Tim's Take: Heritage courts Savannah fans - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Tim's Take: Heritage courts Savannah fans


You can lead a horse to water. But can you make it watch golf?

Members of the Heritage Classic Foundation got in their cars and crossed the bridge on Tuesday, hoping to convince others here to do the same in six weeks for the 48th annual RBC Classic, and believing they can grow Hilton Head Island's PGA Tour event into a Lowcountry and Coastal Empire event.

"We're just looking for ways to, no pun intended, bridge the gap between the two communities,” said Heritage Tournament Director Steve Wilmot, who hosted a corporate meet and greet for potential sponsors at the Savannah Golf Club earlier this week. “We look at Savannah as our partners, it's our media partners, a lot of people from Hilton Head come over here and enjoy the restaurants and the great tradition and history.”

At the networking event, they encouraged Savannahians to share Hilton Head's most visible tradition, from a prime location, in a private hospitality area reserved for Savannah businesses.

Yates Astro sponsored the Savannah Club in its first year last year because Rick Culbreath agreed that Savannah should support the Heritage.

"But it turned out to be just a really nice thing,” said Culbreath. “It’s right on the 18th green, overlooking a relatively small area and it’s wonderful.”

Kennickel Printing has jumped on board this year because Al Kennickel, the newest member of the Heritage Classic Foundation, also likes the idea.

"Everybody loved it,” he said. “Because it was a way to go to a golf tournament and see it in style.”

It's obviously a growth strategy to target the large market of golf fans in Savannah.

But the foundation feels it has something to offer as well, that with the Legends gone, the Heritage becomes the biggest, best and only golf game in town, in both towns.

"We have daily tickets for people to come over and parking's change a little, for the good,” said Wilmot. “We look at is as being neighbors.”

He hopes, neighbors who feel free to share each other's backyard.

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