#PlaidNation: A Home Viewer's Guide to the RBC Heritage
When you start seeing more plaid than usual around Hilton Head Island, it means the PGA TOUR is in full swing. It is time for the annual RBC Heritage presented by Boeing from April 12-19 at Harbour Town Golf Links at Sea Pines Resort. It’s the stop on the TOUR where once a year we get to go all out and showcase the best of what the Lowcountry has to offer.
A limited number of spectators are allowed back this year for the 53rd edition of the tournament and you can purchase tickets today. While we’re excited for fans to come back, we know some regular guests won’t be able to take part in the festivities this spring. That’s why we’ve put together this home viewer’s guide for Plaid Nation, no matter how or where you watch the 2021 RBC Heritage.
A Brief History of the Heritage
When the first PGA tournament was held on Hilton Head Island in 1969, golf in the Lowcountry was relatively unknown and certainly didn’t have the prestige and international reputation that it has today. The first tournament was held at Harbour Town Golf Links over Thanksgiving weekend and it gained immediate credibility when two of the top names in golf, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, both agreed to play. Nicklaus was familiar with the course already, the first course he ever designed alongside legendary golf architect Pete Dye. Palmer went on to win the first tournament, at that time simply known as the Heritage Classic. From here, the legendary lore of this masterpiece on the PGA TOUR just keeps growing.
Some of the top golfers in the world have won the RBC Heritage including Jack Nicklaus, Davis Love III (who won it five times), Greg Norman, Nick Faldo, and Tom Watson. More than just a game, this event brings more than $102 million into the South Carolina economy. Through the charitable actions of The Heritage Classic Foundation, $1.2 million was distributed to charitable organizations in 2020.
Get Your Plaid On
While we don’t know who will win the tournament this year, one thing we know for sure is that on Sunday, April 18, a smiling golfer will don a brand new jacket with the distinctive tartan of the RBC Heritage. The tartan plaid was known as Hilton Champion until 2000 when the name changed to Heritage Classic.
But you don’t have to be the best among 132 professional golfers to don the Heritage Classic tartan. Saturday, April 17 is Plaid Nation Day, your own chance to wear and to show your RBC Heritage pride.
Watching from home? Why not find some plaid in your own wardrobe and feel part of the action and look cool in the process.
How to watch from home
The RBC Heritage starts on Monday, April 12 with two days of events where the course is closed to the public. While tickets to Wednesday are sold out, spectators can attend the RBC Heritage Pro-Am which is not broadcast. Viewers at home can start watching the tournament at 7:30 am on Thursday, April 15. Here’s how to watch on television, online, and listen on the radio. All times are Eastern Time.
Thursday: 3-6 pm via The Golf Channel
Friday: 3-6 pm via The Golf Channel
Saturday: 1-3 pm via The Golf Channel
Saturday: 3-6 pm via CBS Sports
Sunday: 1-3 pm via The Golf Channel
Sunday 3-6 pm via CBS Sports
All coverage on PGA TOUR Radio
Thursday: 12-6 pm
Friday: 12-6 pm
Saturday: 1-6 pm
Sunday: 1-6 pm
All coverage on GOLFTV
Thursday: 7:30 am-6 pm (Featured Groups)
Friday: 7:30 am-6 pm (Featured Groups)
Saturday: 8 am-3 pm (Featured Groups)
Saturday: 3-6 pm (Featured Holes)
Sunday: 8 am-3 pm (Featured Groups)
Sunday: 3-6 pm (Featured Holes)
Who to watch
Every RBC Heritage brings a mix of the best golfers in the world to Hilton Head Island. It’s one of five tournaments with invitational status on the PGA TOUR meaning it has a reduced field of 132 players. Even if that’s fewer players than an open tournament, it’s still a lot of players and we certainly don’t expect you to keep track of everyone. Here are a couple players to keep an eye on from the 2021 field.
Not only is Dustin Johnson the number one ranked golfer in the world, he’s from South Carolina! From Columbia, SC, Johnson grabbed headlines last year when he won the Masters, dominating the tournament with a win by five strokes and a record score of 268, which is 20-under-par. It’s the first time a player had a 72-hole score lower than 270. The Team RBC ambassador also won the 2020 FedEx Cup. Since leaving Coastal Carolina University in 2007, Johnson has 24 victories on the PGA TOUR and will look for number 25 in his home state. Don’t miss this chance to watch a player destined for the hall of fame.
Even closer to home, Bluffton’s very own Bryson Nimmer makes his RBC Heritage debut this year. The Heritage Classic Foundation awarded a sponsor’s exemption to Nimmer, who led Hilton Head Christian Academy to a state championship in 2013. After carrying on the family tradition of being a student-athlete at Clemson University, Nimmer started playing professionally on the Mackenzie Tour - PGA TOUR Canada. Now he has a chance to compete close to home in the Lowcountry, playing on the island he dominated in high school.
The defending champion is back looking for consecutive RBC Heritage victories. Webb Simpson’s win in June 2020 was his seventh on the PGA TOUR and his second win of 2020 after finishing on top at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Simpson, from Charlotte, North Carolina, is in the top 10 in the official world golf ranking. The Team RBC ambassador consistently plays well at Harbour Town Golf Links, with six finishes in the top 20 over 10 RBC Heritage appearances.
Other Team RBC ambassadors playing the 53rd RBC Heritage include Dustin Johnson, two-time champion Jim Furyk, 2014 winner Matt Kuchar, 2013 champion Graeme McDowell, and 2011 winner Brandt Snedeker.
More great golfers
Two players who finished in the top five at the 2020 RBC Heritage are back again. Florida’s Daniel Berger finished tied for third while Spain’s Sergio Garcia finished fifth. The tournament will once again have English flair with the return of England’s Paul Casey, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, and Tyrrell Hatton. Players have until 5pm on Friday, April 9 to commit to playing and you can find that list shortly after the deadline here.
Give back to Hilton Head Island
Even if you can’t make it to Hilton Head Island for the RBC Heritage, you can still be part of this tournament giving back to the community. The Heritage Classic Foundation is a nonprofit organization that hosts the RBC Heritage each year. They’ve supported education in South Carolina since 1993 by awarding over $4.6 million in scholarships. Each year, 10 local high school seniors from Beaufort and Jasper county are named Heritage Classic Foundation Scholars.
This year, the Heritage Classic Foundation is offering a great way to bring part of the tournament home while supporting the Lowcountry community. Make a donation of $250 and you’ll receive a Heritage Classic plaid flag featuring Scottish golf enthusiast Sir William Innes, so you can show your Plaid Nation pride at home, the office, or wherever you are. Donors also have a chance to win a VIP experience next year at the 2022 RBC Heritage and other merchandise prizes.
Plan your next golf retreat
Whenever you are ready for your next golf getaway, Hilton Head Island is here for you. There are 23 courses here meaning you’ll never have to wait for a tee off time. With great weather year round, it’s always a good time to play on Golf Island.
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