Time to Get Your Plaid On

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All right, Plaid Nation, it's your time to shine. The party is about to start.

The 48th annual RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing will be held at Harbour Town Golf Links April 11-17, and if you don't yet have tickets, get them now. And get your plaid on too.

For many fans, the week is cause for great celebration, because the event will offer plenty of opportunities to see some of the world's best golfers vying for the coveted plaid jacket - oh yes, and that million-dollar check.

For many of the 100,000 spectators, it is - and has always been - simply a social thing. As matter of fact, this year, the tournament is being promoted as an event "where the party is always in full swing."

No matter where you and your group start (the shuttles will drop off at Harbour Town), at some point you must make your way to the Harbour Town Golf Clubhouse, which recently underwent a magnificent makeover. Just stand there for a moment in awe of its beauty.

When you are sufficiently amazed, it's time to continue with the party. If you have a Clubhouse pass, get a "walking" beverage here. Bloody Marys are popular, but bottled water is perfectly fine, especially if it's a warm day.

You might want to wander past the 1st green to the Heritage Pavilion, where you may purchase official merch. This is especially handy if you forgot to bring a hat to shade your eyes from the sun that will doubtless shine all week.

Also nearby is the Expo Village, where you will find all manner of information, products, food ... and beverages.

Concessions are available also at the 7th tee, 8th green, 10th fairway, 13th green, 15th green, 17th green, and 18th fairway.

But don't get too hung up on planning how to hit them all. As one experienced friend says, the Heritage party is "a very fluid thing" that involves walking, standing, watching, sipping, chatting and going with the flow.

At some point, the flow might lead you to the 9th green where you might hear Charles Perry and his son Alan announce the approaching players. Charles has been doing this for 30 years. This is Alan's 11th year. He hopes to inherit the job from his dad - if Charles ever decides to retire. When they are done, have a beer with them; the Clubhouse is just across the cart path.

Walk along the 10th fairway until you see the concessions. You can bear left and head toward the 10th green, or turn right alongside the 16th fairway. But don't go anywhere yet. This is "Social Corner." This is where you are likely to see any of your friends who also go there to be seen. And by now, it's time for another beverage.

Going with the flow, you might check out the Heritage Lawn between 17 and 18. The very popular Grey Goose Lounge will be there and it will be busy, and worth the wait. Definitely stop here if you're over 21 and a fan of vodka.

Just past the 18th hole is the Michelob Ultra 19th Hole, which offers food and beverages, and is an excellent choice for finishing up the afternoon. The view of the lighthouse is spectacular and the energy among the throngs of spectators is exhilarating. Hang around long enough to catch the sunset.

Don't forget there are a few more establishments around the Harbour, including the extremely popular Quarterdeck. If the shuttle lines are long, you can always find another bite and a beverage and wait a little longer.

Daily tickets and weeklong badges for this year's tournament are available at www.rbcheritage.com or by calling the tournament office at 843-671-2448.

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