Hilton Head’s most popular event promises to be bigger and better than ever in 2023, thanks to a major push from the PGA Tour.
Story by Lisa Allen + Photos by Arno Dimmling
How does one take the best week of the year on Hilton Head and make it better? You turbo-charge golf’s star power.
The RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, now in its 55th year, likely will boast some of golf’s best players April 10-16, thanks to the PGA Tour naming the Harbour Town tournament a “designated event,” boosting the purse to a whopping $20 million. Last year’s purse was $8 million.
The “designated event” elevation is part of the PGA Tour’s efforts to get the world’s greatest players to compete in more events. In addition to the elevated purses, the tour is dangling $100 million with the Player Impact Program, rewarding players who encourage fan awareness, attend tour events and compete in this year’s “designated tournaments,” of which the RBC Heritage is one.
In all there are 17 designated events. The RBC Heritage was named with three other tournaments, including the WM Phoenix Open; the Wells Fargo Championship, being played this year at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina; and the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.
“It is a true honor to be chosen to be a designated event on the PGA Tour,” said RBC Heritage tournament director, Steve Wilmot. “Our fans and sponsors are guaranteed to see the top players compete, and we couldn’t ask for much more than that. I’m confident that without the support from our community, this opportunity would not have been possible.”
In addition to the juiced purses, the top 20 players in the Player Impact Program also get bonuses ranging from $2 million to $15 million, based on internet searches, media mentions of the player, sponsor logo exposure during tournaments, surveys and social media engagement. The top 10 on that list are Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Matt Fitzpatrick, Will Zalatoris and Tony Finau.
Already signed up to play in April are 2022 RBC Heritage winner Jordan Spieth and Team RBC ambassadors Sam Burns, Corey Conners, Sahith Theegala and Cameron Young.
So, without a doubt, fans will see famous names on those scoreboards scattered around Harbour Town Golf Links during Hilton Head Island’s favorite week of the year. However, the final roster won’t be known until shortly before play starts. Players have until the Friday before the start of the tournament, April 7, to sign up.
“Ticket sales are extremely strong. We will sell out,” said Angela McSwain, marketing and communications director for the tournament. “We had strong sales in 2022, but we do think the designated status is making more people interested in buying tickets. It will be a record year for the RBC Heritage.”
Of course, the RBC Heritage will continue its tradition of southern hospitality. More than 1,500 volunteers work to ensure everyone, star or fan, feels welcome.
This year’s RBC Heritage is a plaid party you don’t want to miss. All the cool people (and players) will be there.
2023 RBC Heritage
Events at Harbour Town Golf Links (unless noted)
Monday, April 10
11:30 a.m.-6 p.m.: Pro-Am Presented by Boeing
Course closed to spectators
Tuesday, April 11
Noon: Opening ceremonies, 18th green
2-3 p.m.: Youth Day putting contest, putting green
All day: Pro practice rounds
Wednesday, April 12
7 a.m.-7 p.m.: RBC Heritage Pro-Am
Thursday, April 13
7:20 a.m.: First round, RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing
Friday, April 14
7:20 a.m.: Second round, RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing
Saturday, April 15
8:30 a.m.: Third round, RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing
Noon-2 p.m.: Plaid Nation Games, Heritage Lawn
Plaid Nation Day: Wear your plaid with pride
Sunday, April 16
7:30 a.m.: Sunrise Service, Liberty Oak
8:30 a.m.: Final round, RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing
Trophy presentation following the close of play, 18th green
Heritage hot spots
Location: Near 17th green
Highlights: Tito’s Stillhouse Lounge, Maestro Dobel, Ultra Club, Peter Millar merchandise tent, video board, cell phone zone
Location: Near 15th green
Highlights: Tournament entrance, video board, restrooms, cell phone zone
Location: Between 1st and 9th fairways
Highlights: Beer and wine bar, Bushmills Patio, merchandise pavilion, restrooms, cell phone zone
Location: Near 7th green
Highlights: Pella Lounge, concessions, restrooms
Location: Near Harbour Town Clubhouse
Highlights: Autograph zone, first aid, lost and found, bicycle parking
Locations: Between the 17th green and 18th tee with a satellite location on the 8th green
Highlights: Proper credentials are required. All-inclusive, climate-controlled venue with full food and beverage service. $400 per day.
Doc’s BBQ at 15
Location: Near 15th green
Highlights: Proper credentials are required. Exceptional golf views of the 15th green from tiered seating and access to a climate-controlled lounge. A buffet lunch is provided by Doc’s BBQ and Southern Way. Full beverage service featuring draft beer, wine, spirits and soft drinks. $220 per day.
Location: Near 18th green
Highlights: Proper credentials are required. Offers one of the best views of golf on the PGA Tour. The open-air skybox will now be two floors and is available Thursday through Sunday. Also included are a lunch buffet and full beverage service featuring draft beer, wine, spirits and soft drinks. $300 per day.