OPINION: Welcome back to plaid nation

Steve WilmotIt certainly has been a year like no other. And in no other year have we been more excited or grateful to welcome you back to the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing. 

COVID-19 brought great perspective for all of us: Community is so important, especially through the biggest challenges. Challenges unimagined. To have the opportunity to welcome our fans back to the grounds is an honor. 

We are able to restart our two charitable giving programs (Birdies for Charity and Champions Fore Charity) and continue to enhance the lives of families and individuals across the state who need it most. 

Although signs of normalcy are returning, the effects from the near year-long pause that COVID-19 forced on the community will be felt for some time, and many of our neighbors are still working hard to rebuild their lives. 

Thanks to your unwavering support, the Heritage Classic Foundation can restore hope and help. Plaid Nation is the fabric of our community and the reason why we can improve the lives of those living in South Carolina. Since 1987, we’ve distributed $45.8 million to nearly 100 nonprofits across the state. 

Your commitment to Plaid Nation is helping feed families who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. It’s investing in the future of our great state and fostering youth scholars to strive for excellence in their education. These are our future leaders. It’s supporting healthcare, the arts, culture, history, the environment, and so much more that provide sustainability and purpose. 

We all have a responsibility to our community, our neighbors and each other. Plaid Nation is a community in and of itself, and what a year it is to celebrate that. 

This year, fans attending the RBC Heritage will be part of a one-of-a-kind event. Health and safety remain the number one priority, and the tournament has implemented a number of new protocols to keep everyone safe during the reimagined event. 

The 2021 RBC Heritage will offer a unique and intimate experience. With fewer spectators on the course, fans will get an enhanced viewing opportunity to watch the world’s best golfers play the iconic holes of Harbour Town Golf Links. 

New COVID-19 safety protocols mean some elements of the tournament have changed. The skyboxes and private hospitality venues that usually surround the golf course will be replaced with open-air villages and concession areas. The use of facial coverings and social distancing will be mandatory. 

We are resilient, ready and eager to have the international spotlight shine once again on South Carolina’s only PGA TOUR event April 12-18. And we are so excited to welcome you back to Plaid Nation.

Steve Wilmot is tournament director of the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing.