For golf fans both throughout South Carolina and the entire country, April on Hilton Head Island brings one of the greatest golf events in the world: The RBC Heritage Golf Tournament, taking place in Sea Pines at the The Harbour Town Golf Links Golf Course. This year, the RBC Heritage Golf Tournament is scheduled for April 13th – 19th – marking the 47th year of this annual event that each year draws more than 100,000 spectators … and is one of the most eagerly awaited and most attended annual sporting events on Hilton Head Island. The only PGA Tour event in South Carolina, The RBC Heritage Golf Tournament is considered one of the premier golf events in the country – and is one of Hilton Head Island’s biggest social events, as well.
The Harbour Town Golf Links Course – which has consistently been named one of the top 20 golf courses in the country by Golf Digest and Golf Weekly – has been home to the Heritage Golf Classic (as it was first named) since its inaugural tournament organized by Charles Frasier in 1969. Jack Nicklaus, Pete Dye and Arnold Palmer were among the first tournament players, and Arnold Palmer had his first win in 14 months at the Heritage Classic in 1969, helping to put Hilton Head Island on the map as a golfer’s paradise. The tournament, which first showcased to the world the beauty of this spectacular golf course and the appeal of golfing on Hilton Head Island, continues to attract the most distinguished players in golf today.
Both Hilton Head Island residents and golf fans from around the world will come together at the Harbour Town Golf Links Course in April for this event, bringing excitement to the area – as well as national media broadcasting the beauty of our region throughout the world. This year, as in past years, the Island will come alive with visitors and residents alike all hoping to get a closer look at their favorite pro-golfers and watch history in the making as another champion receives his plaid jacket!
As sponsors of the tournament, The Heritage Classic Foundation each year distributes the proceeds of the tournament to hundreds of non-profit organizations. Since its founding in 1987, the Foundation has donated more than $28 million to people in need in South Carolina. Area residents and community organizations in the Hilton Head area volunteer thousands of hours of their time to ensure that visitors to the tournament have a meaningful, safe and happy experience.
Unique to the Heritage Classic tournament is Sir William “Willie” Innes. Sir Willie, as he is known to his fans, has served as the tournament’s distinctive symbol since it began in 1969. Sir Willie was originally depicted on the first golf print in 1790 where it shows Innes, Captain of the Society of Golfers at Blackheath, in Scotland in 1778. That print has become the most widely reproduced and displayed print in the world. In 2010, the role of Sir William Innes was revived and he now represents community pride for the RBC Heritage, reminding the residents of South Carolina of the positive impact the Heritage Classic Foundation has on the state and the community. Today, Sir Willie speaks regularly about the RBC Heritage and Heritage Classic Foundation events, visits charitable organizations and participates in community events like the Harbour Town Golf Links Ball Drop on New Years Eve and the annual Hilton Head Bluffton Chamber of Commerce Business Expo.See you in April at the Harbour Town Golf Links!