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Shotgun Start: Previewing the RBC Heritage

Jonathan Wall
Devil Ball Golf

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Harbour Town Golf Links / Getty Images

It's tournament time! The PGA Tour heads down the road from Augusta, Ga., to Hilton Head, SC, for the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links. Here's a tournament primer to get you prepared for the week.

The course: The Pete Dye designed Harbour Town Golf Links is one of the top stops on the schedule each year. Despite being one of the shortest at 6,973 yards, the par 71 course was ranked as the 21st most difficult (out of 51) on tour in 2011. What the course lacks in length, it more than makes up for with small greens and incredibly narrow fairways. This is a shot-maker's course where hitting the proper spot is absolutely critical if you want to take home the Tartan jacket given to the winner each year. Harbour Town's 18th hole is one of the most famous finishing holes in golf. The 472-yard par-4 has famed Calibogue Sound as a backdrop and on days when the wind is up, the hole can almost play like a short par-5. The postage stamp green has little room for error on the left side of the green; wayward shots usually find the marsh, making par nearly impossible.

The schedule: The tournament runs Thursday-Sunday. It'll be broadcast on the Golf Channel from 3 to 6 p.m. ET on Thursday and Friday, and on CBS from 3 to 6 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday.

The field: Luke Donald (No. 1) and Webb Simpson (10) are the only members of the Official World Golf Ranking top 10 in the field this week. Kyle Stanley, Mark Wilson, Bill Haas, Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar and Ernie Els also plan to tee it up at Harbour Town. Even though the tournament has the unenviable position of being the week after the Masters, tournament officials have embraced the role over the years. The tournament's family friendly atmosphere is a big reason why some of the top players in the game make the trip to Harbour Town each year.

One name you won't see in the field this week is five-time RBC Heritage winner Davis Love III, who pulled out of the tournament with cracked ribs. He hasn't played since the Arnold Palmer Invitation in March.

The video: Check out some of the memorable moments from the RBC Heritage's history.

Your turn. Who are your picks for this week? Swing away!

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