RBC Heritage: Up close and personal with the pros

The calm after the storm. The clocks have reset and we now see more than 350 days before the next RBC Heritage. As we navigate the emotions we feel after the thrill of the event, we reflect back on one fabulous week.

Dating back to 1969, The RBC Heritage initially fell on Thanksgiving weekend before eventually being moved to the annual “week-after-the-Masters” spot. Returning yearly to our beloved home of Hilton Head Island, the RBC Heritage turns the quaint island into one of the most happening places on the east coast.

Boasting a purse of $5.9 million, the 48th Heritage event drew a whopping 100,000 spectators. The IJGA was proud to contribute to the 1,200 volunteers helping to make the event a success. Assigned to the 132 pros in the hunt for the coveted plaid jacket, IJGA students walked entire rounds as standard bearers.

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Through two Pro-Am events and all four rounds of tournament play, IJGA students rose before the sun in order to put on the prestigious RBC Heritage bib. Students had the opportunity to not only walk alongside PGA standouts but also had the chance to meet and greet with their favorite players. Students often left the course with golf balls signed by the likes of Matt Kuchar, Tom Watson, Masters winner Jordan Spieth and 2015 RBC Heritage champion Jim Furyk.

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While the autographs and photos are mementos for a lifetime, the most significant takeaway from the experience is the opportunity to watch the pros in action. As each of our students is aware, golf is a difficult and even trying sport. Sharing the space between the ropes with the pros gave firsthand insight to the physical, mental and emotional demands of being at the top. Frustrating holes that led to hitting clubs against a tree (not encouraged), deep sighs from the wear and tear of walking the course day after day, fist pumps and grunts of thrilling shots made: students witnessed the blood, sweat and tears up close and personally.

The IJGA encourages students to soak up opportunities like this to grow personally. Learning directly from the pros is a powerful learning tool that is not provided to the masses.

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On behalf of the IJGA community, we would like to thank everyone involved with the RBC Heritage for making the annual event another fantastic memory for us. For full results of the tournament, click here.

To view images taken by IJGA Director of Marketing, Rachel Pincus, click here.

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