organizations in the Lowcountry and throughout South Carolina. There are about 90 non-profits on our registered charity list. Two easy ways to contribute is to participate in Birdies for Charity and buy an RBC Heritage ticket. Proceeds from ticket sales are a huge part of our charitable match dollars. Birdies for Charity is like a walk-a-thon, but instead of donating per mile, participants make a pledge for every birdie made at the RBC Heritage presented by Boeing. Donors have the flexibility to pay in advance or to be billed after the tournament, or they may make a one-time donation. You can find more information about our charity programs at www.heritageclassicfoundation.com.
The RBC Heritage is steeped in tradition, what traditions will be honored this year, maybe even more so, being that it is the 50th anniversary?
My favorite tradition is Opening Ceremonies. It has been a part of the Heritage since 1969.
We are the only PGA TOUR event to kick off our tournament with a parade. It begins at Liberty Oak at the Harbour Town Yacht Basin and ends on the 18th green. Defending Champion Wesley Bryan, Heritage Classic Foundation board members, volunteers and state dignitaries will march in the parade around Harbour Town Yacht Basin to the sounds of the Citadel’s Regimental Pipe Band. The defending champion will be given his plaid jacket and the Gentleman’s Golfer trophy. The highlight of the ceremony is when he hits a golf ball into the Calibogue Sound in unison with a cannon blast – fired by two men dressed in revolutionary uniforms.
Another fun tradition is Sir William Innes. He was part of the original Heritage logo and is still an icon today. In 2009, we brought him to life and he serves as the spirit and essence of the RBC Heritage and Heritage Classic Foundation. He will be on the tournament grounds all week and loves to take photos with fans.
What is the best advice you could give to spectators to make their RBC Heritage experience a special one?
Wear comfortable shoes! That is important – but make sure to grab a pairings guide when you get to the course. It is filled with lots of good information – Pro tee times, maps, places to go and recommendations on the best viewing areas.
Finally, anything attendees need to know about prohibited items, parking, autograph policies, and general expectations when attending a PGA Tour event?
Visit https://rbcheritage.com/spectators/tournament-policies for all our policies!
Once again, thank you so much to Angela from the Heritage Classic Foundation for helping us get the inside scoop to share! The RBC Heritage presented by Boeing will take place April 9-15, 2018 at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head. Visit https://rbcheritage.com/ for more information.
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