They come to Harbour Town Golf Links every April – in some cases, for many years – to cover the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing as members of the CBS crew, with Thursday-Friday assistance from Golf Channel. They’re some of the biggest names, men with experience, insights and opinions.
About golf, that is. But not only golf.
When you travel on a network expense account, you get to sample some of the great food and restaurants along the PGA Tour trail. And Hilton Head Island offers some wonderful options – maybe not as many as, say, Los Angeles or Houston or Orlando, but excellent choices nevertheless.
So where do golf’s “talking heads” go for a meal after a long day in their towers behind Harbour Town’s greens? Here’s a brief sample of where the TV folks ate in 2017.
SIR NICK FALDO, analyst/18th hole, CBS
Faldo, who won his first American tour title at the 1984 Heritage mentioned a couple of selections, notably for his morning repast.
“There’s a place we have breakfast in the mornings that looks like a cottage,” he said. “It’s Harbour Town Bakery,” located at 140 Lighthouse Road in Sea Pines. “We found it on Twitter, and that’s my favorite spot.”
At day’s end, Sir Nick loves a fine cut of beef. “For dinner, I like Crane’s Tavern & Steakhouse (26 New Orleans Road),” he said.
GARY McCORD, analyst/16th hole, CBS
McCord, CBS’ domestic answer to Irish funnyman David Feherty (who did not cover the Heritage this year), says the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean drives his restaurant choices at Hilton Head.
“My first year here for CBS was 1986 or 1987,” he said, “and my favorite restaurant is Red Fish,” located at 8 Archer Road, near the Greenwood Gate entrance to Sea Pines Resort. “It’s really good, and we go there a lot, and also Catch-22 (37 New Orleans Road), those are good ones. You’ve got to have seafood down here.”
But not every meal – “and pizza,” he added. “Pizza delivered from Giuseppi’s (32 Shelter Cove Lane, The Plaza at Shelter Cove). That’s always on Saturday night. So for me, it’s between those three.”
IAN BAKER-FINCH, analyst/17th hole, CBS
CBS’ low-key counterbalance to McCord’s wild-and-crazy, the amiable Australian is on the same page with his zany colleague when it comes to dining.
“I’ve been coming to Harbour Town since 1985 as a player, played my last one in 1996, I believe, and I’ve been coming with CBS as an announcer since 2007,” he said. “My favorite restaurant is Red Fish."
“You can either sit at the bar, or in that area where they have all their wines located, or you can sit in the (dining) room like a fancy restaurant or you can sit outside on the deck. I love all the different dining options.”
Baker-Finch also likes Red Fish’s ease of access – “if you go there without reservations, there’s always somewhere to sit” – and, of course, the food. “The quality of the food and the wine list, etc., is ideal. That’s my favorite spot.”
STEVE BURKOWSKI, reporter/anchor, Golf Channel
The one-time college golf reporter made his first Golf Channel trip to Harbour Town in 1999, as a bachelor and a reporter for WVOC-AM Radio in Columbia, covering that year’s Heritage. In 2017 he took great delight in showing his wife, Kate, the lay of the land – and finding a new restaurant that went to the top of his list.
“We discovered a new favorite restaurant, the Sage Room (81 Pope Avenue, No. 13),” he said. “My wife did all the due diligence, and it’s highly regarded. We were lucky, because reservations are booked weeks in advance, but they sneaked us in on Wednesday night.”
“I saw (player) Ian Poulter in there that night, and we talked about it: ‘Great steak, I just couldn’t find the restaurant.'"
“We had a wonderful meal and great service. It has quickly risen to the top of our list. I had a filet with shrimp on it, mashed potatoes and vegetables, all very well done. Kate had seared scallops, and we both love seafood, so I cut my steak in half and she gave me some scallops, and we split everything."
“And we were all thrilled by day’s end.”
JIM NANTZ, anchor/18th hole, CBS
Nantz, a famously correct and amiable announcer, politely declined to pick just one restaurant – in large part, he admitted, because the line of wines he lends his name to are served in many Hilton Head eating establishments. He did concede that he’s found more than a few that meet his standards for dining.