Go for the Gold: 50 Years of RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing
For half a century, the country’s top golfers have been gathering on Hilton Head Island to compete in the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, an annual golf tournament hosted at Harbour Town Golf Links inside The Sea Pines Resort. What started as a fledgling PGA-level tournament at a brand-new golf course over Thanksgiving weekend in 1969 has become a beloved, and much-anticipated, event within the golf community. Spectators from across the country arrive every year decked out in their finest plaid gear to cheer on their favorite players and enjoy Hilton Head Island.
From April 9-15, 2018, golfers will compete for $6.7 in winnings during the 50th Anniversary RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, and fans can take in a host of family-friendly activities, entertainment, and dining.
To give you an insider’s perspective about the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, we spoke to two people who have been involved in the event both on and off the greens. Learn about the best spots to watch all the action, things to do between rounds, and what makes the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing such a special event.
Q&A: Tom Reilley, Restauranteur
Tom owns eight successful restaurants on Hilton Head Island which are a part of the Coastal Restaurants and Bars family of locations. These include Island staples such as Reilley’s Grill and Bar, The Crazy Crab, Aunt Chilada’s Easy Street Café, and Fishcamp to name a few. Tom also provides food and beverage services to players and spectators during Tournament week.
HHI: How long have you been involved with the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, and how did you get involved?
TR: I’ve been involved for more than 30 years, and for the last 10 or 12 years I’ve run the food and beverage programs. I owned a restaurant – two at the time, or maybe three, when I first got involved.
HHI: What do you think is special about the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing? What makes it so successful?
TR: It’s played on one of the best golf courses in the United States, and it is totally a family-oriented event. I believe it’s maybe the only professional sports event in South Carolina. (Fact: the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing is the only PGA TOUR event in South Carolina).
HHI: For someone attending the event for the first time, what must-see or must-do things would you recommend?
TR: Obviously, the beach – we have a great beach. We have beaches all over the island. We have more than 200 restaurants, and they’re all excellent depending on someone’s taste buds. Fishing is very popular, boating is very popular – there’s a lot to do here.
In back of the 17th green and beside the 18th, we have a huge spectator venue where they have a lot of concessions and fan favorite activities. That’s the gathering place where people tend to go.
HHI: What’s your favorite [RBC] Heritage moment?
TR: At the very first Heritage tournament that I attended, in 1977, me and my brother took a cooler out of my car and we took it to the 18th hole and set it next to the green, and that was our seat. It was very, very cozy.
HHI: Is there anything different or special coming up for the 50th anniversary that people should watch for?
TR: There are a lot of things going on…One of the more notable things is we have a lighthouse in back of the 18th green. Usually it’s a red and white striped lighthouse. They colored the red in plaid (this year) to celebrate the 50th anniversary.
Q&A: Ollie Schniederjans, Professional Golfer
Ollie Schniederjans is an American professional golfer who has competed at the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing and will be returning to the greens on Hilton Head Island in April. In 2017, he tied for third place in the tournament.
HHI: How long have you been golfing, and how did you get involved with the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing?
OS: I’ve been playing for 12 years. I got into this event through the PGA TOUR.
HHI: What’s your favorite thing about playing in the [RBC] Heritage?
OS: I love the course (Harbour Town Golf Links). It has a lot of character and a lot of history. It’s a great course to walk around and follow a group. At some tournaments, (spectators) stay in one place but Harbour Town is a fairly easy course to walk and follow a group.
HHI: What would you recommend to a first-time attendee on how to maximize their experience at the tournament?
OS: It’s really fun to watch the back 9. You get to see a lot of the course.
HHI: What are some of your favorite things about the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing?
OS: There’s a nice vibe at the event. The fans are really respectful.
HHI: What are you most looking forward to about this year’s tournament?
OS: I love coming to Hilton Head. I would say the dining…the food is really good on Hilton Head Island. All the food in the area is good!
It’s time to don your plaid, hit the links, and celebrate 50 years of the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing with us! Learn more about this year’s event, or order your vacation guide and start planning your visit to Hilton Head Island today.
More Trending Stories
By Bob Stevens
Next to Captain William Hilton himself, Charles Fraser might be the most important name in the history of Hilton Head Island.
Enjoy the Island's blessing of year round golf.
Find Your Island Time