Jordan Spieth receives his tartan plaid jacket from Stan Smith after winning the 2022 RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing. PHOTOS COURTESY RBC HERITAGE

Like any competition, golf is a numbers game. You’ve got your handicap, your course rating, your elevation, your par, your distance to the pin, your irons and woods in a bevy of numbers. You might think it’s all about getting your shoulders down and your head straight, but there’s a lot of math involved.

We’ll start with an easy one: 55 – as in the 55th iteration of the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, set to tee off April 10-16 over at Harbour Town Golf Links in Sea Pines Resort. 

Traditionally, this would be the part of the story where we explain what the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing is. But honestly, you should already know that. It’s the Heritage. If you’re unfamiliar with it, we can assume 55 is also the number of years you’ve been living under a rock.

But, to be on the safe side: The RBC Heritage is the only annual PGA TOUR event in South Carolina, and the event that essentially put Hilton Head Island on the map in 1969. In October 2022, the PGA TOUR elevated the event to “Designated” status and increased the purse to $20 million. Consequently, a higher number of top golfers will be signing up to play.

Here’s an interesting set of numbers to go with that thought: 1, 2, 3, 4. In this case, they refer to Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Patrick Cantlay and their respective ranks among golf’s worldwide elite – that is, the Official World Golf Ranking. 

Follow that thought with No. 6 through No. 20, which includes Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Tony Finau. And defending champion Jordan Spieth.

In case you missed the significance of those numbers, let’s just say that this year’s field includes 19 of the top 20 golfers in the WORLD!

All will be vying for the tartan jacket this year, alongside other greats of the game like Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott, and Team RBC ambassadors Sam Burns, Corey Conners, Sahith Theegala and Cameron Young.

The Heritage has a long tradition of welcoming some of the game’s best, offering an opportunity to relax somewhat after The Masters. As much as the event is defined by its traditions, there is one that they will be setting aside for this year – the role of chairman typically going to a member of the Heritage Classic Foundation. This year, that honor will be going to Davis Love III, the golfer who has racked up the most Heritage wins of anyone on earth with five.

And there are far more numbers involved when it comes to Davis Love III. Of the record 33 times he’s played the tournament, he’s made the cut 22 times. His first win came in 1987 when he was just 23, and this year he’ll celebrate his 59th birthday during the tournament. And his father, Davis Love II, played in the first Heritage when the chairman was just 5 years old.

Even if golf isn’t your thing, there’s one number you can definitely appreciate: 50,000,000. That would be the $50 million that the Heritage Classic Foundation has distributed over the long history of the tournament, filling the coffers of charity organizations and nonprofits that help lift up our neighbors in Beaufort County. 

Ready to get your tickets and add yourself to the number of spectators lining the fairways at Harbour Town Golf Links? The bad news is, the tournament has already sold out. The good news is, Hilton Head Island offers countless ways to secure a ticket from a friend or in the resale market. 

Crunch the numbers, make it happen, and we’ll see you out on the links.

Lowcountry resident Barry Kaufman is a freelance writer.