A lot of golfers dream of the day they play Harbour Town Golf Links.
For most, the reality is a casual 18 holes as part of their Hilton Head Island vacation.
For others, it may be the crown jewel after playing the Lowcountry’s other esteemed courses.
For a very few, it’s an addition to their PGA Tour resume.
For Bryson Nimmer, it’s a dream years in the making.
This week Nimmer will make his RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing debut, though he’s no stranger to the course.
He’s joining a host of other local players, but he’s the only one who grew up 20 minutes down the road.
“I’m really looking forward to it kind of being a hometown event,” Nimmer told The Island Packet in a phone interview last week after finishing playing a course in San Antonio, Texas. “Any time you get a chance to play on a PGA Tour is special, but it being a local event makes it that much more special.”
Unlike the 2020 event, which banned spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Heritage is allowing a limited number of spectators this year. That means Nimmer’s mom and dad, Patsy and Tony, and other family members will be there, as well as his girlfriend and friends, some of whom will be watching from the sidelines for the first time.
He said he’s not necessarily nervous about being back home, but he’ll spend the first few days seeing many more familiar faces in a golf setting.
The 23-year-old, raised in Bluffton, was a standout golfer at Hilton Head Christian Academy and Clemson University, where he earned collegiate awards that included ACC Freshman of the Year and first team All-American his senior year.
After graduating from college in 2019, Nimmer turned pro — less than a year before the COVID-19 pandemic turned the golfing world upside down, canceling a litany of events.
Some events in 2021 are still being shifted due to COVID-19, including the RBC Canadian Open, which has been moved to the Congaree Golf Club in Ridgeland. Nimmer qualified for the Canadian Open, but he said he doesn’t know whether he’ll get to tee-off in Jasper County this summer.
Although his professional career began at an inopportune time, Nimmer has had a multiple PGA Tour appearances, including his first in 2019 on the Mackenzie Tour and most recently a third go at the Puerto Rico Open.
The week of the Puerto Rico tournament in February, Nimmer’s phone rang — a call he’d worked hard to get.
Heritage Tournament Director Steve Wilmot told Nimmer he’d received a sponsor exemption and would play in the 53rd Heritage.
“It was amazing,” Nimmer said. “I was stoked just to tell everybody, and my parents were as excited, if not more than, anyone else.”
Nimmer is quite familiar with Heritage Classic Foundation events. In 2014, he won the Sea Pines Junior Heritage after he holed out to force a playoff. In 2017, he was runner-up at the Players Amateur held at Berkeley Hall Club. During last year’s Heritage, he caddied for his buddy, Spencer Ralston.
Nimmer is happy to be back in Beaufort County and is ready to make the Lowcountry proud. He knows everyone is rooting for him.
“I’m thankful for all the people in the Lowcountry who have made my career that much more special with them reaching out and keeping up with me,” he said. “I’ve played small events in the middle of nowhere and get three or four texts from people I had no idea cared enough to Google and find the results. That’s really special.”