The RBC Heritage at Harbour Town felt so different and unlike most other PGA events that we have been to. It was actually quite nice to come away from the Masters the week before which was quite overwhelming to Hilton Head which is set on an idyllic island and made perfectly for a slower pace of life. The tournament reflected that vibe effortlessly. The weather was beautiful and the fans were chilled.
After saying our goodbyes to the family who were visiting for the Masters we packed up the car and drove the three hours south to the island. It’s not often we drive to tournaments nowadays because it generally stiffens up Tyrrells body, but I do like a good road trip! Any excuse to sing terribly along to the radio… poor Tyrrell hahah!!
Two days later, after we had settled in, T was busy practicing and so I spent the afternoon hanging out with Louise, a fellow European girlfriend who travels with her partner full time. Louise and I left the boys at the golf course for the afternoon and went to a local bike rental shop, which seemed to be the thing to do on this island. I’ve not had so many giggles for a long time, it was absolutely hilarious! We ended up renting a tandem bike which Louise couldn’t touch the floor at the front of the bike and you had to pedal backward to brake. Many bruises and laughing fits later we had explored some of the famous landmarks on the island such as the iconic lighthouse.
The island had been hit by hurricane Matthew the previous year which took down thousands of trees and apparently the locals had been rallying to get the golf course and surrounding areas to get back to looking normal ready for the tournament, which is their biggest tourism week of the year. I’ve never seen anything like Harbour Town though, I felt like we were in Jurassic park. You couldn’t tell the area had been hit by devastation because the vegetation growth was abundant.
The further round the track the more the trees unfold until eventually on the last three holes you see the beach and sea which is scattered with locals watching the golf on their boats- it was pretty cool.
On the golfing front, this week Tyrrell had a bit of an up and down time, he played ok but ideally could do with some down time to properly rest. Usually by this time on the European schedule he would have almost 2 months off, preparing him for a long run in Europe over the summer. Even so, by the Sunday things seemed to have settled down, that was until he finished the back 9 with 5 bogies which dropped him from T6th to T29. Still, it was another cut made!
One of the many highlights for the week that I will always remember is when we were on the 16th green on Saturday afternoon. Overhead you heard a massive roar before you saw the source of the noise. A commercial plane flew above our heads unbelievably low, it circled a few times showing ‘Air France’ on the side of the plane before it flew off to a higher altitude. At first the crowd was unsure on how to react, there were lots of whispers and concerned remarks. Was this intentional? Why did it have Air France down the side of the plane? That threw me off completely- I knew the tournament was sponsored by Boeing but the Air France had me questioning myself for a minute. One of the locals mentioned that they did exactly the same last year and it is part of the tournament tradition. It was absolutely brilliant, what a great sponsor to have!!
After a stressful and sweaty afternoon we headed back through the jungle straight to the airport to catch our flight home to Orlando. We were looking forward to a week off after two weeks away because we had another group of friends coming to stay with us.
I think that’s why this three-month stint seems to have passed by so quickly. Whenever we have been back to Orlando, we have always had a different bunch of friends to come and visit which makes it feel more like we are at home. If we hadn’t had that then perhaps the time would have passed much slower. Other than missing friends and family, strangely, I don’t think either of us really miss home. How could you possibly wake up in a bad mood when every day is 30 degrees outside with not a cloud in the sky?
Our next adventure takes us to New Orleans, which I am beyond excited to write about! People have told me that if I loved Austin, then I should love New Orleans too, so keep your eyes open for a new post on my thoughts for that trip soon. As always, if you want to be the first to read more on what it’s like travelling with a professional golfer, then subscribe in the right hand column!