RBC Heritage 2022 Overview
In April of 2022, the RBC Heritage will remain at its traditional calendar slot, following The Masters. The 54th edition will feature a solid field of top-ranked players near the top of the RBC Heritage odds, with nearly all of the world’s elite making the short 130-mile travel from Augusta to Hilton Head Island.
Harbour Town is a favourite on TOUR with its traditional Pete Dye design. Jack Nicklaus got his start in golf course architecture as he assisted Dye in the design and building of Harbour Town in 1969. The course is also the most claustrophobic on the PGA TOUR. Hitting drivers often will send you into the rough and scrambling to survive. Thus, strong scramblers and chippers who can produce excellence with short irons and wedges will have more success.
Power is superseded by shot-shaping and shot-making. The fairways are narrow, but some were widened slightly for the rescheduled event the year before last. Nonetheless, Harbour Town’s trees and towering pines frequently obstruct paths to the smallest greens on TOUR. Although some trees have been removed and others have been lost along the final stretch, thinking and managing your way around Harbour Town is still needed to enable low scores. Tiny dome-shaped Bermuda greens face the players that are extremely difficult to hit in regulation and constantly challenge the players visually. A mental test as much as a skill test for the players this week.
Harbour Town Golf Links is not your typical coastal course rather, I would classify it as a Carolina course, sharing features with Quail Hollow and Sedgefield. It also has very close form associations with Copperhead at Innisbrook Resort in Florida, which plays much more like a Carolina-style course than a typical Florida course.
Harbour Town is a Pete Dye classic design that will test all the players this week, especially between the ears. As ever we are going to break down the key stats and trends in order to identify the players who will contend at one of the most beautiful venues on the PGA Tour.
5 Key Skills Set Required
- Driving Accuracy – Some of the tightest fairways on tour face the players this week. Much change from the wide-open Augusta National that they faced last week in the first major championship of 2022. Few courses on tour demand accuracy off the tee but this is certainly one of them. Not only are the players required to find fairways it’s important they find the right side to open up access to the greens.
- SG T2G – The foundations required on technical tests like this start with SG T2G performance. I like to look at the last 24, 36 rounds to understand which players are playing clean golf. Harbour Town will test players off the tee and with their approach shots and the best T2G players on the week will climb that leaderboard
- SG Approach from 150-200 Yards – The players are forced to lay up off the tee box this week leaving longer shots than average into these very tiny greens. We will see a higher percentage of shots from 150 to 200 yards more than we would at the standard PGA Tour event and with Harbour Town putting in such a premium on approach play this is going to be a key distance this week for all players.
- SG Around The Green – Tight fairways, small greens mean one thing is for sure this week, plenty of greens will be missed. CT Pan won here in 2019 hitting around 55% of all green, the average of winners over the past 5 years would be less than 70% meaning players will be required to get up on down 30% of the time or more. I see this week being no different and if the winds do get up then expect SG around the green to be the most important factor of the week.
- SG Putting – We are on the Bermudagrass surfaces this week, look for players who are rolls their rock well of recent times and those that show a liking for the Bermudagrass.