Golf

Bob Gillespie

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Notes on the RBC Heritage

Posted 2/26/2013 7:07:00 PM

Life of Dye: Showtime to profile Harbour Town and its architect

When Pete Dye teamed with Hall of Fame golfer Jack Nicklaus to build Hilton Head Island’s Harbour Town Golf Links in 1969, the future “Marquis de Sod” was a relative unknown in golf-course architecture, which was then a field pretty much below the radar for sports fans.

So much so that, when he was still putting finishing touches on the 13th hole’s trademark bunker during play of the first round of the inaugural Heritage Classic, several spectators surmised Dye must be “some drunk” who’d staggered into the sand.

The 13th hole – actually designed by Dye’s wife and fellow architect, Alice – and how it came about will be part of a profile on the Dyes to be aired on Showtime during the April run-up to this year’s RBC Heritage.

The program, produced by 60 Minutes Sports, will run four times in April, and will be televised on non-pay TV in July, according to Cary Corbitt, Sea Pines Resort’s director of sports and operations.

“It’s about (Dye’s) design,” Corbitt told the Island Packet newspaper of Hilton Head. “Harbour Town is really what kick-started Pete Dye, his career. He still comments about that every time he says something” about his career.

Corbitt told the Island Packet that the film crew and 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft also shot video at another of Dye’s South Carolina creations: Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course, site of last year’s PGA Championship. Also featured are Dye’s TPC Sawgrass course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and the Dyes’ home in Delray Beach, Fla.

The Harbour Town segment focuses on the 13th hole, a short par-4 with a horseshoe bunker and wooden bulkheads around the green, as well as the par-3 14th and its infamous “pot bunker”; the narrow par-5 15th; and the 18th hole, with the Harbour Town lighthouse behind the green.

Oh Canada

With the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) as title sponsor, it’s no surprise that not only are most of the PGA Tour players sponsored by the company committed to play in the April 15-21 event, but so are four Canadians, who also have RBC backing.

Former Masters’ champion Mike Weir will be joined in the field by fellow Canadians Stephen Ames, Graham DeLaet and David Hearn. Weir owns eight PGA Tour victories including the 2003 Masters, and will be playing in his fourth Heritage, finishing 10th in 1999.

Hearn and DeLaet will each be playing in his third Heritage. Ames, a four-time Tour winner, has played at Harbour Town 10 times with a best finish of sixth in 2005.

In honor of ...

The RBC Heritage’s media center will be named for longtime tournament media director Arnie Burdick, who died in June 2012 at age 92 after 28 years working with the tournament. Burdick, a former newspaper sports writer/editor from Syracuse, N.Y., retired to Hilton Head in 1983 and started as a volunteer whose first assignment was manning the media tent’s coffee maker.

Marian McDuffie, a volunteer for the Heritage since it began – 44 years in all – has been named a finalist for the PGA Tour’s Volunteer of the Year award.

Tickets available

Tickets for the April 15-21 RBC Heritage are on sale. Daily tickets and weekly badges are available. Call the tournament office at (843) 671-2448 or go to www.rbcheritage.com.