RBC Heritage: Legendary Lowcountry Links | Hilton Head Island

What signs do you look for to indicate spring is finally here? For some, it’s the sound of baby birds, new plant buds poking out of the soil, or longer, sunnier days. But, here on Hilton Head Island, one of the surest signs of spring is the sudden emergence of plaid! Every April, we’re thrilled to watch the best golfers in the world compete for the coveted plaid jacket in the annual RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing

Held one week after the Masters at Harbour Town Golf Links, the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing is the only PGA TOUR stop in South Carolina and a major highlight of the Hilton Head Island events calendar. This year’s RBC Heritage will take place from April 11th to 17th. So break out your best tartans and get ready to join #PlaidNation as we celebrate 54 years of the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing. Who will emerge victorious to claim the plaid jacket in 2022?

A Long History of Greatness

For over 50 years, some of history’s most legendary golfers have played in the RBC Heritage. The first-ever edition (then called the Heritage Classic) was held in 1969 and won by Arnold Palmer. A veritable who’s who of other all-time greats have won the tournament since, including Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, and Tom Watson. In fact, the list of winners includes many of the best golfers to have played the game. 

The legacy of this special tournament continues to grow year after year. Stewart Cink won last year’s edition and added a third plaid jacket to his collection. Cink joined Hale Irwin and Davis Love III as the only players to have won three or more plaid jackets. Cink’s 2021 win was made even more memorable by the presence of his son Reagan, who served as his father’s caddie on tour. While Reagan’s caddying experience was originally intended to be temporary, Cink’s success at the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing and other tournaments led them to continue their on-course partnership into the current season!

This year’s RBC Heritage will once again showcase incredible golf talent, with the world’s best and brightest professional golfers vying to win the coveted plaid jacket.

Why is it Called the Heritage?

While the first golf club in the U.S. is believed to have been in Yonkers, New York, there is evidence that people may have played golf in South Carolina a full hundred years earlier! This information was uncovered by The Sea Pines Resort founder Charles Fraser when he discovered a ship’s manifest from 1786 that included early golf equipment from Scotland. 

 To honor that long history of golf in South Carolina, Fraser named his tournament the Heritage Classic. Years later, tournament organizers added a tartan-patterned winner’s jacket and dubbed it the Heritage Plaid. A print from 1790 depicting Sir William Innes, captain of the Society of Golfers at Blackheath in Scotland, golfing in a similar jacket inspired the addition. The Heritage Plaid pattern is officially registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans, which is administered by the National Records of Scotland. 

But it’s not just the tournament winner who wears plaid! To celebrate the excitement of the tournament, fans and residents join together as #PlaidNation, wearing their favorite tartan clothing to support the return of the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing and cheer on their favorite golfers.

What Makes Harbour Town Golf Links So Special?

Harbour Town Golf Links at The Sea Pines Resort is one of the most revered golf courses in the world, making it the perfect host for one of America’s favorite annual golf tournaments. Moreover, it’s a course that strategic golfers love, with plenty of opportunities to use finesse, imagination, and creative shot-making rather than simply relying on power. Designed by World Golf Hall of Famer Pete Dye, along with design consultant Jack Nicklaus, Harbour Town Golf Links is a veritable Lowcountry legend, and a special place for passionate golf lovers. Golf’s all-time greats have played, admired, and feared its 18 challenging holes. 

 Players love the march towards the famous par-4 18th hole — considered one of the most challenging in all of golf — with its iconic lighthouse and gorgeous views of Calibogue Sound. The official PGA TOUR website calls it “one of golf’s most spectacular finishing holes,” with “innocent-looking but insidious mounding [that] has caused many want-to-be champs to lose a sought-after par.” It’s a sensational end for South Carolina’s only PGA TOUR stop!

A Lowcountry Legacy of Giving

The impact of the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing goes way beyond the annual golf tournament. Proceeds from the tournament are donated to charitable organizations in the Lowcountry through the Heritage Classic Foundation. Since 1987, $47.5 million has been distributed to those in need throughout South Carolina and Georgia. In 2021 alone, $1.7 million was distributed to charitable organizations, the arts, medical institutions, and college scholarships.

Visiting the Golf Island

As the #1 Golf Destination in North America, Hilton Head Island is the ideal location for the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing. We’re home to 23 championship golf courses, including Harbour Town Golf Links. You can come to Hilton Head Island with your favorite golf partner or bring a group of friends together for a golf buddies’ trip. And of course, golf isn’t limited to springtime. Plan a summer golf getaway or think ahead to a fall trip.

Check out our free Vacation Planner and Golf Guide to design your dream golf getaway as a member of #PlaidNation.

RBC Heritage golf flag

Find Your Island Time

Hilton Head is America’s favorite island, offering 12 miles of pristine beaches and everything you need for the ultimate retreat. Enjoy easy days relaxing in the sun, sand and surf on some of the best beaches in the country.
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