Harbour Town Lighthouse turns plaid to mark milestone
Harbour Town Lighthouse turns plaid to mark milestone

There is a new look to the Harbour Town Lighthouse as visitors pour onto Hilton Head Island and through the gates of the Sea Pines Resort community the week of April 9-15 for the 50th RBC Heritage Golf tournament presented by Boeing.

The iconic lighthouse's red stripes have disappeared - replaced by the signature red tartan characteristic of the golf tournament nearly since its inception 50 years ago.

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Heritage plaid turns gold in its 50th year
Heritage plaid turns gold in its 50th year

The first Heritage golf tournament was held Thanksgiving weekend in 1969. The winner of that first event was the great Arnold Palmer. He helped put Hilton Head Island on the map.

Now, 50 tournaments later, the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing is broadcast to more than 226 countries in 23 languages and is arguably the best promotion of Hilton Head Island and the Lowcountry. The tournament is a favorite of tour players who enjoy bringing their families to Sea Pines Resort.

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RBC Heritage: Serious golf coupled with serious fun
Wesley Bryan after winning the 2017 Heritage. COURTESY HERITAGE CLASSIC FOUNDATION
RBC Heritage: Serious golf coupled with serious fun

As soon as we heard that the red stripes on the Harbour Town Lighthouse would be turned plaid for the season, locals knew the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing would be extra fun this year.

"Cheers to 50 years!" Hearing that toast for the first time at the Chamber Ball in January should have tipped us off.

That same evening, the announcement was made that the lighthouse would be altered to wear the tournament's signature tartan like a kilt.

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William Whalley, left, built the Harbour Town Lighthouse for Charles Fraser in 1969.
William Whalley, left, built the Harbour Town Lighthouse for Charles Fraser in 1969.

William Whalley, left, built the Harbour Town Lighthouse for Charles Fraser in 1969.

Nadia Wagner, right, is the current lighthouse keeper. Last year, Wagner and photographer Jeff Keefer interviewed Whalley on video.

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