Hilton Head Island, S.C. (WTOC) -Hilton Head Island’s annual Professional Golf Association tour event was canceled on Tuesday due to coronavirus. The RBC Heritage was scheduled to be held April 13th through the 19th.
The tournament brings more than $100 million in economic impact to the island.
Now, the impact of the cancelation is being felt far beyond the world of golf. It’s felt throughout the community in Beaufort County, including Hilton Head Island High School.
No RBC Heritage means no money for several local high school sports teams.
Hilton Head Island High School’s football team usually does the parking for the event as one of their main fundraisers.
“Our kids work and earn money to go to college camps, and money that we earn to buy things for our program and field equipment, and things like that that we really need,” says Head Football Coach BJ Payne.
Coach Payne says the Seahawks typically make more $15,000 dollars in that week for the program.
The college visits for his players are especially important as that exposure could lead to free education.
“Getting those guys those opportunities to go out, to be seen, to be recruited in different parts of the country as well," Coach Payne said.
Tournament Director Steve Wilmot said it was a difficult decision, but public health and safety have to come first.
“I think of the charities, you know, I think of the economic impact, but again, we want everyone to be safe and healthy and get through all this, but you know, it’s- it has been and will be a huge impact on this community,” said Wilmot.
Bluffton High School will be impacted as well as they usually do trash clean up as part of their fundraising efforts.
Unlike the Master’s that plans to reschedule their tournament for the fall, the RBC Heritage told me that they have no plans to reschedule this year’s tournament.
Wilmot added that they had already begun construction throughout the golf course for this year’s tournament, and are currently making plans to de-construct. The foundation had $1 million invested into the build-out for the tournament.