Celebrating Tradition and Impact: RBC Heritage Week on Hilton Head Island

April 2024

April 15 marks the kickoff of an exciting 7-day period on Hilton Head Island: the start of RBC Heritage Week. Now in its 56th year, this annual golf tournament (presented by Boeing) has grown in stature thanks to the PGA TOUR designating it as a "signature event." It's one of only eight events on the tour schedule and the sole one held in South Carolina.

This prestigious designation brings several enhancements: a smaller, higher-caliber field (between 70 and 80 golfers on tour are guaranteed a spot) and a prize purse totaling $20 million. Spectators can expect to see top golfers who would typically skip the Harbour Town course compete on the course's tight fairways and fast greens.

This monetary windfall extends beyond the players. Golf enthusiasts, fans, and other visitors from around the nation descend on Hilton Head Island for a week of great food, entertainment, and golf. The tournament's legacy and the Island's beauty have made it a must-see event that boosts the state's economy by $102 million.

However, the greatest beneficiaries are local charities and students, courtesy of the Heritage Classic Foundation. Through the tournament's proceeds, the foundation has donated $51.74 million to charities in South Carolina and Georgia and $5.4 million to aid 386 high school seniors. A few weeks ago, the foundation awarded scholarships to the newest recipients. I am so proud of them and thrilled that a foundation based in our community continues that legacy of giving back and uplifting students.

In addition, many of the vendors you see on the course selling food and beverages represent local schools and charities. They take time away from their jobs and other commitments to support the tournament. They, too, benefit from the tournament as they earn thousands of dollars to support their programs and people in need right here in Beaufort County.

While the world is watching (the RBC Heritage is broadcast in 27 languages to more than 200 countries), it's the difference that the tournament is making here at home that makes it a "can't miss" event for folks around our area, even if you care more about the hospitality tent than the leaderboard. So, amidst the temporary inconveniences like increased traffic and crowded restaurants during RBC Heritage Week, it's important to remember the legacy and substantial financial benefits that endure long after the tournament concludes.

Happy Heritage, everyone!

Mayor Alan Perry

Alan Perry