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Course In Focus: Harbour Town Golf Links

The History of Harbour Town

Located on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, Harbour Town Golf Links is one of the most celebrated courses on the PGA Tour. These stunning links first opened in 1967 and are the crowning achievement of designer Pete Dye, along with his design consultant, golf legend Jack Nicklaus.

Often referred to simply as "Hilton Head" within the context of the PGA, Harbour Town Golf Links stands out for its narrow fairways, enveloping oaks, majestic pines, swaying palmettos, and enchanting dark lagoons. It's part of the esteemed Sea Pines Resort, which collectively offers a challenging and captivating golf experience.

Harbour Town consistently ranks among the top public courses in America, receiving praise for its strategic layout and scenic beauty. With a par of 71 and stretching over 7,099 yards from the back tees, Harbour Town challenges players with small yet slick Bermuda greens and tight fairways that demand precision over power.

The course's signature holes—notably the 9th, 17th, and 18th—present strategic dilemmas with water hazards, overhanging trees, and coastal winds. The iconic Harbour Town lighthouse serves as a picturesque backdrop, embodying the allure and charm of this coastal golfing paradise.

The History of the RBC Heritage

While Hilton Head Island is now renowned for it's outstanding golf resorts, it wasn't always this way. Back in 1969, people were hesitant when it was announced that a PGA tournament would be held at Harbour Town Golf Links, a new course on a little-known island. But after Arnold Palmer's historic win at that inaugural Heritage Classic, it became clear that Hilton Head would be something truly special for the golf community.

But what inspired the tournament's name? Well, it's long been believed that golf was brought to the United States by a golf club outside Yonkers, NY in 1886. However, Sea Pines developer Charles Fraser uncovered a ship's manifest from 1786 that noted "golfer sticks" and "featheries"—a pre-20th century golf ball made from boiled bird feathers and cowhide—among items that were shipped to South Carolina. This means that golf may have actually arrived in Charleston a full hundred years before it was played in Yonkers! Fraser honored that Scottish heritage by naming the PGA Tour event the Heritage Classic.

Since that first tournament in 1969, Harbour Town has continued to host the event—now called the RBC Heritage—annually. This longstanding PGA Tour event is held in mid-April, traditionally the week after the Masters. The tournament has a legendary list of champions, including Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Davis Love III, and Stewart Cink, highlighting its prestige in the golfing world. Led by The Heritage Classic Foundation, the RBC Heritage continues to showcase top-notch golfing talent against the stunning backdrop of Harbour Town Golf Links, earning its place among the most revered tournaments in golf.

Play along with the pros in Ultimate Golf!

The 2024 RBC Heritage is happening right now in South Carolina, but no matter where you are in the world, you can play along with the pros by joining a number of live tournaments at Harbour Town Golf Links in Ultimate Golf! We're kicking off the tournament weekend on Thursday with a Tour Stop Challenge at Harbour Town, a 4-day, 4-round tournament with cutlines and cumulative scoring, just like the real-world event. Over the weekend, join the Harbour Town Weekend Challenge to play a relaxing 18-hole round at the iconic seaside course.

Want to step things up a notch? You can take on the best 18 hole scores of last year's RBC Heritage winner by entering the 2023 RBC Heritage @ Harbour Town Play the Pro event, located under the VIP Tournaments tab!

Join us in Ultimate Golf this week to play along with the pros at Harbour Town Golf Links during the real-world RBC Heritage, and grab premium gear at a fantastic discount in the web store to help you conquer the leaderboard! ⛳🏌️
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