RBC Heritage

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.

Clover native Scott Rohrer has always been athletic. He loved to play ball with his father when he was young.

But when he joined a tee ball team, Scott’s parents, Jeffrey and Elizabeth Rohrer, realized it wasn’t the right fit for him. He wasn’t playing like he played at home. 

When Scott started preschool, his parents were told that his speech and motor skills were on a 1-year-old’s level. He was later diagnosed with autism. 

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

RISING STAR GIVEN FIRST SPONSORS EXEMPTION

Sports Illustrated calls Bryson DeChambeau the hottest young golfer to watch in 2016, and Heritage spectators will get the chance to see him in person. DeChambeau has received the first sponsors exemption into the 48th annual RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing. 

Simon Fraser loves playing the Harbour Town Golf Links with his 11 handicap, especially the four majestic and challenging par 3s and hole No. 6. The love of the course runs deep in the entire Fraser family, ever since Arnold Palmer took his first swing at the inaugural Heritage Classic golf tournament on Hilton Head in 1969, pocketing $20,000 as the winner.

RBC Heritage choreographs an ever-growing vehicle ballet

The best thing about the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing is that it gets a little better every year.

This year, one big improvement will be parking. Hilton Head Island officials and tournament planners came up with a plan this year to accommodate parking for the 100,000 people who enjoy tournament week. That’s a lot of cars.

I have a confession to make. I have been attending the Heritage golf tournament for 20 years and I might be able to count the number of times I’ve seen a ball arc through the air on one hand. (As for counting the number of cocktails I’ve had at the tournament, well, let’s just say I would need more hands.) I’m fairly certain I’m not alone on this one. After all, the Heritage has a longstanding reputation for being a “see and be seen” grandstanding event.