I love contrasts in golf. I love how a 330-yard drive counts just as much as a 3-inch putt, how a par can happen from the fairway or the parking lot, how one tournament can be won with a score of 20-under and the next with a total over par.
And yes, I love the two-week swing that features the Masters Tournament and the RBC Heritage.
If you’re reading this, you already know all about the former. One of the year’s most high-stress, high-pressure events, contested on a lengthy golf course with rolling hills and brutally fast greens.
There’s no other week like the Masters, but except for the relative proximity of the two courses, the RBC Heritage is about as opposite as it gets. From the sea air blowing in off the Calibogue Sound to the faint sounds of laughter and clinking glasses from the nearby Quarterdeck, this is one of the few weeks on the PGA Tour that can feel like more of a vacation than a job for tournament competitors.
Jordan Spieth was the last Masters champion to make the trip from Augusta to Hilton Head — granted, he spent a few days in New York City in between — and he spoke that week about why he honored the commitment.
“I like how laid‑back it is,” he said at the time. “Great crowds, good fans. The craziness has subsided, and the tournament is run extremely well. We’re treated as well as anywhere on Tour — good food, good facilities.”
Of course, all of this begs one question: How can we use any of this information to our own advantage?
My answer is that our advantage parallels that of the players who came straight from Augusta.
There are 34 players this week who will enjoy the contrast between these two events. For each of them, Hilton Head will serve — perhaps quite literally — as a breath of fresh air. It’ll give them a chance to relax and play stress-free golf after tiptoeing around Augusta. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that four of the past five winners at Harbour Town played the Masters one week earlier.
As you’ll see below, my predictions — which cover the tourney winner, a few top-5/10 props and a head-to-head matchup I’m eyeing — tend to mirror this advantage.