The 2018 RBC Heritage, often simply referred to as “the Heritage”, will be held April 12-15 at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. It is one of only 5 invitationals on the PGA Tour, and maintains a reduced field of 132 players. The Harbour Town Golf Links course has been the sole home of the tournament, and was designed by Pete Dye with help by Jack Nicklaus. It is well known for its small greens. In fact, the green size at Harbour Town is nearly half the size of an average PGA Tour green. Due to the small greens, the golfers most skilled in accuracy (or scrambling) tend to do well. The 2018 edition looks to be a very competitive tournament, and marks the 50th anniversary of this historic tournament.
History of tournament
The tournament was first held in 1969 on what was then still a new course over Thanksgiving weekend. The tournament could have easily failed, but early commitments from leading players Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus led to considerable media buzz about the event. Palmer would win the inaugural event to kick off the tournament’s rich traditions. One particular tradition is that of the tartan jacket, a plaid blazer given to each year’s winner. Nicklaus himself would win the tartan jacket in 1975, winning on the course that he had helped to design. Other past winner include such great players as Tom Watson, Jim Furyk and Nick Faldo. Davis Lowe has been the most successful golfer at the tournament, winning 5 times from 1987 until his last title in 2003. Hale Irwin has three wins, with an amazing 21 year gap between his second win in 1973 and his last win in 1994. Other notable moments include David Frost finished the tournament with 92 putts, the fewest ever in a 72 hole PGA Tour event. It was also the site of Jim Furyk’s playoff win over Brian Davis after Davis had the integrity and sportsmanship to call a two-stroke penalty on himself for touching a loose impediment during his back swing.
The tournament has been held the week after the Masters since 1983, and all but 7 of the previous winners since 1983 have won after playing the preceding week’s Masters. So competitors coming from Augusta deserve considerable attention. This year’s 50th anniversary looks to be full of compelling storylines. Defending champion and South Carolina Native Wesley Bryan looks to repeat against the likes of Valspar Championship winner Paul Casey. Casey finished a respectable T15 at the Masters and is one of the favorites. Patton Kissire, holding strong in 2nd place of the FedEx Cup standings, looks to also get his first Heritage win. It’s hard to discuss the Heritage without mentioning the case of Luke Donald, the golfer who has finished as runner up in 2014, 2016 and 2017 and has 7(!) top-3 finishes in the last 9 years. Fans are wondering if this could be the year he finally pushes through. Another great story is the participation of 5-time champion Davis Love III as one of 11 former champions invited to play in this anniversary edition. Love will participate against his son Dru, who is the third Love to play the Heritage, promising a unique family feel to this special anniversary edition.
Spectators have a variety of ticketing options if they want to see the action in person. They can be found in person at Harbour Town Golf Links, online at RBC Heritage’s official website, or by calling the Tournament Headquarters at (843) 671-2448. There are many different options available, from a single daily grounds ticket at $85 to the all-inclusive Calibogue Club which can be had for a single day for $375 or for $2,800 as a 2 guest pass good for Thursday-Sunday. The deal for golf fans in the area is the Grounds Badge, which for only $175 gives spectators weeklong access to the tournament grounds and the 9 concession stands on course offering food and beverages. Full options are available under the “Tickets” link under Resources.
Fans unable to travel to beautiful South Carolina still have options to watch the tournament. The Heritage is being covered by the Golf Channel and CBS. The Golf Channel will provide coverage Thursday and Friday 3-6 pm ET and Saturday and Sunday 1-2:45 pm ET. CBS will handle primetime coverage of the final two rounds Saturday and Sunday 3-6 pm ET. Online coverage will be provided by PGA Tour Live Thursday and Friday from 7:30 am-6 pm ET. Radio coverage is available through PGA Tour Radio on Sirius XM and online at PGATour.com Thursday and Friday noon-6 pm ET and Saturday and Sunday 1-6 pm ET.