Golf Travel Destinations
Ireland's top ten must-play courses
Ireland always has been a leading golfing destination but following the exploits of major winners, Harrington, McDowell, McIlroy and Clarke, it's attracting even more attention. Vic Robbie selects ten of the best
Scotland on a budget
Scotland is one of golf's leading destinations but it need not be expensive to experience a slice of golfing history.
Alabama's hidden gem
Doug Hollandsworth tastes the delights of the Gulf Shores.
All night long in Iceland
Vic Robbie discovers that there is more to the land of ice and fire. With 60 golf courses, the visiting golfer can play and party throughout the night
Golf’s Grand on the Strand
Myrtle Beach is a paradise for golfers where their every whim is catered for. Vic Robbie checks out why this area of South Carolina is often called the seaside capital of golf
Latest Golf News
Page 1 of 2The Sea Island Resort in Georgia, USA, is an ideal hideaway for golfers and their families. Everything a golfer could want is here with three splendid courses. And while you're playing the family will be spoiled at The Cloister.
FINGERS of gold spread out across the 10th fairway at sunset and a piper in full Highland dress silhouetted by the ocean piped out the remains of the day while children gambolled around him.
Inside The Lodge in the convivial ambience of the Oak Room guests recounted their day’s exploits in a buzz of conversation fuelled by bartenders pouring generous measures from an extensive Scotch whisky menu.
As soon as we entered the grounds of the old cotton plantation with its impressive Avenue of Oaks, it was like stepping back in time helped by The Lodge’s exposed beams, hardwood floors and old-style southern hospitality. If Scarlett O’Hara herself had flounced down the grand staircase for dinner it would not have been a surprise.
First and foremost The Sea Island Resort is a premier golfing destination as proved by the accolades over the years pronouncing it to be the No.1 Golf Resort and the Top Golfing Community in North America.
Situated on Georgia’s Atlantic coast, it is as much an example of excellence as the state’s other attraction, Augusta. The only difference is you can actually play its courses. While reasonably well known to Americans, it is something of an unknown to the European market which often tends to head for the Carolinas, and Myrtle Beach in particular, or farther south to Florida. Right in the middle is Georgia’s Golden Isles with the resort straddling two neighbouring islands, Sea Island and St Simons, which is the size of Manhattan.
But all similarities end there. The nearest international airports are almost two hours away at Savannah and Jacksonville in Florida and once you turn off the I-95 the sense of isolation is compounded by miles and miles of great salt marshes with the high grasses resembling a lush prairie. So thick are they that at low tide it is almost impossible to define the various islands, and in winter they die and turn a golden brown hence the name the ‘Golden Isles’.
sighted these islands
There is an appealing history to the area. Exploring Spaniards first sighted these islands in the sixteenth century but they left the building of golf courses to Howard Coffinand Bill Jones. The cousins bought the land in 1926 and hired Walter Travis, Harry S Colt and Charles Alison to lay down holes that were graced by Bobby Jones in 1930. The great man was between the third and fourth legs of his Grand Slam and said it was “one of the best nine holes I have ever seen.”
The founders planned to set up ‘a friendly little inn’ and imagined a ‘seaside nirvana’. Almost 80 years on it is much grander with three championship courses – Plantation, Seaside and Retreat - surrounding The Lodge on St Simons Island while just down the road on Sea Island there’s The Cloister which caters for the holidaymaker’s every whim.
Whatever your reasons for visiting Sea Island, golf should be a major one. This is most definitely a one-stop shop for golfers. If your game is more akin to guerrilla gardening and you dream of going somewhere to concentrate on improving your game without distraction then this is it. Sea Island’s Golf Learning Centre is a state-of-the-art facility comprising an indoor studio, 300 yards of teeing area, target greens with practice fairways and chipping and putting greens – and it’s open from 7am to 7pm every day.
The most impressive point about it is the excellence of its personnel, having accumulated a dream team of professionals who can advise on every aspect of the game. If the mental approach gets you all hot and bothered, sports psychologist Dr. Morris Pickens will put you right. If it’s fitness that’s your problem, Randy Myers will create an individual fitness programme.
Even the best ball strikers can have difficulties with putting. Mike Shannon’s lasers and cameras will put you on line. If it’s the swing that needs attention, Director of Instruction Todd Anderson, coach to a host of US Tour players, Jack Lumpkin and Gale Peterson will sort you out.
There’s also a club-fitting section, and at the end of the day you can have a sports massage to ease those aches and pains.
Share this page.