Previews and pre-event analysis from Golf Betting System's PGA Tour and European Tour coverage
To read Steve Bamford's RBC Heritage Tips for 2014 click here. Follow Steve on twitter: @bamfordgolf
Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina plays host to the 2014 RBC Heritage tournament. This Pete Dye design is famous for being tight and technical and it's position overlooking Calibogue Sound on the eastern seaboard, can lead to tough playing conditions. In gnarly winds 12 months ago two recent U.S. Open Champions in Graeme McDowell and Webb Simpson duelled it out with the Northern Irishman eventually coming out-on-top in typical Emerald Island conditions. To read Steve Bamford's RBC Heritage Tips for 2014 click here
Tournament Facts & Scheduling
The annual visit to Harbour Town links for 'The Heritage' is the traditional post Masters 'exhale.' It always marks the PGA Tour's first of at least three visits to the Carolina states, where the regular Tour stop offs of Quail Hollow, Sedgefield and Harbour Town share very similar characteristics. The courses are true old style set-ups, featuring tree-lined dog-leg holes, where mistakes from the tee usually result in blocked approaches. Locals like Dustin Johnson, Lucas Glover and Webb Simpson price these Carolina tournaments and watch out for other Carolina residents like 2012 Champion Carl Pettersson, Johnson Wagner and William McGirt.
RBC Heritage Course Details
Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head, South Carolina. Designer: Pete Dye Original + Re Design 2011 Course Type: Carolina Par: 71 Length: 7,101 yards Water Hazards: 12 Bunkers: 53 Fairways: Bermudagrass overseeded with Paragon Rye Rough: Bermudagrass overseeded with Paragon Rye 1.25" Greens: 3,700 sq.ft average featuring TifEagle Bermudagrass overseeded with Poa Trivialis Stimpmeter: 10.5-11ft Scoring Avg 2012: 72.3 Ranked 9 of 49 courses for difficulty on the 2012 PGA Tour 2013: 72.0 Ranked 11 of 43 courses in 2013 for difficulty.
Previous Champions 2013: Graeme McDowell; 2012: Carl Pettersson; 2011: Brandt Snedeker; 2010: Jim Furyk; 2009: Brian Gay; 2008: Boo Weekley; 2007: Boo Weekley;
Winners Scores - Post 2009 2013: -9/275; 2012: -14/270; 2011: -12/273; 2010: -13/272; 2009: -20/264.
Winners Prices 2013: McDowell - 40/1 2012: Pettersson - 55/1 2011: Snedeker - 35/1 2010: Furyk - 14/1 2009: Gay - 80/1
Pre-Tournament Key Summary
Tight and technical best describes Harbour Town and it's a real twist that plenty of the PGA Tour's best players compete across Augusta National and here in consecutive weeks; as the set-ups are very different. 344 yards shorter and with 78 less acres of fairway than Augusta, Harbour Town is a claustrophobic track, which took me a couple of years to get my head around. Described as a Links, the Pete Dye design sees an initial 16 holes set inland, with each hole featuring tight fairways with trees either side. Only on the Par 3 17th does the sea come into view and we all know about the famous finishing hole which features the coast and plenty of gorse down its entire length.
It's a typical Dye design around the green complexes as well which makes it a true 2nd shot course. Tiny greens feature Bermudagrass overseeded with Poa Trivialis which are shaped like upturned saucers repelling approach shots. Proximity to hole with approaches and touch around the greens are equally as important and the champions list tells you all you need to know about the calibre of players that triumph here.
Below we track the results of Golf Betting System PGA Tour tipster Steve Bamford who has been producing weekly tips since 2009. You can also follow him on Twitter @bamfordgolf.