RBC Heritage

The organization’s impact can’t be measured in dollars and cents alone.

Every year, the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing rolls into town, and every year, the numbers get bigger. Hundreds of thousands of dollars raised for this, hundreds of thousands raised for that.

It’s a testament to the fantastic work this organization does that we somehow find ourselves getting numb to the numbers. We applaud when we hear the total and congratulate everyone on another year of fundraising.

Almost like the release of a new iPhone, hoards of golfers lie in wait for Pro-Am tournament packages to go on sale for the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing. There are more than 300 spots, but in essence some reserved their place in line years ago because corporate partners and longtime Pro-Am players get first rights of refusal.

“We have one person who is playing his 49th Pro-Am,” said Derek Paton, vice president of sales and marketing for the Heritage Classic Foundation. “There isn’t room for many new players.”

Later in the same month that Hurricane Matthew slammed its Category 2 wrath into Hilton Head Island, Simon Fraser announced that the Heritage Classic Foundation had committed to donating up to $100,000 for hurricane relief efforts. Local residents in need of food, shelter or clothing would soon get it.

This is what the nonprofit foundation does — it helps people and organizations in the Lowcountry and has since its founding in 1987. More than $35 million has been distributed to charitable groups, as well as area students in the form of academic scholarships, said Fraser, now in his 11th year as foundation chairman.

GOLF CONTINUES TO BE HILTON HEAD’S BIGGEST BREADWINNER

There is no place more glorious than Hilton Head Island in the spring. The temperature is perfect, azaleas are in full bloom and the area is getting reading for its biggest party, the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing.

The festivities aren’t just for those at The Sea Pines Resort. It’s a gift for the entire area, and, boy, after the fall we’ve had, we need it.

Random stuff you should know about this year's Heritage.

HERITAGE CLASSIC FOUNDATION NAMES 8 SCHOLARS

Eight outstanding Beaufort County seniors were named Heritage Classic Foundation Scholars at a luncheon on March 21 at Sonesta Resort. The students come from five different high schools including May River High School and Whale Branch Early College High School, which have never had scholarships awarded previously.

Non GolfersThe top golfers on the PGA Tour flock to Hilton Head Island each year, and not just for the quality of the golf.

Yes, Harbour Town Golf Links provides world-class competition for the pros, but the laid-back, family-friendly atmosphere and the fan support on Hilton Head make the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing one of the tour’s premier events.

The action is non-stop for golf fans, giving locals a chance to walk side-by-side with the greatest in the game for a week. But the true beauty of this glorious week each year is the social aspect of the RBC Heritage.

Heritage Classic Foundation thanks service members with Patriots Outpost

veteransThe RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing will continue its tradition of honoring military men and women at this year’s tournament, even as one longtime volunteer steps down from his leadership role.

The Heritage Classic Foundation offers free tournament admission to active-duty military and their dependents, and its Patriots Outpost will once again offer a free party and skybox by the 16th green for those who serve their country.

Doug SmithGolf is not just a fun sport for Doug Smith, but a decades-long mission.

His advocacy of the game hit a new high this year when he was picked to serve as the 2017 tournament chairman for the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing. Smith, of Spartanburg, was selected for the post by the Heritage Classic Foundation in recognition of his work toward the foundation’s mission, which is “to enhance quality of life and economic vitality of South Carolina through signature golf events.”

Branden GraceSouth African star golfer Branden Grace returns to defend his title

On the eve of last year’s RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, Hall of Fame golfer Ernie Els told fellow South African Branden Grace he had a good feeling about his pal’s prospects at Harbour Town Golf Links.

“We went to his house for coffee, and he told me this is one event that I’m going to win a couple of times in my career,” Grace recalled after notching his first PGA Tour victory at Harbour Town last April. “It was nice to hear from a legend like that.”

A mere six months after Hilton Head Island was hit by a hurricane, Harbour Town Golf Links is again playing host to one of the most celebrated PGA Tour events for an impressive 49th consecutive year.

As it has every year for nearly five decades, the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing has attracted many of the top PGA Tour stars, including marquee International players and popular American stars. Back to defend his first Heritage victory is one of those international standouts: Brendan Grace. The South African is joined by European stalwarts such as Martin Kaymer and Luke Donald, who has five top 5 finishes at Harbour Town, but no title to show for it.