Ask any player on the PGA Tour and chances are he'd likely tell you -- this week's RBC Heritage is one of the best tournaments of the year.
Why? Well for starters, it's the week following the pressure cooker that is the Masters. The atmosphere is far more relaxed, which is no surprise when you consider the tournament is held at the picture-perfect Harbour Town Golf Links at the Sea Pines Resort on breathtaking Hilton Head Island, S.C.
While there's certainly a "loose" feeling for players because of the the family-friendly surroundings, they'll still be grinding hard to try and win.
Before the tournament teed off Thursday morning, we caught up with Sea Pines Resort PGA Director of Golf John Farrell for a little Q&A about the tournament and the area.
PGA.com: What's your favorite aspect of hosting a PGA Tour event?
Farrell: Without question it is the relationships we have with so many people who are so integral to the overall success of the event. Seeing the painting, planting, planning, energy and enthusiasm that is put forth by everyone in the community is just awesome to see. They say it takes a village. Well you need to come see this village and how it works together for the charities and the thousands of people who benefit from hosting this incredible event.
PGA.com: One thing we always here about the Heritage is that it's the perfect tournament to be played the week after the Masters. It's low-key and it's second to none in terms of being family-friendly. That said, these guys are still grinding to win, right?
Farrell: These guys are competitors and want to win each and every week they tee it up. Sea Pines Resort is a family-friendly, warm and relaxed place to play but when the bell rings, it's game on, time to play. Many players are here at their wives and families insistence. After they're finished playing, you see players riding bikes with their children heading for the beach, shopping and enjoying lunch overlooking the harbor. It’s great that they have the opportunity to see and enjoy where we live on a year-round basis.
PGA.com: Do you have a favorite story/memory from working a past Heritage that you can share with us?
Farrell: There are so many wonderful memories, it is difficult to pick a favorite but the times that stand out the most are when we have a winner like Nick Price or Boo Weekley who are just so kind and considerate of the fans, staff and tournament. These two guys treat the locker room attendants and volunteers with the same respect and attitude that they do the check presenters and CEOs.
PGA.com: For folks that haven't yet been to Hilton Head, can you tell them which restaurant they absolutely must go to and why?
Farrell: If you come to Hilton Head Island and Sea Pines Resort and don't go to the Quarterdeck and the Topside restaurant, it would be like going to Paris and skipping the Eiffel Tower. The views, food and feel are second to none!
PGA.com: Lastly, which stretch of holes on the course is your favorite?
Farrell: We are fortunate to have 18 holes that are uniquely qualified to be considered favorites but the stretch of holes that don’t get the attention they deserve are the par 4s -- Nos. 8 through 13. The variety and shot values challenge every part of your game and club in your bag. You must shape shots in all directions, high, low, long and short. The finishing holes are amazing and possess incredible natural beauty but stay alert and ready to play on the middle stretch of par 4s.