March 2018

It’s a Wrap! Lighthouse sporting new look for 50th Heritage

Author: Barry Kaufman | Photographer: Bailey Atkinson

While it’s true that the traditional fiftieth-anniversary color palette generally begins and ends with gold, the RBC Heritage has never been about following other people’s traditions. For our own hometown golf tournament, it’s always been about creating their own.

For example, traditional knowledge, at one point, held that the game of golf arrived in the United States by way of Yonkers, New York. Charles Fraser did some digging and found that it had arrived in South Carolina some 100 years earlier. In doing so, he created a new tradition of American golf—one whose heritage can be traced to the Palmetto State.

And when tradition states that the fiftieth anniversary is the gold anniversary, the RBC Heritage once again re-wrote tradition. As such, we can now truly consider the fiftieth anniversary to be the plaid anniversary. If you need proof, you need only check out the beautiful new wrap adorning the Harbour Town Lighthouse, transforming its candy cane striping into bars of Heritage plaid.

It’s an inspired salute to the tournament’s own traditions, and if you’d like to know who you can credit with such an ingenious design, well that’s too bad.

“Nobody knows whose idea this was. I’d love to claim it, but I can’t,” said Al Kennickell, Heritage Classic Foundation board member and president of the Kennickell Group, the large-format printing firm behind the new wrap. Kennickell Group has been behind the tournament’s vinyl wraps and printing for nearly 25 years, but this would mark something a little above and beyond what’s been done before.

“We understand the world of vinyl printing and applying it. The lighthouse is no different, but there had to be a great deal of preparation,” he said. “You’re talking about a high-profile job so you want to do it right.”

That preparation included trying out different sizes of plaid pattern for visibility, plus meticulously planning placement of the half-mile of vinyl so the patterns would line up. And after testing out a few panels on the white portions to make sure they would stay on and come off without damaging the lighthouse, it was time to install.

“The only tricky thing about the installation of this is that it’s nine stories up in the air and has to be done perfectly,” Kennickell deadpanned.

For the installation, Georgia-based manufacturer Orafol donated all of adhesive vinyl and recommended North Carolina’s Jeremy Conner of Who Did That, Inc. Conner has spent 29 years wrapping everything from cars to water towers in vinyl wraps. But even he admits this job was something different.

“This is by far the coolest landmark wrap I’ve ever done, and this is going to be seen more internationally than anything I’ve done,” Conner said. “It’s also neat, because as far as I’ve researched, nobody’s ever wrapped a lighthouse before… I’ve wrapped the oddest things, but never a lighthouse.”

Conner and his team were soon heading up and down the lighthouse in scissor lifts, applying the decals with hairline precision, hundreds of feet above Harbour Town. The results are astonishing.

“We are incredibly proud of where this tournament started, how far we’ve come and where we stand today,” said Steve Wilmot, tournament director. “To think we are about to embark on our fiftieth tournament is the greatest honor. The longevity of the RBC Heritage speaks to the undivided support and commitment of our fans, volunteers, sponsors, partners, trustees, golfers and community members.”

Follow the hashtag #plaidlighthouse on Instagram to see more.

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