Following this interview with Mary Stone Fraser, widow of Sea Pines founder Charles Frasier, here are ten fun facts about The RBC Heritage presented by Boeing:
Mary Stone Fraser, widow of Charles E. Fraser, the founder and developer of Sea Pines on Hilton Head Island, talks about how her late husband started the Heritage, the South Carolina's only PGA Tour event. (DAVID LAUDERDALE and DREW MARTIN, Staff Video)
The first tournament, named the Heritage Classic by Sea Pines founder Charles Fraser, was held Thanksgiving weekend, 1969 in a remote spot called Hilton Head Island on a new course called Harbour Town Golf Links at The Sea Pines Resort. While organizers worried that top golfers would snub the new event, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus were two of the first to sign up. Palmer won that year.
In the years since, some of the biggest names in golf have won, including Nicklaus, Bernhard Langer, Johnny Miller Greg Norman, Nick Price, Tom Watson, Davis Love III and Payne Stewart. Click or tap here for our interactive list of champions
Tournament organizers wore yellow jackets during the first Heritage. Today, they wear tartan jackets and present one to each year's champion. The tartan design is called Heritage Plaid and is accredited by the Council of the Scottish Tartan Society. Different stories abound on who came up with the idea for the tartan jackets. Mary Fraser said her late husband, Charles Fraser -- who was of Scottish descent -- came up with the idea along with the bagpipes and various other Scottish elements that are included in each year's event.
It's the only PGA Tour event in South Carolina.
The purse has grown from the original $100,000 ($20,000 of which Palmer won) to $5.9 million this year. The winner will receive nearly $1.1 million of that.
About 100,000 spectators attend each year. CBS and The Golf Channel devote about 15 hours of live TV coverage. It also airs in Europe and South America.
The event pumps about $96 million into South Carolina's economy annually, according to a Clemson University study.
The tournament was in crisis after losing its long-time sponsor, Verizon, in 2010. Gov. Nikki Haley and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., made it a mission to find a new one and keep the tournament alive. They landed Royal Bank of Canada as the new title sponsor and airplane manufacturer Boeing -- it has a plant in North Charleston -- as the local presenting sponsor. RBC's contract runs through 2016.
The Heritage is a major contributor to area charities, contributing more than $28 million to those in need since 1987.
About 1,000 volunteers will work this year's tournament, doing everything from driving players around to directing traffic to taking care of players' children.