One of the best annual events on Hilton Head Island!  Get your tickets HERE for the 2018 RBC Heritage, April 9-15th.

sea pines clubhouse, hilton head island, sc

The PGA - RBC Heritage Golf Tournament celebrates its fiftieth tournament at Hilton Head's Sea Pines Resort with this year's event. It's set to take place from April 9 - 15...and what an event it has grown to become in those 50 years.

From the clubhouse that serves Harbour Town Golf Links to the state-of-the-art course with the supporting infrastructure, the Heritage is not only the must attend PGA tournament, it is the destination of golf loving vacationers from around the globe.

It all started in 1969 as the brainchild of Sea Pines founder Charles E. Fraser. Working with the PGA, he brought Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus to play in the inaugural Heritage Classic.

harbor town lighthouse, hilton head island, scIt was a much different Harbour Town Golf Links and Sea Pines than the world class community and resort enjoyed by so many today.

But I want to devote this post to interesting bits and pieces from those fifty years of epic golf.

My research into the Heritage, fortunately, as my digging usually does, led me to information that I found fascinating, so before I take you on a journey to Harbour Town, let me share my findings on the history of golf.

Golf's Earliest History

The earliest claim to inventing Golf comes from the Chinese who cite references to a similar game using a stick, a ball-like item and a hole in the ground played three hundred years before the birth of Christ. This footnote to history, like similar claims from the Russians, the Dutch and the Danish, come with no direct historical references…but the attribution to those wonderful keepers of the links, the Scottish, have irrefutable historical documents.

These documents support what appears to be the addictive properties of the game, in that the cornerstone substantiating the Scottish claim to the creation of the modern game of golf is an act of the Scottish Parliament in 1457. King James of Scotland prohibited the playing of “the games of gowf and futball as these were a distraction from archery practice for military purposes.”

It would seem the players of golf, over five-hundred-fifty years ago, became as distracted from all other activities as do our modern-day linksmen.

The ban would not be officially lifted until 45 years later, in 1502, by King James IV.

The Heritage Classic Modern-Day Legacy

Now that my readers have that bit of golf trivia firmly lodged in their brains, let us hop ahead 460 years to the beginnings of the magnificent golfing facilities launched at Sea Pines.

In 1962, Atlantic Dunes was designed and construction managed by Davis Love III and it holds the honored distinction as the first golf course in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Following the completion of the Sea Marsh course (now Heron Point) in 1964 and Harbour Town Golf Links in 1969, Hilton Head by way of Sea Pines launched an experiment that turned out to be one of the most prestigious and famous annual golf tournaments on the globe.

Since that first tournament in 1962, there’s been a long list of champions, including golf’s greatest players; Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, Hale Irwin, Bernhard Langer, Johnny Miller, Greg Norman, Nick Price, Tom Watson and the late Payne Stewart, all of whom played The Heritage and have become enshrined in the World Golf Hall of Fame.

What can be expected in April this year?

Well if it continues the fifty-year trend, a few facts:

  • Purse
    • $6.7 Million.
  • Contributions
    • $38 million has been distributed to those in need throughout South Carolina and Georgia since 1987. In 2017, more than $2.9 million was distributed to charitable organizations, the arts, medical institutions and for college scholarships.
  • Economic Impact
    • Each year, the RBC Heritage pumps more than $96 million into South Carolina's economy.
  • Demographics
    • 63% of spectators have an annual income of more than $100,000, 52% are 50 and older and 73% completed a four-year college degree.
  • Volunteer
    • More than 1,200 volunteers work throughout Tournament week.
  • Attendance
    • 130,000 people attended the RBC Heritage in 2017.
  • Televisison
    • The Golf Channel: Thursday–Friday, 3:00–6:00 pm; Saturday–Sunday, 1:00–2:30 pm.
    • CBS Sports: Saturday–Sunday, 3:00–6:00 pm.
    • CBS Sports: Saturday–Sunday, 3:00–6:00 pm.
    • CBS Sports: Saturday–Sunday, 3:00–6:00 pm.

Please contact us online or call 1-843-785-9500 if you'd like any more information on the PGA Heritage Classic, or making a home here on Hilton Head Island!

Posted by Bill True on
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