A LOOK AT THE HERITAGE, THEN AND NOW
The RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing is celebrating the 50th PGA Tour stop on one of Hilton Head Island’s best golf courses. While the track has remained mostly unchanged over the years, almost everything else about the island has changed.
Here’s a look at the RBC Heritage, from the inaugural tournament to today:
Then: About 2,000
Now: About 40,000 — the highest since 1862, when it was home to Union troops and escaped slaves during the Civil War
Then: The first four editions of the Heritage were played over Thanksgiving weekend. In 1973, the tournament was moved to September, and then a spring spot in 1974.
Now: With the exception of 2011, the Heritage has been played the week after the Masters every year since 1983.
Then: The Heritage was first televised in 1973 on NBC. CBS bought the rights to the tournament in 1975.
Now: This year, the tournament will include 15 hours of live coverage on The Golf Channel and CBS and an additional 15 hours of live streaming via PGA Tour Live, plus six hours of replays on Thursday and Friday. The tournament will be broadcast in 23 languages to 227 countries, reaching more than 1 billion households around the world.
Then: About 3,000 per day
Now: More than 130,000 in 2017
Then: A grounds ticket for the full week was priced at $20, while a clubhouse and grounds ticket went for $30 and included access to the Plantation Club. The big-ticket item was the $150 Patron Plan, which included a patron badge, preferred parking, six grounds and clubhouse badges, and a listing on the patron board.
Now: A grounds badge for the full week runs $175, while a $250 clubhouse badge includes access to Links Restaurant, the Pro Shop, the Heritage Pavilion and two on-course hospitality venues. For $275, the 50th anniversary Golden Ticket includes a collector’s edition Clubhouse Badge with special artwork, as well as an anniversary lanyard, plastic sleeve and cap.
Then: A spot in the inaugural pro-am would set you back $225 — less than it costs to play a single round at Harbour Town today — and included four guest badges.
Now: This year’s tournament will include three pro-am opportunities: the Monday Pro-Am Presented by Boeing, $14,000 per foursome; the Wednesday RBC Heritage Pro-Am, $26,000 per foursome; and the new Tartan Invitational at Atlantic Dunes, $10,000 per foursome or $2,750 per individual.
Then: $100,000 — the equivalent of $770,000 today
Now: $6.7 million
Now: $1.206 million
Then: About 100
Now: More than 1,200
Sources: Rich Thomas; Simon Fraser of the Heritage Classic Foundation; “History of Heritage” by Terry Bunton; RBCHeritage.com