Sure, there’s a golf tournament to watch. But don’t forget to check these other must-see tournament events off your list.
1. Parade and opening ceremony. Since the tournament’s start in 1969, this slow-walking march around the yacht basin has been the event’s official start. And it’s an event that doesn’t take itself too seriously. There are bagpipers. There are men in Colonial uniforms prepared to light a canon. And there are politicians decked out in their Heritage plaid. It all ends on the 18th green for the opening ceremony.
P.S. there’s a new parade route this year. It will still start at the Liberty Oak at 11 a.m. but will only march halfway around the yacht basin. Then, it will turn left at the cut-through toward the Harbour Town Clubhouse and then right onto Lighthouse Lane and proceed onto the 18th fairway, passing the cemetery on the right.
2. Charles Fraser’s final resting spot. There would be no Heritage and no Sea Pines if not for real estate developer Fraser, who had the vision to turn a remote, untamed sea island into a world-class resort. He’s buried by the Liberty Oak. Look for the bust of his likeness.
3. Boeing 787 flyover. There’s no way to ignore the close swoosh of a Boeing South Carolina-built 787 Dreamliner flying overhead. The sight and sound has become a staple at recent tournaments, met with applause and cheers. Tournament organizers and Boeing are still working out the details for this year’s flyover so stay tuned.
4. Giant yachts. It’s the backdrop of yachts and smaller boats bobbing in the harbor that makes Hilton Head’s tournament the most picturesque on the PGA Tour. Keep an eye out for the Rice Quarters, the Top Five and the other multi-million dollar yachts that come each year.
5. Harbour Town Lighthouse. Constructed in 1969 and 1970, the red-and-white monolith has never been an official Coast Guard lighthouse. Rather, Fraser wanted it to serve as an island landmark. And it is. No tournament would be complete without a photo in front of it. Golfers immediately recognize it as a the back of the 18th green on the Harbour Town Golf Links.
— Gina Smith