I’ve been told that the best way to get rid of a Masters hangover is small greens, Spanish moss and plaid (sorry, “tartan”) suit jackets. Luckily for us, we get to test out that theory this week. Off to Hilton Head we go!
Since 1969, Harbour Town Golf Links has played host to the RBC Heritage. Maybe the “heritage” portion of that has to do with the British English spelling of “harbor”. Designed by renowned railroad-tie aficionado Pete Dye, along with the then touring Jack Nicklaus, the course consistently is ranked among the best visited on the PGA Tour (at least according to this Golf Digest ranking back in 2012). At 6,973, HBGL is impressively short for a tour course. But with tiny greens, it favors short precise hitters which is probably why Brian Gay won a few years ago. The most iconic part of the course is the 18th hole, where Harbour Town’s famous red lighthouse can be seen. Even more iconic than that lighthouse is the course’s 18th hole. Featuring a football field sized fairway that player still manage to miss, the view of that lighthouse and the ocean to the left makes it quite memorable even to the casual viewer. Given that the course in on the ocean, it is quite prone to highwinds that make the short and tight course play much more difficult than the yardage might suggest.
Highlighting the field is defending champion Graeme McDowell and Master’s choker Jordan Speith. Also competing is Patrick Reed, now ranked 24th in the world and someone who is continuing to make my selection of him for this quarter’s fantasy golf A pick look dumb. Hunter Mahan has made an impressive decline in the world rankings, now sitting at 34th in the world after being as high as 6th only 2 years ago. And while we’re mentioning declining players in the field, I can’t go without mentioning Martin Kaymer. Former number one in the world has slid all the way back to 61st. Because of this, you should probably look for Kaymer to suck it up this week again.
Update on the Weather
After a perfect week of golfing weather in Georgia this past week, the weather this week in Hilton Head is expected to be in the upper 60s moving to mid 70s for the weekend with some rain along the way. The only reason I’m mentioning this is because I wanted to give a big shoutout to Weather Underground for listening to me a few weeks ago and redesigning their site! Seriously, I know I have some influence on what’s going on over there, but they must really take what I say seriously. I promise to always use this power for good. Next up for redesign: Shell Houston Open’s website.
What to Expect
Decent field, above average course, Gary McCord back on the call for CBS after the Masters all point to a good tournament, minus the Gary McCord part. And holy crap, I didn’t realize that McCord’s ban from Augusta started in 1995. Seriously, here’s an SI article from ‘95 to prove it. I knew he’d been banned for a while now, but damn 20 years is a long time. Note to self: never dis the Masters.