Leslie Kreuzer and Sandy Wooster, Lifelong Learning Group (LLG) committee volunteers, were interested in seeking a golf-oriented speaker for LLG’s tenth year of presenting programs for Colleton’s members. It made perfect sense to reach out to RBC Heritage Director, Steve Wilmot because the iconic tournament celebrated its own 50th birthday in 2019. The Heritage is the South Carolina’s only GA event and Mr. Wilmot is enjoying 20 years as its Tournament Director. Colleton has a natural affinity with the Harbour Town Golf Links because Pete Dye, designed them in consultation with Jack Nicklaus, in the fall of 1969.
Mr. Wilmot noted that, “Players love to come to the Heritage the week after the Masters”. The tournament has a whooping $91MM economic impact on the Hilton Head/Bluffton area and a worldwide broadcast audience of one billion households. He proudly reported that the event raised $3.3MM for charitable organizations this past year. He is especially pleased that a $30,000 grant was donated to combat hunger in South Carolina.
The successful partnership with Boeing includes a dramatic flyover, which has been so popular that it is now conducted during primetime at 4pm on the Saturday of the tournament weekend. Boeing has been wowing Heritage spectators with the low-altitude flyovers since 2012, when a Dreamliner first made an appearance at the event.
Mr. Wilmot touched on the myriad aspects of his role that include:
• Involvement in the recent renovation of the iconic lighthouse,
• Attaining the GEO Certified® Tournament award for advancing sustainability in and through golf,
• Creating a ‘Patriot’s Outpost’ as a designated sky box and ‘mess hall’ for the military,
• Attaining the award of PGA Charity of the Year
• Attaining PGA Recognition for ‘best integrated marketing plan and special events’,
• Supporting 57 scholars with scholarships.