'Home Away from Home' for RBC Heritage Field at Sea Pines Resort

By: David Wood

Newly-crowned 2014 RBC Heritage winner Matt Kuchar said of staying at the Sea Pines Resort this week, "We love it here. It's a home away from home for us."

Aerial View of Harbour Town

Graeme McDowell jokingly referred to the week on Hilton Head Island as "spring break" on the PGA Tour. The 2013 Heritage champion went on to say that after the high-pressure of the Masters at Augusta National, the event here "has such a relaxed vibe. I really enjoy it."

Kuchar and McDowell are not alone in their assessments. Davis Love III, a five-time winner, got a big laugh in his Wednesday press conference when he said, "It's always great to come here. It's a tradition in our family. In fact, the last two years I didn't play, but my wife was still here."

While the players are nearly unanimous in their praise of Harbour Town Golf Links - ranked No. 2 in a Golf World survey of Tour members naming their "Top 10 PGA Tour Courses" - another reason for the tournament's popularity is the fun to be had at the Harbour Town Yacht Basin après golf.

The Inn at Harbour Town

The picturesque inlet - anchored by its iconic lighthouse standing sentinel along Calibogue Sound - features an array of boutique shops and several excellent restaurants and watering holes. Probably the most popular spot is the buzzing Quarterdeck, whose outdoor patio is ideal for a post-round beverage and a great place to take in the seascape as day turns into night.

The harbor was recently deepened and can now accommodate vessels up to 150 feet long. Eyeing the huge mega-yachts there is a must. The nautical star in this week's RBC Heritage was an incredible ship christened Magic. The 130-foot luxury yacht looks like it belongs in a James Bond movie. It boasts a seven-man crew, five sleeping cabins, an eight-person Jacuzzi and enough room onboard to host 100 guests with ease. My New York City apartment would fit in the ship's dinghy, with room to spare.

It's common to see PGA Tour players out and about in the Yacht Basin in the evenings as many stay at Sea Pines. The resort offers "on-campus" lodgings of more than 300 villas and 100 rental homes, in addition to the boutique Inn at Harbor Town.

The Lowcountry destination is ideal for families during the tournament. As 2011 Heritage champion Brandt Snedeker noted, "It's such a relaxing atmosphere. We all rent homes here for our families, go bike riding and to the beach. It's a great place to unwind."

For more information about the resort, visit www.seapines.com.

In addition to writing on golf and travel, author and noted speaker David Wood has made several appearances on "Late Night with David Letterman" as well as dozens of other television shows. His book - "Around the World in 80 Rounds" - can be found at www.Amazon.com. Currently he works in public relations with Buffalo Communications in Vienna, Va. His website www.authordavidwood.com.