CBS Sports has been eyeing Hilton Head Island for 40 years now.
Its crews rolled onto Hilton Head Island in 1975, with Frank Chirkinian, the father of golf television, at the controls and Jack Whitaker in the anchor's chair.
They came to show the nation a tournament we now know as the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, which is scheduled to finish its 47th edition Sunday over at the Harbour Town Golf Links in Sea Pines.
It still brings an all-star cast, led by anchor Jim Nantz, coming off back-to-back weeks of being the voice of the Final Four and the Masters.
But little else is the same.
What started as an hour of coverage on Saturday and maybe two hours on Sunday for bulky television sets with rabbit ears has morphed into 16 hours of life coverage. It is streamed to mobile devices on numerous platforms. It is available to more than 890 million potential households in 32 languages, across 224 countries and territories outside of the U.S.
"It's all about eyeballs," said Steve Gorsuch, director of golf operations for CBS Sports. "We feed it to kids on the phone with apps, to the PGA Tour, to Sky Sports in the United Kingdom.
"People at home don't want to sit and watch TV anymore. They want it the way they want it, when they want it. Basically, we're in the streaming business."
Hilton Head can claim one of Chirkinian's many innovations in almost 50 years of producing televised sports.
He's the one who gave the game its white cups. He cut out the cumbersome scoring method of total strokes, opting for a simpler over/under-par totals. He gave football fans the down-and-distance graphic. He was the first to put a camera in a blimp.
And on Hilton Head, he introduced what has become a staple in golf: television coverage of all four rounds.
"He decided at some point, and I don't know what his reasoning was," Nantz said, "to give our Friday rehearsal tape to Island Cable and they ran it here on Friday evening in prime time."
Cable was new then, and the idea soared.
Lance Barrow, who replaced the late Chirkinian when he retired, rattles off a list of changes he's seen since first coming to the island in the late 1970s.
The hours have mushroomed and technology has gone wild. Now they can cover virtually every hole, which in the old days would have required too many miles of cable. The crew is bigger, up to about 80. They tell more about the players and the local communities. They have mini-cameras and, weather permitting, a blimp overhead.
"We always change with the times," Barrow said. "But golf fans are sophisticated and they understand the game maybe as well as anybody. And they want to see the competition. All of us at CBS came up through the 'Chikinian School of Golf,' and his big deal was never let anything get in the way of the competition."
A Who's Who
CBS Sports brings a village to Hilton Head.
They roam the nation with four tractor trailer trucks and giant dishes and generators. Here, they take over the Sea Pines Racquet Club courts, with their own caterer and offices on wheels.
The old joke is that the best three hours of the Masters is the drive to Hilton Head.
They bring in family. They bike to work. They walk the beach. Nantz has participated in local charities. He watched Gregg Russell play beneath the Liberty Oak this week, where his daughter Caroline, now in college, went as a child, and where his new baby, Finley, will go. He played putt-putt with an old friend at Pirate's Island.
The cast behind the scenes, he says, is the best in the business. The on-air talent has been a who's who of American sports television, including Whitaker, Nantz, Vin Scully, Pat Summerall, Ken Venturi, Ben Wright, Gary McCord, Verne Lundquist, Nick Faldo, David Feherty, Peter Kostis, Ian Baker-Finch and Lanny Wadkins.
They have shown the island's great blue herons, egrets, roaming alligators, slippery dolphins and activities on shimmering Calibogue Sound. It is believed the value of spreading these scenes to the world cannot be measured by a golf score year in and year out.
When Chirkinian was inducted the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame he said, "Without sports, it would be a rather dull and tragic thing to sit in front of a TV set all day long watching something happening that is rather distasteful.
"But sports, people get up at 2 o'clock in the morning to watch the final round of the Masters. Millions of people watch the World Cup. What a wonderful joy. What a wonderful thing to watch all these wonderful events taking place. And we were the ones who brought it to them."