By David Wood, special to PGATOUR.COM
The RBC Heritage, held this week on Pete Dye’s iconic Harbour Town Golf Links at The Sea Pines Resort, appears to be the ideal antidote for PGA TOUR decompression after the nerve-rattling Masters week in Augusta.
Given their nomadic life, many players make the Hilton Head Island tournament an annual spring family vacation.
On Wednesday, with temperatures in the mid-70s and blue skies above, players were almost ebullient when asked why this event is such a popular stop.
“This is one of the TOUR’s top events because of Sea Pines Resort,” said Brandt Snedeker as he walked to the 10th tee in the Wednesday pro-am. “It’s such a relaxing atmosphere. We all rent homes here for our families, go bike riding and to the beach. It’s a great place to unwind.”
Luke Donald concurred, “This place has such a great feel as it’s a family-oriented event.”
It’s a chilled-out environment and great social atmosphere,” said Graeme McDowell, who’d rented a house on the beach for family and friends. “We’ll be enjoying some great seafood this week.”
The resort offers “on campus” lodging of more than 300 villas and 100 rental homes in addition to the Inn at Harbor Town – its lauded boutique hotel. Plus, with 23 clay tennis courts, family eco-adventures, 14 miles of bike and walking trails, horseback riding, and five miles of unspoiled beaches, there is tons to do while dad is trying to accrue FedExCup points.
“Civilian” guests have the opportunity for a fun packed RBC Heritage experience as well. For example, one could tee it up on Sea Pines’ excellent Heron Point by Pete Dye or its Ocean Course in the morning, catch the tournament action in the afternoon, and then enjoy sunset cocktails and dinner at the Harbour Town Yacht Basin -- a lively gathering spot for players and attendees.
Perhaps Ernie Els summed it up best, “I wish we had more of these types of events after majors.”
For more information about The Sea Pines Resort visit www.seapines.com.