HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) - For half a century, it has served more as an icon than a beacon, but the symbol of Harbour Town, which has never been an operational lighthouse, will be working this spring as the Lowcountry's signature sports event gets ready to celebrate.
The RBC Heritage turns 50 this year and is getting ready with a 'Cheers to 50 Years' campaign that includes a benchmark change to a local landmark.
The Heritage Classic Foundation had the famous lighthouse at the south end of Sea Pines in wrapped in plaid - a change that has so far been as effective as it is attractive. The attention it has received already has been helping fuel the excitement for what is shaping up as one of the most memorable Heritage weeks Hilton Head has had.
"It really sets the tone for the next 47 days now,'' said Heritage tournament director, Steve Wilmot. "It speaks the tournament. It is one of the most iconic figures on any golf course, but certainly this golf tournament as well. We're excited. CBS is going to be extremely excited about it too. Social media is going to pick it up, so, it's a win, win, win, for everybody.''
It's also a win for Savannah's Kennickel printing, which took on the project understanding that the goal was to have attention on their work.
"A lot of engineering went into this project. It took a lot of exact measurements,'' said Kennickel printing president, Al Kennickel. "We printed over a half mile of vinyl, and every panel had to be cut to the precise size and every one had to be numbered. You had to have the top marked as opposed to the bottom.
"When you do something that is an iconic structure and everyone is watching, you definitely want it to come out nice.''
And it did, the new look of the lighthouse fitting right in with the tradition of the Heritage and also with the hope to have Hilton Head even more excited this year for the 50th year at Harbour Town.
"We had a 50-day countdown party this past Sunday,'' Wilmot said. "We were going to try to keep it lowkey and not let anybody know and unveil it, but it's a little tough when you have 110-foot lighthouse. But, it's great for us, it's great for the community, it's great for the PGA Tour, and certainly for this event.''
Which, if you hadn't heard by now, is turning 50 in just a few weeks.