RBC Heritage

TOP PGA PROS EXPECTED AT THE HERITAGE

Wesley Bryan first visited Harbour Town Golf Links as a 14-year-old more interested in bird-dogging the PGA Tour stars than watching his dad tee it up in the Heritage.

It was a different story last year, when he came back from a four-shot deficit in the final round to become the first Palmetto State native to don the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing’s signature tartan jacket.

TIPS TO ENSURE HERITAGE IS FUN FOR EVERYONE

First time attending the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing? You're in for a real treat — but the scene at Harbour Town Golf Links can be a bit daunting to a first-time spectator.

Let's get the most important thing out of the way first: Do not, under any circumstance, yell "Get in the hole!" Just don't do it. The marshals are instructed to lead anyone who does so to the nearest lagoon and feed them to the alligators. (OK, that last part isn’t true, but it's still not advisable.)

Darren ClarkeDarren Clarke of Northern Ireland won The Open Championship in 2011 at Royal St George's and also captained Europe's Ryder Cup team at Hazeltine in 2016. In 2005, he finished runner up in The Heritage. Clarke’s charitable foundation helps further junior golf in Ireland and raises money for breast cancer awareness. He’s also the owner of Darren Clarke’s Tavern on Hilton Head Island, an old-world, golf-themed tavern specializing in steaks and Irish-inspired cuisine.

Wesley Bryan earned the first PGA Tour victory of his career with a win at the 2017 RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island. Bryan edged out Luke Donald by one shot to finish atop the leaderboard April 16. Patrick Cantlay, Ollie Schniederjans and William McGirt rounded out the top five. Bryan earned $1.17 million for the win.

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.