GET THE MOST OUT OF THE RBC HERITAGE WITH THESE TIPS
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.)
It's hard to have anything less than a great time at any PGA Tour event, much less one that incorporates the great tradition of the Heritage and the natural beauty of Hilton Head Island. And there's no right or wrong way to go about attending a golf tournament — other than abiding by simple etiquette rules such as obeying marshals, staying outside the ropes and respecting play — but we can pass along a few tips that might make your experience more enjoyable and memorable.
1. Explore the course.
So many Heritage spectators stroll out to Harbour Town Golf Links’ ninth green or the picturesque 18th — admittedly fine viewing areas — and never see another part of the course. That's a shame because some the course’s more intriguing holes are far-flung from the clubhouse. If you're able, spend part of a day walking the course and making mental notes that you can refer to while watching the scoreboard or viewing a future television broadcast.
2. Use the map.
If you're not familiar with the course, it can be easy to get turned around and lose track of where you are on any golf course, and Harbour Town is no different. Luckily, there's a course map in the daily pairings sheets available at the entrance to the course and at various other spots around Harbour Town. The map also indicates where you can find bleachers, concessions stands, first aid stations, cellphone zones and other important areas.
3. Pound the pavement.
Here's a true insider's tip, because not all course maps show it: Using Plantation Drive is one of the fastest ways to get from point A to point B in a hurry. The road runs between the first green and second tee, the eighth green and ninth tee, the 10th green and 11th tee, and the 15th green and 16th tee — making it easy to jump around the course without walking for hours. This comes in especially handy if you're following the leaders on the front nine Sunday and someone who went out early makes a charge up the leaderboard.
4. Follow the leaders.
While I'm all for getting out to see the course and watching as many different players as possible on Thursday and Friday, and even Saturday, there is nothing more exciting than setting out with the lead group from the first tee on Sunday and seeing the players through to the end. Keep an eye on the leaderboard throughout the day and be prepared to change your plans, but if it becomes a two-horse race, it's great to be able to look back and say you saw every shot the leaders hit on the final day of the tourney and replay the round in your mind.
5. Use your head.
Some rules should go without saying, but you never can tell when alcohol is involved. A few years back, a spectator stripped down and went for a swim in the lagoon along the 10th fairway. He lost one of his flip-flops to a gator and wound up in handcuffs. Don't be stupid. Don't be that guy.
FOR THE KIDS
For the second consecutive year, the Youth Zone will give young golf enthusiasts a place to show off their skills. This year’s Youth Zone, provided by the Mickkelson Law Firm and GLB Squared, will feature a six-hole putt-putt course and an all-new long putt contest.
The kids will also love Coca-Cola Youth Day on Tuesday, featuring a PGA Tour Pro Meet and Greet with Plaid About Reading winners, a putting contest on the Harbour Town practice green, and a family movie on the Heritage Lawn.
Heading out for a day of Heritage fun? There are some items you’ll want to leave at home, because they are not allowed.
- No opaque bags larger than a 6-inch-by-6-inch purse, including carrying cases, backpacks, camera bags or chair bags.
- No clear plastic, vinyl or other carry items larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches.
- No plastic, metal or glass cups, cans or containers except those for medical or infant needs.
- No computers or laptops.
- No fireworks or laser pointers.
- No lawn chairs or oversized chairs, and no seat cushions or bicycles.
- No pets, except for service animals.
- No knives, firearms or weapons of any kind.
- No video cameras.
- No cameras during competition rounds (practice rounds only).
- No outside beverages or coolers.
- No radios or TVs.
- No posters, signs or banners.
An autograph policy is in effect for the official competition rounds, Thursday through Sunday. Once a player's round has started, he may not sign autographs until the round is completed, except at his option during a period of suspension of play. Autographed items are limited to a size of 8.5 inches by 11 inches. Clipboards are not allowed.
MOBILE DEVICE POLICY
Cell phones may be used to capture video, audio and photos in all areas during tournament week. These images or recordings may be used for personal purposes only, like personal social media; no commercial use. No live streaming or real-time coverage (e.g., no shot-by-shot coverage). Data use (e.g., texting) is permitted in all areas throughout tournament week.
Phone calls are allowed only in designated areas:
- The Ultra Club
- Inside Clubhouse
- Concessions located at holes 9, 10, 13, 15, 18
- Neighborhood roads
Please be respectful of play and do not interfere with players, caddies or media. All posted signage and instructions from tournament staff must be observed. Failure to comply with this policy may result in the revocation of your ticket.