Golf Georgia November/December 2016 : Page 24

Golf Performance Center and free golf for resort guests under the age of 19. For more information on these programs and other packages, visit FRIPP ISLAND, A FAMILY FAVORITE FOR GENERATIONS FRIPP ISLAND, SC – When it opened in 1964, the Ocean Point course at Fripp Island Golf & Beach Resort (then known as Fripp Island Country Club) was one of the South Carolina Lowcountry’s first golf courses. Buoyed by its novelty and beauty, the course played a major role in drawing new visitors to this nascent golf and recreation destination, and in the decades since, Fripp Island Resort has continued to expand and enhance its reputation as one of the East Coast’s most beloved vacation retreats and private residential communities. Buffeted between 3.5 miles of Atlantic coastline and the vast expanses of the Intracoastal Waterway marshes, the resort is a virtual nature preserve with pockets of environmentally protected areas laced with secluded walking and riding trails that bring guests and residents up close with the island’s indigenous wildlife and canopy cover. Ocean Point is an engaging blend of relative-ly exposed holes roaming the waterfront along the island’s eastern point and holes that foray into a more cloistered forest environment. The inland holes feature smaller, well-bunkered greens and slim fairways, but when the routing moves back toward the sea the features grow in size to accommodate the variable winds. Seven of these holes, clustered between the shore and several lakes, provide sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean and Fripps Inlet. In 1995, Love Golf Design, headed by Davis Love III, Mark Love and architect Paul Cowley , added the Ocean Creek course. The design, in contrast to the more sprawl-ing Ocean Links, turns compactly through an isolated section of forest on the island’s south end. Rather than running through cor-ridors of homes and condos, the fairways are bunched in a core configuration interlaced with lagoons and small creeks. The 6,586-yard course requires more precise play tee-to-green and attention to strategic angles, as well as a creative short game on the large, lovely contoured greens. Hurricane Matthew inflicted some damage on the resort in October. Crews were quickly working to make the needed repairs and restore order. For information on lodging, tee times and packages, visit SEA ISLAND GOLF CLUB including four major championship winners ( Zach Johnson , Stewart Cink , Lucas Glover and Justin Leonard ) as well as 1997 PGA Champion and two-time Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III, choose to work with Sea Island instructors at the resort’s Golf Performance Center. The state-of-the-art indoor/outdoor center, situated at one of the world’s great practice ranges on the banks of St. Simon Sound, is home to Sea Island Director of Instruction Todd Anderson (rated number nine on Golf Digest’s “50 Best Teachers in America” list) and teaching luminaries including Jack Lumpkin , Gale Peterson , Mike Shannon and others. In addition to swing coaches, these TOUR pros also work with fitness specialists Randy Myers and Scott Fedisin , as well as sports psychologist Dr. Morris Pickins . The staff and facilities at the Golf Performance Center are not just reserved for professional athletes, however. One-, two-and three-day custom clinics for individuals and resort guests are available, along with group and corporate programs. Of course, the main reason to visit Sea Island is for the golf. Seaside, number 22 on Golf Magazine’s “Top 100 Courses You Can Play List” and rated the best non-private course in Georgia by Golfweek , is a scintillating mix of dunes, marshes, canals, wind and greens that fall off into deep chipping areas. Holes 11, 13 and 14 border on the broad Intracoastal Waterway, while the fourth and fifth holes bend around the Kings Creek tidal marshes with some of the best coastal views in the Southeast. Plantation, which includes the resort’s origi-nal Walter Travis -designed nine holes from 1927 ( Rees Jones renovated Plantation in 1998; Tom Fazio redesigned Seaside in 1999), begins with slinky Lowcountry-like holes that run out and back through oak hammocks and lagoons, and ends with more robust holes culminating at the par-5 18th playing back toward The Lodge and clubhouse with St. Simons Sound as a backdrop. A third golf option, Retreat, is a Love Golf Design remodel of the old Joe Lee 1975 St. Simons Island Club. Here, the Love team wid-ened the fairways, enlarged the low-level greens and enhanced the internal contours making the course a delight for second-shot play. Earlier this year it was announced that ownership of the Sea Island Company would be consolidated by the Philip Anschutz family. Sea Island had originally been owned and operated by the Jones family since its inception in the 1920s until 2010 — the Anschutz’s full acquisi-tion returns the venerable property to single-family ownership once again. This year also marks the 10-year anniversary of the rebuilding of the famous Cloister Hotel, which recently completed a $40 million expansion includ-ing a new 5,000 square-foot ballroom and the 63-room Garden Wing featuring uniquely designed guest rooms with wide plank oak flooring and exposed ceiling beams. Guests can now choose to stay in the Garden Wing or The Cloister, at the oceanside Beach Club, The Cloister Ocean Residences, The Inn at Sea Island (located on St. Simons Island) or at The Lodge, a Forbes Five Star, AAA Five Diamond luxury hotel. This summer, Sea Island introduced several initiatives to help expand the game of golf to families and beginners, including early morn-ing Speed Slot tee times guaranteeing rounds of less than three hours, and shorter Family Tees on Plantation and Retreat with modified scorecards. It also offers special clinics at the 24 GOLF GEORGIA

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