HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WTOC) - The RBC Heritage may look different without fans but keeping the players and everyone involved safe is a top priority for Sea Pines.
“We have 654 homes that line both sides of the fairway, and it’s just anyone can really walk out the back of a house and cause a problem,” Sea Pines Director of Safety and Security, Toby McSwain said.
While the number of volunteers has been reduced by more than half this year, they didn't dial back security a bit. More than 100 people working security - some armed - and 10 different agencies are on the property this week.
“The FBI is here, the local sheriff’s office is here, Homeland Security, we’ve got some bomb teams that are working with us this week, so it’s almost like a regular tournament for us security-wise,” McSwain said.
While the homes may present a security challenge, McSwain said after 18 years of working the tournament he is missing the fans this week and they welcome people to watch from their yards.
“Everyone has been very respectful of the players. They are standing in the backyard cheering players on, so it is nice to see that, we’ve had few that tried to encroach onto the golf course to get a better advantage to see down the fairway, but overall people have been really, really great to work with,” McSwain said.
Each day everyone entering the course goes through their thermal screening for COVID-19, then they go through metal detectors to ensure safety for the few that are allowed inside.
McSwain said everything has gone very smooth this week and they haven’t had any major incidents so far.