Spring in the Lowcountry is glorious:
Mother Nature showers us with magenta azaleas, pink camellias and snow-white dogwood blossoms, accompanied by the songs of Carolina wrens, wood thrushes and other local birds. With green-themed March in the rear-view mirror, April is time for Hilton Head Island to get its plaid on — more specifically Heritage Plaid, the modified Royal Stewart tartan created for the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing golf tournament, played annually at Harbour Town Golf Links since 1969.
The 51st tournament and South Carolina’s only PGA Tour event is expected to draw more than the 135,000 spectators who attended in 2018, generating an estimated $96 million for the state’s economy. Since 1987, the tourney also has distributed $41 million to nonprofit organizations in South Carolina and Georgia, including $3.3 million last year.
The tournament was just one of many innovative ideas that sprang from Charles Fraser’s imagination, making the island what it is today. This month, we are privileged to offer you a glimpse into that brilliant mind thanks to his daughter Laura Lawton Fraser, who shared some of her father’s writings with us — including how he came up with the idea for the now-iconic golf tourney.
Planning to watch the competition? You don’t want to miss our Heritage guide, including insider’s tips and a full schedule of events. And if you’ve ever wondered why a Canadian bank would be the lead sponsor of a golf tournament way down in South Carolina, you’ll find the intriguing answers in our profile of Royal Bank of Canada.
To top off this month’s golf-themed stories, we introduce you to someone we hope to see at the Heritage down the road: 15-year-old Jonathan Griz of Hilton Head is currently the top-ranked junior golfer in the state and No. 22 in world standings.
In this month’s issue you’ll also find the best of colorful spring fashion from top local boutiques; the story of Hilton Head Island High School students who are restoring a 90-foot Grady White fishing boat; a call to action with Hilton Head’s new public art series; a look at hiking and biking on Bluffton’s New River Linear Trail and more. And check out our descriptions of the Lowcountry’s top golf course communities and a list of local attorneys who are ranked highly by their peers for ethics and ability. We thank you for taking the time out of your busy life to take a look inside!