Even though Adam Scott was only named Masters champion on Sunday, the golf calendar is already moving on to its next event. The RBC Heritage golf tournament tees off on Harbour Town Golf Links at Inn at Harbour Town in Hilton Head. The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel is part of The Sea Pines Resort, a sprawling 5,000-acre property with villas, rentals and two other golf courses. Correspondent Larry Olmsted answers all the other questions pertinent to the big event.
When is the 2013 RBC Heritage tournament at The Sea Pines Resort?
The RBC Heritage Tournament at The Sea Pines Resort is scheduled for April 15-21, but the actual competition spans four days, from Thursday the 18th to Sunday the 21st. It starts with a full field and after two days of play, the field is cut in about half based on scores. There are two pro-am days where paying amateurs play with the pros. The minor pro-am is Monday the 15th, the big one Wednesday the 17th, with Tuesday as a practice day for competitors to get to know the course. These three pre-tournament days are open to the public, but most fans only come out to Hilton Head if they want autographs, because the small crowds and low-key atmosphere gives easy access to players.
What should I bring to the RBC Heritage at The Sea Pines Resort?
Things are much more relaxed the first three days of the RBC Heritage at The Sea Pines Resort during the pro-ams and practice rounds, when spectators are allowed to bring cameras and items to autograph, including golf course flags, shirts and other souvenirs. Starting on Thursday, no cameras are allowed and autograph items must be smaller than letter sized, 8.5 by 11 inches. Radios, coolers, backpacks, bags larger than purses and signs or banners are not allowed at any time at the Hilton Head tournament. There are ample concession stands selling food and beverages within the gates. Cell phones are permitted but must be turned off, except for use in specially designated zones. What you should bring every day is suntan lotion for sure and perhaps a hat, binoculars if you want a better view and portable chairs are allowed, which can be very helpful especially if you stay in one place — it can be a long day standing.
What makes the RBC Heritage at The Sea Pines Resort different from other golf tournaments?
Several things make the RBC Heritage Tournament at The Sea Pines Resort unique. History is hugely important, as this is one of the longest running tournaments, now in its 45th year. It traditionally attracts a very strong field with most of the country’s and many of the world’s best payers. It is run by a charity, the Heritage Classic Foundation, and as a result has distributed more than $23 million since 1987. But most importantly it has reputation as being extremely fan friendly. Many golf tournaments are in hard to reach places, almost like going to a stadium event, where you sit in traffic, arrive, watch and leave. Guests on Hilton Head get to enjoy all the normal vacation things — beach, riding bikes, tennis, great food and even playing golf — in addition to the tournament itself, which is well staffed by friendly volunteers. As a spectator it is hard to beat it.
Photo Courtesy of The Sea Pines Resort