Although the PGA Tour seemed to escape the brunt of Hurricane Matthew, officials on Hilton Head Island, S.C., were still assessing the damage caused by last week’s storm.
“It’s unbelievable. There are trees everywhere,” said Steve Wilmot, the RBC Heritage tournament director. “I haven’t had a chance to see the course [Harbour Town Golf Links], so we won’t know the extent of the damage for a few days.”
Hilton Head Island had been closed because of the storm until Monday afternoon and there have been reports of fallen trees at Harbour Town, the site of the annual Tour stop.
Farther south, officials at Sea Island [Ga.] Resort had already started recovery efforts and were confident the Seaside and Plantation courses would be ready for next month’s RSM Classic, the final stop on the 2016 Tour schedule.
“Overall we were very pleased with the minimal amount of damage we had,” said Brannen Veal, Sea Island’s director of golf. “We were very blessed. We had some microburst throughout the island, there are some places that got hit hard and others that are fine.”
Both the Seaside and Plantation courses are scheduled to reopen on Friday (the adjacent Retreat course lost about 150 trees and won’t reopen until next week), and Veal said there was no damage to any buildings.
Although St. Simons Island didn’t reopen until Monday afternoon, the infrastructure for the tournament was scheduled to be delivered this week, and officials didn’t expect the storm to impact the event.
RSM Classic host Davis Love III was scheduled to attend the reopening of the redesigned Atlantic Dunes course in Hilton Head last week. Instead, he has spent the last few days helping neighbors recover from the storm and remove felled trees on St. Simons Island.
According to Wells Fargo Championship executive director Kym Hougham, Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington, N.C., which will host the event next spring, received 4 1/2 inches of rain and lost some small trees, but was otherwise undamaged by the storm.