The 2017 RBC Heritage PGA golf tournament just wrapped up, and what a tournament it was! Wesley Bryan won his first PGA Tour title and became the first ever South Carolina-born RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing champion.
For spectators, it was a thrilling tournament – and a close one! Bryan nabbed the lead with a birdie on the 15th hole and finished just one stroke ahead of former World Number One, Luke Donald. RBC Heritage is one of five special invitational tournaments on the PGA Tour, with a narrower and more competitive field. That means you’re watching the best of the best!
Without a doubt, Heritage Week is a special time on Hilton Head Island, and the golf is hands-down spectacular. But, golf fan or not, you need to be here. Beyond the greens and great golf, here are our top five reasons to attend the tournament.
- See and Be Seen
Each year, thousands of people flock to Hilton Head Island to attend RBC Heritage. The island buzzes with energy from the moment the cannon fires until the winner is given the coveted plaid jacket. A unique start to a PGA event, the cannon firing to begin Heritage is a tradition that ties back to “a reenactment of a Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews tradition dating at least to the mid-18th century.”
The springtime tournament is a way for locals, and those that just love Hilton Head Island, to join together, celebrate and kick-off the spring season.
Head to Harbour Town post-play to mingle; you never know who you may see! Live music and concerts are planned not only after tournament play in Harbour Town, but you can also find post-play entertainment and special concerts at local restaurants and island hot-spots. Promoters typically reserve some of their best shows and concerts for this week, so bookmark the Connect Calendar to stay in-the-know.
On your way to the course, don’t make a beeline to the Clubhouse. Instead, take your time to appreciate beautiful scenery. During Heritage Week mega-yachts and sailboats fill the marina located just off the 18th green. The boats have been polished and prepped and are truly a sight to see.
Don’t miss out on must-see areas within the tournament, such as Wine @ 9, where great rosé and conversations come together, the Tito’s Vodka tent, and the tents lining the course where many local and large corporations showcase their businesses via giveaways and swag.
Who says you can’t mix work and play? Heritage Week is a great time to network. Business meetings are often held on the course or at a course-side home. Companies both large and small view RBC Heritage as a way to interact with potential clients and to gain some face time out of the office. So, the next time you need to wine and dine a client, why not think about meeting at Wine @ Nine instead?
- It’s a fun, family-friendly environment.
What makes RBC Heritage a favorite stop among players on the PGA Tour? The location! Golfers love to bring their families to RBC Heritage because Hilton Head Island is the perfect family vacation destination. There’s nothing like spending a little family time together, Lowcountry style.
Both parents and children get excited about one of the main events of Heritage: The Boeing Dreamliner flyover! The flyover something truly special to Heritage. Fans gather around the 18th hole to experience this massive, yet majestic, airliner fly so low to the ground that it seems as if it’s close enough to touch. The roar of the engines and the sun shining on the wings of the South Carolina built airliner never cease to amaze.
Kids also love attending RBC Heritage. They have a blast collecting autographs from their favorite pro golfers, dressing up in plaid gear, and getting their photo snapped with the famous RBC Heritage mascot, Sir Willie. Coca-Cola Youth Day includes fun activities like a youth putting contest and family movie night on the Heritage Lawn. Check out these photos of kids and families enjoying past tournaments!
- You can try our famous Lowcountry cuisine while you’re here.
One of the best things about visiting Hilton Head Island is enjoying our incredible Lowcountry cuisine! There are over 200 local restaurants here on Hilton Head Island, ranging from Lowcountry, casual seafood joints to innovative fine dining, farm-to-table and even boat-to-table. Yes, you can charter a fishing trip for fun and then eat your catch that evening, too!
The regional cuisine of the Lowcountry shares similarities with Southern food, but has been influenced by the fresh, local seafood of our coastal communities and the traditional cooking of the Gullah people. Trying traditional Gullah cuisine like perloo, a jambalaya-like meat and rice stew, or a nice helping of Gullah-style collard greens, is a must!
Other classic Lowcountry dishes include peel & eat shrimp, shrimp & grits, hushpuppies, pimento cheese, fresh oysters, and crab cakes. The use of very little filling set Carolina crab cakes apart from those just up the coast in Maryland. And, of course, you must try the famous Lowcountry Boil – a simple, but delicious combination of fresh shrimp, corn on the cob, kielbasa sausage, and potato, boiled together in a big pot with Old Bay or a similar seasoning. The Lowcountry is famous for shrimp as they are plentiful in the ocean and marshes of the area. Want to host your own Lowcountry feast? Stop by one of the roadside stands where shrimpers sell the morning’s catch straight from their coolers to yours.
We bet these Lowcountry food photos will make your mouth water!
“What are you wearing to Heritage?” Yes, that is the question of the month it seems when Heritage is on the horizon. You’ll hear both ladies and gentlemen alike asking this question as they plan for the social events which surround the tournament – so pack accordingly! Or even better, plan to do a little shopping during your visit.
Generally, most days of Heritage spectators can be found in golf clothing, or in upscale casual/resort clothing for the day. No jeans are allowed on the course, so khakis or golf shorts are typically the choice for men. Comfortable sandals or nice tennis shoes are acceptable, but most ladies will be sandally-clad.
Pro tip: Check the weather forecast and wear fashionable, yet comfortable, shoes. Choose those comfy wedges over your YSLs; save those for that great reception you were so lucky enough to get invited to after networking on the course!
There are certain days to dress more fashionable than others, so here’s a breakdown of tournament weekend fashion:
Friday: As the action heats up, fashion also begins to step it up notch. Ladies can be found wearing bright spring apparel and gentleman can be found sporting fresh haircuts. Pack an outfit that will take you from the late afternoon into night time for gatherings at The Quarterdeck, Friday evening’s hot spot, in Harbour Town.
Saturday: Plaid Nation Day is traditionally held on Saturday of Heritage Week. Attendees don their finest plaid ensembles and compete for great prizes to get in the #PlaidNation spirit. If tartan plaid isn’t your thing, don’t worry. Just grab your brightest shirt, skirt, dress or shorts instead. Tournament goers are known to don their best (and sometimes brightest) for Saturday spectating, skybox-hopping, and mingling. There is no shortage of upscale, lifestyle brand apparel, and bright Lilly Pulitzer clothing is almost a must-wear at Heritage; even for men. Vintage Lilly has been making a comeback in recent years, so if it’s Lilly, it’s okay for Saturday; or, any day of the tournament for that matter.
Sunday: Sunday is also another day to dress with Heritage class. Classy, chic style is on full display for the final day of play. With play concentration on the leaders, there will most likely be more golf-watching this day versus others. That said, if you have a pair of amazing shoes that just are not ready for a marathon, today would be the day for them to make an appearance.
- Experience the Great Outdoors – Without Leaving the Island!
When you visit Hilton Head Island during Heritage Week, you won’t be limited to just watching golf. You can play golf, too! Did you know there are over 24 world-class championship courses on Hilton Head Island?
While the pros battle it out at the Pete Dye-designed Harbour Town Golf Links, you can play another of Dye’s courses at Heron Point. Both courses are located at Sea Pines Resort. Or, test your skills on the resort’s brand new, Davis Love III’s Atlantic Dunes Course which emulates the Ocean Course and the seaside golf experience.
Other great public courses on Hilton Head Island include Golden Bear Golf Club at Indigo Run, Robert Trent Jones Oceanfront Golf Course at Palmetto Dunes, and the Arthur Hills-designed course at Palmetto Hall.
Looking to head a bit “off course”? Well, grab your bike (you can even arrange to have it dropped off at your rental property.) – Hilton Head Island is bike friendly! Over 60 miles of pathways connect you to restaurants, beaches, and more. It’s the easiest – and most fun – way to get around the island.
With over 12 miles of oceanfront beach to explore, lots of families hit the beach during Heritage Week. Kids love frolicking in the gentle surf and building sandcastles on our spacious beaches. Take to the waves in kayaks or on a paddle board. Oh, and don’t forget to bring your boogie board!
Beyond the beach, how about taking a ride on the wild side? Adventure awaits on Hilton Head Island. Book an alligator adventure in the Sea Pines Forest Preserve, reach new heights and zip line above marshland, book a helicopter tour, or head to the water for a parasailing experience. Looking for something a bit slower speed? Sail on a catamaran at sunset, catch a dolphin tour, swing by the petting zoo at Lawton Stables or explore a natural wonderland at the Coastal Discovery Museum.
The truth is, with so much excitement and adventure nestled in one place, you can’t go wrong with whatever Heritage experience you choose. Are you ready for the 2018 RBC Heritage presented by Boeing? Check out all of the action from this year’s tournament by searching #PlaidNation on Facebook and Instagram. Next year, the event will be celebrating their 50th Anniversary, so help us say “Cheers to 50 Years,” and start planning your trip today!