Sea Pines Golf Course on Hilton Head Island, SC
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What You Won’t See at the RBC Heritage- Unless You Go!

The crew from the Golf Channel and CBS love coming to Hilton Head for the RBC Heritage, especially after the crucible of Augusta National the week before. Some of the crew actually take a break here BEFORE they go to Augusta, then can’t wait to get back to the vibe of Sea Pines and our Island home. 

The crew from the Golf Channel and CBS love coming to Hilton Head for the RBC Heritage, especially after the crucible of Augusta National the week before. Some of the crew actually take a break here BEFORE they go to Augusta, then can’t wait to get back to the vibe of Sea Pines and our Island home. 

Their love of the Lowcountry comes through (truth be told, pressure from CBS execs helped save the tournament during the tough times before the RBC/Boeing rescue a few years back) and they do a terrific job showing off our Island to the world over Heritage week. 

But there are some things you don’t see on TV, and can’t really feel through even the widest screen with the most pixels, you just have to BE there to experience. 

The Opening Tee Shot. Teeing off #10 the first day might be a break for players, though don’t tell that to defending champion Wesley Bryan, who while he didn’t hit into a bunker all week (imagine that), dunked his drive on Thursday at the 10th, his very first hole of the tournament. Obviously, he got over it. But disaster truly looms at #1, where in 2016 young Canadian (and sponsor favorite) Adam Hadwin took one look at the tightest chute on the course and air mailed a drive out-of-bounds. You want to get up-close to the players? Just stay near the ropes on the right side of #1 and you’ll get to know plenty of them.

The Back Porch at 14. If you’ll venture out to one of the farthest points from the clubhouse, you’ll be entertained by one of the Tour’s greatest par-3s, and the stage show being put on by the folks on the back porch of the house less than 10 yards behind the green. The house gets its own marshal, just to keep the revelry quiet enough for the players to putt, especially on Sunday with the tournament on the line.

The Dance Between 16 and 17. Though the course plays between rows of Sea Pines neighbors, the walks between the greens and tees are often very short, like from the 2nd green to the 3rd tee, 3 green and 4 tee, and 5 green and the 6th tee. But one of those short walks is unlike any other. If you go to the tourney, watch the dance that takes place between players putting at the 16th green and preparing to tee off at 17. The two spots are no more than 10 yards apart, and you’ll often get to watch the players at 16 alternating their shots with the tee balls at 17 so that the lead players won’t be distracted by any roars that come from the huge crowds at the 16th green. Its something you’ll see only rarely anywhere else in the game.

Golf Course Hilton Head Island

Home Cookin’ All Around the Course. One of the Heritage’s most amazing qualities that began out of necessity 50 years ago is still alive today. Nobody wanted to cater the concessions the first couple of years, so local service clubs and school groups put up their own tents. Once the Heritage became nationally-popular, professional concessionaires wanted in, but by then, the service clubs and schools had their foothold. You’ll see a backyard lemonade stand at a few other Tour events, but home cookin’ rules the Heritage like nowhere else on Tour. 

The Atmosphere. Phoenix has its mob-scene and Birds Nest entertainment just outside the gates. Dallas has its Sundress Saturday (I’ll let your imagination explain that). Other events have a larger corporate hospitality presence, but nobody throws a party with a mix for young and old, Spring Breakers and proper golf fans quite like the Heritage. This year’s event includes a BBQ venue at the 15th hole with all the fancy food and drink you’d ever want, and also upscale wine and cocktail venues.  There is also a Kids Zone in the triangle between 17 and 18 where only those under 15 will be admitted. And the people watching? CBS can show it but can’t ‘feel’ the vibe of the Heritage, you just gotta be here.

But on a Boat in the Calibogue? CBS does love to show the nautical connection of Harbour Town and Heritage week. But while you might get on TV for being on a boat in the Calibogue Sound during the week, you’ll probably only know who won, who you’re blasting your horn for at the end by hearing about it on TV or radio, because the view of the action is not all that hot. Join the thousands that surround the 18th on Sunday, and then stay for the jacket presentation, when our 50th champion will be crowned. Then look over at that plaid-wrapped lighthouse and remember that it wasn’t even finished when Charles Fraser handed Arnold Palmer that very first trophy, and imagine how far we’ve come, a feeling TV just can’t duplicate.  

Sea Pines Golf Course on Hilton Head Island, SC

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