FALL/WINTER 2018/19 SEA Island LIFE PASSION FOR THE PAST HISTORY TAKES A STARRING ROLE IN POP CULTURE NATURALLY INSPIRED SPA TREATMENTS EMBRACE THE POWER OF PLANTS TIDE TO TABLE THE REBIRTH OF SOUTHERN OYSTER FARMING Gather at the GREEN GOLF EXPERIENCES INSPIRE GROUP GETAWAYS +
6 SEA ISLAND LIFE | FALL/WINTER 2018/19 There are many new developments and events happening on the Island this season, and we are excited to share them with you. At The Lodge, major enhancements are underway: Six cottages, an oceanfront pool and pool house are set to debut in November in time for the RSM Classic, the annual PGA TOUR tournament that takes place here at Sea Island. Then, in early 2019, a brand-new 17,000-square-foot Golf Performance Center will take the place of the existing GPC. After RSM Classic, work will begin on the Plantation Course. The renovation and redesign is being led by Mark Love and Davis Love III of Love Golf Design, who are also behind the new Driftwood Course, the 18-hole putting venue that opened in front of The Lodge in August (page 26). The course offers a great experience for first-time and seasoned players alike, as well as golf groups (page 64) and families. Golf is a tradition at Sea Island that truly spans generations, which makes it an ideal sport for skip-gen travelers: grandparents and grandchildren who are vacationing together. In November, we will host our first Gran-Con, a two-day event designed to help the two “grands” connect. You can learn more about the growing skip-gen travel trend and Gran-Con on page 46. Other activities on the Island that encourage family bonding include hunting at Broadfield, our 5,800-acre sporting club and lodge, where the experience often becomes a tradition (page 24), and the unique nature programs that explore the intriguing world of nighttime birds of prey and introduce participants to our resident owls, Scout and Owlivia (page 20). Yet, of all of the experiences that inspire families to come together, few are as universal as a great meal—especially one that features Southern flavors. In this issue, we highlight some of the region’s prized ingredients, from okra (page 14) to oysters (page 34), as well as culinary trends that are sweeping the nation, such as the vegetable-centric movement (page 51). In our new cookbook, “Soul of the South,” the resort’s favorite recipes are paired with related traditions, stories and history. The book is offered as a set along with “Spirit of the West,” which features recipes and tales from our sister property, The Broadmoor. You can learn more about the history of cookbooks and the new publications on page 60. Whether you are here to experience what’s new at Sea Island, to continue a tradition or to enjoy a bit of both, we are thrilled to have you with us at this exciting time. Sincerely, Scott Steilen President and CEO, Sea Island Welcome to Sea Island! WELCOME
A good advisor helps you stay on course no matter what the conditions. RSM US LLP is the U.S. member firm of RSM International, a global network of independent audit, tax and consulting firms. Visit rsmus.com/aboutus for more information regarding RSM US LLP and RSM International. AP-NT-ALL-ALL-0816 SEE CHALLENGES BEFORE THEY’RE CHALLENGING. To make confident decisions about the future, middle market leaders need a different kind of advisor. One who starts by understanding where you want to go and then brings the ideas and insights of an experienced global team to help get you there. Experience the power of being understood. Experience RSM. rsmus.com The proud title sponsor of the PGA TOUR’s RSM Classic hosted by the Davis Love Foundation.
8 SEA ISLAND LIFE | FALL/WINTER 2018/19 34. 38. 40. 46. 51. 54. 60. 64. TIDE TO TABLE As new farming techniques take hold, fresh Southern oysters are poised to gain a major following throughout the United States. By Jessica Farthing SECRETS OF A SOMMELIER Ryan McLoughlin, head sommelier at Sea Island, discusses the pivotal role that beverage professionals play in the culinary world and what he enjoys most about his job. By Ashley Ryan PATHWAY TO THE PGA The Jones Cup Invitational, hosted at Sea Island’s Ocean Forest Golf Club, has a rich history of helping amateur golfers reach their full potential. By Judd Spicer GRAND GETAWAYS Skip-gen vacations offer unique opportunities for grandparents and grandchildren to bond and create memories that will last a lifetime. By Michelle Rae Uy FRESH FOCUS Vegetables are taking over menus, moving from side to star in creative dishes across the country. By Jennifer Walker-Journey RECONNECTING WITH HISTORY More Americans seem to be discovering a passion for the past. By Amber Lanier Nagle CRAVING COOKBOOKS By capturing the secrets of favorite flavors from a particular time and place, cookbooks provide a unique taste of tradition. By Nancy Dorman-Hickson GATHER FOR GOLF When it comes to a great golfing getaway, Sea Island offers a wealth of amenities for groups of friends both on and off the course. By Dale Leatherman 34 38 64 Contents | Features Fall/Winter 2018/19
Georgia’s Premier Life Plan Community 136 Marsh’s Edge Lane • St. Simons Island, GA 31522 (912) 324-3028 • Marshs-Edge.com Independent Living • Assisted Living • Memory Care • Skilled Nursing • Rehab Yeah... that’s what our members said too.
10 SEA ISLAND LIFE | FALL/WINTER 2018/19 WELCOME LETTER SEASONAL FLAVORS: FALLING FOR OKRA From crispy fried appetizers to hearty stews, this versatile vegetable stars in many of the South’s signature recipes. LIBATIONS: MUST-TRY MOCKTAILS These creative drinks offer all of the complex flavors of classic cocktails, minus the alcohol. SOUTHERN STYLE: BEST OF THE BOOTS With reimagined former trends complementing bold, brand-new styles, footwear that was once seen as seasonal can now be embraced throughout the year. OUTWARD BOUND: NATURE AT NIGHTTIME From seeking out wild owls to dissecting bird pellets, Sea Island offers a range of exciting opportunities to learn about, and even interact with, nocturnal birds of prey. MIND + BODY: NATURALLY INSPIRED Spa treatments are taking advantage of the power of plants to provide custom experiences and impressive results. GET FIT: WALK THIS WAY Fitness meets exploration in a wide range of walking tours available on the Island. FAMILY FIRST: TOGETHER ON THE HUNT Hunting at Broadfield is always memorable and, for some families, it’s also a longtime tradition. 6. 14. 16. 18. 20. 22. 23. 24. IN THE SWING: PUTTING FOR FUN The new putting course at Sea Island was designed to allow avid golfers to hone their skills while encouraging people of all ages and experience levels to give the sport a try. ON THE ISLE: DID YOU KNOW? A longtime Sea Island employee, Terry Wiggins, shares some of his memorable experiences at the resort and touches on the meaning of Southern hospitality. FAVORITE THINGS: MARRIAGE MEMORIES For these couples, who exchanged wedding vows at The Cloister, Sea Island will always hold a special place in their hearts. HISTORY: LIGHTING THE WAY The St. Simons Lighthouse is a shining example of history and tradition in coastal Georgia. EXPERIENCE SEA ISLAND This guide includes what’s new, dates to save and other Island notes. CONNECT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA Discover what has happened on the Island. EXPERIENCE THE BROADMOOR Learn about Sea Island’s sister property, The Broadmoor, and discover its news and latest events. SEA ISLAND STYLE Find the latest looks from your favorite brands, plus sporting gear, gourmet goods and more at the wide variety of shops. THEN AND NOW: AN EXEMPLARY SERVICE Since day one, the butlers at The Lodge have ensured that Sea Island members and guests have an exceptional stay. 26. 28. 30. 32. 68. 71. 72. 74. 86. 20 FALL/WINTER 2018/19 SEA Island LIFE PASSION FOR THE PAST HISTORY TAKES A STARRING ROLE IN POP CULTURE NATURALLY INSPIRED SPA TREATMENTS EMBRACE THE POWER OF PLANTS TIDE TO TABLE THE REBIRTH OF SOUTHERN OYSTER FARMING Gather at the GREEN GOLF EXPERIENCES INSPIRE GROUP GETAWAYS + FC_SI12.indd 1 9/18/18 9:02 AM THE VIEW FROM THE NEW GOLF PERFORMANCE CENTER AT SEA ISLAND, OPENING IN EARLY 2019 Contents | Departments Fall/Winter 2018/19
MADE IN ENGLAND Since 1973 Chosen by the finest hotels in the world Discover their luxury collections at The Lodge and The Sea Island Shop
12 SEA ISLAND LIFE | FALL/WINTER 2018/19 EDITORIAL & DESIGN EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Steve Zepezauer CREATIVE DIRECTOR Sonia Chung EDITOR Katherine Duncan [email protected] ASSOCIATE EDITORS Ashley Probst, Ashley Ryan, Sharon Stello MARKETING DESIGN DIRECTOR/ART DIRECTOR Paul Graff SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Shaylene Brooks CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Debra Bokur, Nancy Dorman-Hickson, Jessica Farthing, Stephanie Kalina-Metzger, Dale Leatherman, Michelle Franzen Martin, Amber Lanier Nagle, Judd Spicer, Jenn Thornton, Michelle Rae Uy, Jennifer Walker-Journey PHOTOGRAPHER/PHOTO EDITOR Dondee Quincena DIGITAL MANAGING EDITOR Kim Zepezauer SALES ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER NATIONAL ACCOUNTS DIRECTOR Carrie Robles [email protected] 305-431-5409 NEW YORK SALES DIRECTOR Maryellen Case PRODUCTION MANAGER Tina Leydecker PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Megan Shelhamer FINANCE ACCOUNTING MANAGER Tiffany Thompson CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Steve Zepezauer CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER Scott Sanchez PRESIDENT & CEO Scott Steilen CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER Parra Vaughan MANAGER, MARKETING & CRM Jessica DiVincent STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Eliot VanOtteren ©2018 BY FIREBRAND MEDIA LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO PART OF THIS PERIODICAL MAY BE REPRODUCED IN ANY FORM OR BY ANY MEANS WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT FROM SEA ISLAND LIFE. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED HEREIN ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHORS AND ADVERTISERS AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THOSE OF THE OWNERSHIP OR MANAGEMENT OF THE MAGAZINE OR SEA ISLAND. TO OUR READERS: Sea Island Life invites you to share with us your reactions to our magazine. Send your correspondence to Editor, Sea Island Life, 580 Broadway, ste. 301, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 or to [email protected]. The magazine accepts freelance contributions; however, unsolicited materials cannot be returned, and Sea Island Life accepts no responsibility for loss or damage to unsolicited materials. ADVERTISERS: For inquiries, please contact Carrie Robles at [email protected]. Sea Island Life, 580 Broadway, ste. 301, Laguna Beach, CA 92651; 949-715-4100. SEA Island LIFE
14 SEA ISLAND LIFE | FALL/WINTER 2018/19 If you have been lucky enough to dine at a true Southern restaurant, it’s likely that you have encountered breaded disks of sliced green okra. Enjoying this fried Southern staple is a prerequisite to truly understanding the region’s cuisine, as okra permeates many of the traditional dishes. Fried, stewed, pickled, roasted or simply eaten raw, the ingredient is as intertwined in favorite local recipes as black-eyed peas or pecans. Okra’s long history in the South is thanks in part to the ease of growing the vegetable, which made the crop a popular choice for production. It grows in a multitude of soil types and yields beautiful hibiscus-like flowers that stay open during the day and close at night. Okra thrives in warm climates, and is harvested well into October throughout most of the Southern states. Southern-born chef Virginia Willis is the author of “Okra: A Savor the South Cookbook” from the popular series produced by the University of North Carolina Press. During her research, she followed the path of okra as it moved from its African origins to other parts of the world. “One of the things I found fascinating was that every culture that has okra—whether it is Greek, Brazilian, Indian or the Southern United States—fries it,” Willis says. “And everyone cooks it with tomatoes. Of course, both of these minimize The vegetable is made up of edible seed pods. Falling for Okra From crispy fried appetizers to hearty stews, this versatile vegetable stars in many of the South’s signature recipes. By Jessica Farthing SEASONAL FLAVORS
FALL/WINTER 2018/19 | SEA ISLAND LIFE 15 BOTTOM: BEA LANADO/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM the ‘slime’ factor.” Whether or not the mucilaginous quality of okra should be labeled as a pro or a con is often a source of debate. More than one Southern-born child has developed an aversion to okra due to the sliminess of the vegetable, but many find it appealing. “One thing I like about okra is its gelatinous qualities,” says Christopher Delissio, chef de cuisine at Southern Tide. “It’s one of the few vegetables … that I know of that can be used to thicken stews and sauces.” Gumbo is a great example of a dish that benefits from this aspect of okra. This stew, developed in Louisiana, typically combines herbs and spices, peppers, sausage and seafood or other meat with okra as the main component to flavor and thicken the sauce. It is so important to the dish that the name “gumbo” is actually taken from the West African word for okra, “kimgombo.” However, for those who aren’t fond of the sticky element, it can be minimized by the type of cooking method. Adding an acid to a dish helps reduce it, while searing or frying stop the liquid output. One thing is certain, okra’s versatile nature provides plenty of options when it comes to preparation. Delissio serves okra with a little bit of a twist: pickled, then fried. “It’s a cool contrast—frying anything that is pickled— because you get the tartness with the salty, savory flavor of frying an item.” This method is an integral part of his recipe for Southern shrimp and grits, a medley of shrimp, sausage, stewed fresh okra, tomatoes, garlic, peppers and spices over creamy cheese grits. Some of the okra at the resort is sourced from local purveyor Canewater Farm. This farm-to-table approach yields crisp, fresh green okra for use at Southern Tide. With okra, fresher is better, as the pods get woody and fibrous the longer they are on the plant and the longer they sit waiting to be prepared. With the prevalence of home gardens in the South, it often makes it to the table the same day that it’s picked. Willis remembers her grandmother preparing okra when she was a child. “We would spend summers in Georgia mostly,” she says. “My grandmother would fry okra in her cast-iron skillet. She would put down newspaper and a brown paper bag with towels on top, and I remember her frying it and scooping it onto that paper landing pad. My sister and I would eat it as fast as she could make it. Whenever you have ingredients harvested that day, it tastes delicious.” m Shrimp and Grits OKRA IS A FEATURED INGREDIENT IN THIS RECIPE FROM CHRISTOPHER DELISSIO, CHEF DE CUISINE AT SOUTHERN TIDE. SERVINGS: 2 16 fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined Blackening spice, as needed 2 tablespoons butter, divided 1 cup yellow onion, julienned 1/2 cup red bell pepper, julienned 1/2 cup green bell pepper, julienned 1 cup fresh okra, sliced 1 cup andouille sausage, diced 1 teaspoon garlic, minced 1/4 cup white wine 1 cup tomato saffron broth 1/2 cup tomato juice 5 pickled okra, halved Seasoned flour 2 cups of prepared cheese grits Season shrimp with blackening spice. In a large pan, sear the shrimp with half of the butter. Add onions, peppers, fresh okra, sausage and garlic. Sauté briefly, then deglaze the pan with the white wine. Add the tomato broth and tomato juice and gently simmer to reduce and thicken, seasoning to taste. While the sauce with the shrimp in it is reducing, dredge the pickled okra in seasoned flour and deep fry until golden brown and crispy. Just before plating, stir the remaining half of the butter into your shrimp and sauce. In the middle of a large bowl, place half of your hot grits. Top the grits with half of the shrimp and sauce. Garnish with half of the fried okra. Repeat for the second portion and serve immediately. During the growing season, okra plants produce beautiful flowers. Okra is used in dishes across the globe.
16 SEA ISLAND LIFE | FALL/WINTER 2018/19 The latest trend in cocktails is actually not a cocktail at all. Mocktails are nonalcoholic beverages that “mock” spirited cocktails. To the untrained eye, these drinks look and often taste very much like their cocktail counterparts, providing a sophisticated alternative for those who want to enjoy the flavor of a mixed drink without the effects of alcohol. They’re rapidly gaining popularity, showing up on drink menus in restaurants across the country and even around the world. That’s because bartenders are stepping up their game, giving nonspirited mocktails as much attention as their well-conceived alcoholic versions. These beverages go beyond a mixture of fruit juices and provide the perfect balance between acidity and sweetness, with enough complexity to satisfy the most discerning taste buds. “You have to hit all the same points on the palate as the cocktail you are mocking [would],” says Erica Gantt, lead bartender at the Forbes Five-Star Georgian Room. “But it’s a lot of fun to create something of your own.” Mocktails have become so popular that they are now a staple at most dining establishments at Sea Island, says Megan Corrigan, who serves as a bartender at River Bar & Lounge. “I think it’s one of the driving forces that keeps us creative,” she says. Many bartenders at the resort craft their mocktails using house-made sodas, freshpressed fruits, muddled herbs and vinegar shrubs to imitate the flavor and sophistication of a classic cocktail. “I think our responsibility as bartenders [is] that we are able to provide our guests with creative and thoughtful alternatives to alcohol if they have made a decision not to drink,” Corrigan says. Here are just a few of the inventive mocktails to try at Sea Island. Champagne Mocktail Few bar drinks are as elegant as sparkling Champagne cocktails. These beverages are Lead Bartender Erica Gantt crafts mocktails in the Georgian Room Lounge. LIBATIONS Must-Try Mocktails These creative drinks offer all of the complex flavors of classic cocktails, minus the alcohol. By Jennifer Walker-Journey
FALL/WINTER 2018/19 | SEA ISLAND LIFE 17 BOTTOM LEFT: MELICA/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM Juniper berries flavor the Nonalcoholic French 75. Late Harvest Lemonade From left: Champagne Mocktail, Nonalcoholic French 75, Not Your Mother’s Tonic traditionally served with a sugar cube at the bottom of the flute with a few drops of bitters and a splash of brandy. The mock version, served in the Georgian Room, uses pomegranate balsamic vinegar and Sea Island’s specialty house-made peach jam to mimic the blush of the Champagne cocktail, and is topped off with sparkling apple cider. Late Harvest Lemonade Back at River Bar & Lounge by popular demand, this tart yet sweet beverage mixes a house-made ginger and cinnamon syrup with lemon juice and apple shrub, a so-called “drinking vinegar” mixed with fruit juice. Shrubs are a popular staple in craft cocktails as well as mocktails, able to deliver a sweet or acidic vibe to beverages, making the ideal mixer for a seasonal lemonade mocktail. Mini Mambo Some of the property’s favorite drinks have been crafted into nonalcoholic beverages for all to enjoy. “The most popular cocktail in River Bar [& Lounge] history is the Last Tango, and we have a mocktail version of it,” Corrigan says. The Last Tango itself comprises hibiscusinfused tequila, muddled basil and cantaloupe, plus lime juice, agave and a hint of cayenne salt. While the Mini Mambo is inspired by this flavorful cocktail, it lacks the tequila and salt, combining muddled cantaloupe with agave and lime juice before it is finished off with a splash of Sprite and a basil garnish. Nonalcoholic French 75 The classic French 75, which is a sophisticated cocktail that developed over the first half of the 20th century, is typically made with gin, Champagne, lemon juice and either simple syrup or sugar. But Gantt has thought of a unique way to make this drink without its alcoholic elements. “Since gin is [often] made with juniper, I use dried juniper berries, add lemon and simple syrup, and muddle that together,” she says. That concoction is shaken with ice and strained into a Champagne flute before being topped with sparkling apple cider. The Nonalcoholic French 75 is served at the Georgian Room. Not Your Mother’s Tonic Another gin-inspired Georgian Room mocktail is a nonalcoholic stand-in for the iconic gin and tonic. Gantt uses cucumber and basil syrup to mimic Hendrick’s Gin’s cucumber and roseinfused gin then blends it with Fever-Tree, a premium tonic water that is used in many of the beverages at the Georgian Room. The final product is served with a fresh basil leaf. m
18 SEA ISLAND LIFE | FALL/WINTER 2018/19 The beauty of the latest trends in boots and booties is that they are hardly seasonal. Stunning boot trends have permeated the shoe department, making it easy to embrace many of the most stylish looks throughout the year. According to celebrity stylist Tiffany Gifford, booties, in particular, have evolved into much more than just a cool weather shoe. “Booties are such a trend right now; many can be worn yearround,” says Gifford, whose client list includes Miranda Lambert, Shania Twain, Sheryl Crow, Brett Eldredge, Ashley Monroe, Maddie & Tae, Jewel and Anderson East. “Open-toe boots are great for warmer weather, and brands like Freebird [by Steven] make great bootie-sandal hybrids that can take you into the summer … as well.” Yet, boots are still essential for the cooler time of year, and there is no shortage of inspiring trends this season. Naturally, some evergreen boots are making an appearance. “I think the ever-popular chunky heel bootie, in the style of the Rag & Bone classic as well as the Isabel Marant booties, will always be around,” Gifford notes. However, designers are in rare form, reclaiming some of last year’s best boot looks while upcycling older ones in such exciting ways that our wardrobes might never be the same. It’s impossible to discuss this season’s trends without a trip down memory lane, specifically because some of last year’s musthave designs are being echoed this year. For example, in 2017 there was a revival of styles that were prominent in the 1980s, as demonstrated by boots like Isabel Marant’s Lileas ruched leather ankle boots and Stella McCartney’s denim slouchy boots, and these looks are still relevant. Meanwhile, Tibi is recycling last year’s white ankle boot trend, with brands like Givenchy and Tory Burch also joining in. These booties will look gorgeous with your favorite pair of jeans or a 1970s-inspired dress that’s short enough to show them off. Kitten heels are also proving they have staying power, as is the color red, advocated by the likes of Dolce & Gabbana with vibrant options that would look as fashionable paired with long dresses as they would with jeans. For a touch of utilitarian mixed with a relaxed vibe, consider combat boots. While they are almost always in fashion, this year’s look is less chunky while still offering a slightly edgy style. Chloé’s heeled, orange-trimmed lace boots or Jonathan Simkhai’s crocodilepatterned shoes will completely transform the look, giving it more of an urban-bohemian feel. There are also a number of fresh trends to be excited about. To start, angled heels are in: The classic block heel has been given an edgy, retro slant, with brands like A Détacher, Tibi and Marques’Almeida perfecting the style. Plaid is also making a statement in shoes. Some of these boots are reminiscent of the classic 1990s film “Clueless,” with Balenciaga and Marques’Almeida both releasing options with a black-on-yellow color scheme. Other fashion houses are highlighting more traditional tartan shades. Tread carefully, however, as these are not so easily pulled off. The current throwback craze extends to earlier generations as well, including the 1960s and 1980s. Psychedelic patterns like those used by Chloé and Dior, as well as kitschy colors, are perfect for those days when you are feeling particularly daring. One of the most popular trends from this year’s runway, however, is the inclusion of wide-collar, midcalf boots. They are among 2018’s most approachable yet fashionforward styles, with houses like Givenchy and designers like Prabal Gurung giving them a bit of personality with bold colors, architectural heels and refined designs. Whether you opt for a brand-new design or a throwback style, the latest looks prove that boots and booties can serve as fashionable additions to your wardrobe year-round. m Best of the Boots With reimagined former trends complementing bold, brand-new styles, footwear that was once seen as seasonal can now be embraced throughout the year. By Michelle Rae Uy SOUTHERN STYLE A DÉTACHER AUSTEN BOOTS, $515 (ADETACHER.COM)
FALL/WINTER 2018/19 | SEA ISLAND LIFE 19 1. FRYE SABRINA 6G LACE UP, $378 (THEFRYECOMPANY.COM) 2. HALSTON HERITAGE FAITH KITTEN HEEL ANKLE BOOTS, $398 (HALSTON.COM) 3. BALENCIAGA KNIFE BOOTIES WILD FLOWERS, $1,650 (BALENCIAGA.COM) 4. MERCEDES CASTILLO KASURI POINTY TOE BOOTIE, $475 (NORDSTROM.COM) 5. UGG SUEDE VALENCIA PEEP TOE HEEL, $150 (UGG.COM) 6. STUART WEITZMAN WOMEN’S MARGOT 75 ROUND TOE SUEDE MID-HEEL BOOTIES, $575 (BLOOMINGDALES.COM) 7. GIVENCHY COWBOY ANKLE BOOTS WITH STUDS, $1,095 (GIVENCHY.COM) 1. 3. 3. 7. 6. 2. HALSTON HERITAGE FAITH KITTEN HEEL ANKLE BOOTS, $398 4. 5. 2.
20 SEA ISLAND LIFE | FALL/WINTER 2018/19 It’s not often that humans have the opportunity to set eyes on owls. These beautiful birds of prey are most active at night, when much of the world is asleep. But despite their seemingly elusive nature, they play a vital role at Sea Island, according to Paige Hansen, an apprentice falconer at the resort. “Not only do they provide free pest control for humans, but they also maintain the balance in an ecosystem,” she explains. “Most species of owls are nocturnal predators and hunt prey that the [daytime] birds of prey like hawks, falcons and eagles often don’t encounter. Owls are very opportunistic and will eat a variety of prey so, if one prey species becomes scarce, they can easily switch to different prey to maintain balance.” Hansen notes that owls have some incredible traits that make them especially stealthy nocturnal hunters. “They have a little adaptation on the leading edge of their primary wing feather, which looks like a comb,” she explains. “Those projections help diffuse the air, resulting in silent flight. Another unique characteristic that they possess is asymmetrical hearing, which also helps them in their nighttime navigation. Since one ear is higher than the other, they hear sounds twice.” A chance to observe and interact with these nocturnal creatures is rare indeed, but there are multiple unique opportunities for members and guests to do so at Sea Island. Possibly the best way to get up close and personal with the birds is through the Owl Prowl program, a family-friendly activity that was designed to educate, entertain and introduce the audience to the raptors in Sea Island’s falconry program. The program takes place in the summer and participants gather Owlivia is an Eastern screech owl. OUTWARD BOUND Nature at Nighttime From seeking out wild owls to dissecting bird pellets, Sea Island offers a range of exciting opportunities to learn about, and even interact with, nocturnal birds of prey. By Stephanie Kalina-Metzger
FALL/WINTER 2018/19 | SEA ISLAND LIFE 21 at the Sea Island Beach Club, where they learn fun facts about owls and meet Owlivia, the resort’s resident Eastern screech owl, and Scout, Sea Island’s Eurasian eagle-owl. After soaking in the information and demonstrations, spectators head to the kids’ café for a hands-on activity: dissecting an owl pellet. “An owl pellet is basically a hairball full of the [indigestible] … material from the food they have eaten,” Hansen explains. “When owls consume a mouse, for instance, they [also] eat the fur and the bones. That [indigestible] … material stays in the gizzard, or second stomach, and forms a pellet that they compress and cough up [within] 24 hours.” She describes each pellet as “a surprise,” which lends to the intrigue as the dissection commences. “The kids view the owl pellets as a bit of a scavenger hunt,” Hansen says. The hourlong program ends with more exploration as guests and members are led outside to search for wild owls with the aid of red flashlights. If all goes well, the birds will respond to the falconer’s calls. Participants also have the chance to spot toads, ospreys, bats, marsh rabbits and more. For many, the highlight of the Owl Prowl presentation is when Scout is set loose to fly across the auditorium before returning to the glove of his handler. A full-grown Eurasian eagle-owl is one of the largest owl species on the planet, with a wingspan of about 6 feet, but Scout was just a baby when he arrived at Sea Island from Massachusetts. Scout lived with Jon Kent, the resort’s director of outdoor pursuits, for five weeks while undergoing his first phase of training. One thing that Kent learned throughout the process was that owls are farsighted. “I was told that you can train an owl to fly to a perch, but not to a glove,” Kent says. “I felt we needed to get him there, but he had trouble finding it, so the first time he flew across the training line to my glove was a pretty exciting day.” Scout chose his own name (narrowed down from among 500 suggestions submitted via social media; see the video at seaisland.com/ owls), and he has proven to be a hit with visitors of all ages. “He’s become our mascot here,” Kent says. “When we take him around the resort, he always draws a crowd and the All About Owls DISCOVER MORE FUN FACTS ABOUT THESE FASCINATING BIRDS. Feeling Flexible: An owl can turn its head 270 degrees in either direction. Binocular Vision: Despite their incredible eyesight, owls have eyes that are immobile in the socket. However, they have a special third eyelid called a nictitating membrane that helps to protect the eye while they are hunting. Home Sweet Home: Owls do not create their own nests; they will use abandoned nests from other birds or seek shelter in holes or crevices in trees or rocky outcroppings. On the Hunt: Owls are opportunistic carnivores—their prey consist of small rodents, insects, reptiles and even other birds of prey. Although it depends on the species of the owl, some can sense their prey up to 100 feet away. Taking Flight: A group of owls is called a parliament, though they generally travel solo. kids really go crazy.” Another way to get in on the region’s nighttime action is through the Nocturnal Island Adventure, a second program that takes a look at the isle’s nighttime inhabitants. This experience, which is also based out of the Sea Island Beach Club during the summertime, allows participants between the ages of 7 and 14 to enjoy dinner after exploring the local barrier island habitats. A naturalist leads children outdoors to seek out owls and other birds as well as sea turtles, ghost crabs, amphibians and other types of marine life that come out in the evening. In addition to the hike, educational presentations and themed arts and crafts, Nocturnal Island Adventure takes members and guests to the on-site nature room, where they can see animals like snakes and turtles. There is also a touch tank with creatures like rays and puffer fish. For both the young and young at heart, the Owl Prowl and Nocturnal Island Adventure offer new and exciting ways to learn about the natural world at nighttime. m Sea Island members and guests can meet resident owls Owlivia (left) and Scout (right). The touch tank in the resort’s nature room
22 SEA ISLAND LIFE | FALL/WINTER 2018/19 BOTTOM: ARTKIO/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM There has been a rousing shift in how we approach the care and health of our skin, with a dramatic swing in the spa industry that embraces natural, holistic ingredients. Consumer demand for natural and organic personal care products free of chemicals such as parabens and sulfates is expected to top $13.2 billion this year, and industry analysts predict continued growth through 2020. Expanding awareness of the possibility of toxicity and even hormone disruption from the use of synthetically produced, chemically laden skin care potions is fueling this evolution. At Sea Island, transformations to the spa menu reflect this trend with a large selection of products rooted in pure plant components. Ella Kent, director of spa, fitness and racquet sports, explains that the search for an elegant, effective and more natural approach to the products and protocols used in body treatments and massage therapies led directly to Naturopathica. The luxurious natural beauty company was created by Barbara Close, whose expertise in holistic skin care includes over two decades of product development. With the increased focus on ingredient safety, Close says the spa industry is confirming everything her company has stood for over the last 20 years. “Herbs are the oldest and most widely used form of health care in the world,” she explains, noting that some have restorative powers to help the body function. “Some of the greatest healing agents have been derived from the plant kingdom and are still used throughout the world today.” Kent points to the Pursuit of Happiness at Sea Island as a prime example of a treatment that takes full advantage of the benefits of natural ingredients. The treatment begins with a facial massage, complete with your choice of one of four products from Naturopathica’s Aromatic Alchemy Gift Set. Each product offers a totally unique aromatherapy experience: Chill Aromatic Alchemy’s chamomile, lemon verbena and neroli blossoms with bee balm for improved rest and serenity; Inspire Aromatic Alchemy’s balsam fir needles, pink grapefruit, red mandarin and mood-balancing Saint-John’s-wort to enhance self-confidence and ground emotional energy; Meditation Aromatic Alchemy’s sandalwood and frankincense mingled with the “grounding essences” of ginger root, clove, cardamom and sweet orange for mindfulness and clarity; or Re-Boot Aromatic Alchemy’s uplifting and energizing lemongrass and peppermint, with holy basil to help augment stress resistance in the body. Another element of the facial massage utilizes the Wild Lime Revitalizing Scalp & Hair Oil with exhilarating components that include zesty lime, tangerine and pink grapefruit melded with avocado oil, in addition to pressure point work. The next portion includes a traditional body brushing that is said to improve blood flow. Afterward, Naturopathica’s Lemongrass Mimosa Body Scrub is used to exfoliate the feet, while offering fragrant notes of lemongrass, mimosa, jasmine and ylang-ylang. The Pursuit of Happiness concludes with a full-body massage, during which a base of Botanical Seed Bath & Body Oil is blended with the guest’s aromatherapy selection. The oil includes nourishing coldpressed sunflower, grape and apricot seed oils, plus gamma-linolenic acid for skin replenishment—leaving you rejuvenated and relaxed, and ready to explore the Island. m MIND + BODY Naturally Inspired Spa treatments are taking advantage of the power of plants to provide custom experiences and impressive results. By Debra Bokur Spa treatments at Sea Island often incorporate natural ingredients. Below: dried chamomile
FALL/WINTER 2018/19 | SEA ISLAND LIFE 23 There is an impressive amount of data validating the significant health benefits of walking—this is particularly good news for frequent travelers, who can take their workout with them wherever they go, and explore their destination while exercising. A study published by Harvard Medical School states that just 30 minutes of walking per day can grant health benefits that include weight loss, improved blood pressure and lower risk of coronary artery disease and heart attack, along with protection against diabetes, dementia, depression, cancer and other diseases. “Walking is essential to our everyday living,” says Tom Hemmings, fitness operations and training supervisor at Sea Island. “The movement requires multiple joints and muscles. Sea Island fitness offers outside walks, on or off the beach. This can be very enjoyable for guests, as they get to see the true beauty of the Island, as well as the beach and surrounding islands within the Golden Isles.” Guests and members at Sea Island can also take in the magnificent coastal setting while participating in walks led by naturalist Raleigh Kitchen and historian Wheeler Bryan Jr. During the Tree Spirits Tour this fall, participants can embark on an evening tour led by Bryan that is filled with unique sights and stories. During the excursion, seven mysterious creatures reveal themselves to entertain and excite those with an adventurous spirit. Another option is the Pathfinder Program, which was created just for younger guests. During this engaging adventure, participants between the ages of 7 and 14 have the opportunity to go behind the scenes and learn about the fascinating history of the resort. Kitchen, on the other hand, takes guests outdoors for an hourlong expedition into the maritime forest and salt marsh habitats on Sea Island during the Marsh Habitat and Wildlife Walk. Along the way, the naturalist shares her knowledge of these unique habitats and the wildlife within them. Kids ages 7 to 14 can also get moving during the Sea Island Junior Naturalist walks led by Kitchen, where they explore unique barrier island ecology while keeping their eyes peeled for local birds. The options don’t end there. Sea Island also offers the Sea Turtle Education and Night Walk, which includes information on the hatchlings and their mothers, as well as the Hawk Walk on Rainbow Island, where members and guests can watch a bird of prey take to the skies. Wherever your path leads you, each experience combines fitness with fun for a unique way to explore and learn about the Island. m GET FIT Walk this Way Fitness meets exploration in a wide range of walking tours available on the Island. By Debra Bokur Just 30 minutes of walking each day can grant a range of health benefits. Learn about hatchlings during the Sea Turtle Education and Night Walk in the summer.
24 SEA ISLAND LIFE | FALL/WINTER 2018/19 Family traditions promote strong bonds and lasting memories, and few stand out more than family hunting trips. At Broadfield, A Sea Island Sporting Club and Lodge, many of the same groups return year after year to perfect their skills. In fact, for some families, a visit to Broadfield marks the beginning of the tradition. “We have this great opportunity to introduce new people to the sport and heritage of hunting,” says Lee Barber, the manager of Broadfield. “We do a lot of father/son or father/daughter hunts.” Such was the case for Mike Granuzzo of Jacksonville Beach, Florida, who hunted at Broadfield first with his son, Connor, and last year with both Connor and daughter, Lena. “I had never handled a gun in my life,” Granuzzo says about that first trip. “We fell in love with the place. We went [fishing] to start the day and then [did] a quail hunt at the end, where we also shot a pheasant. We did the five-stand for practice, which is basically skeet shooting with shotguns, and then we went out on the hunt with Phil, our guide, and four dogs he was working with. We had the time of our lives. I’ll never forget: Connor looked up at me and said, ‘Dad, this is the best day of my life.’ ” Barber says he appreciates the opportunity to introduce hunting to beginners, although experienced hunters will feel right at home at Broadfield as well. The property’s pristine 5,800 acres provide space for Sea Island and Broadfield members and resort guests to hunt quail and shoot continental pheasant; pursue deer, boars, doves and wild turkeys; and take advantage of the five-stand FAMILY FIRST Together on the Hunt Hunting at Broadfield is always memorable and, for some families, it’s also a longtime tradition. By Nancy Dorman-Hickson Families can hunt together at Broadfield.
FALL/WINTER 2018/19 | SEA ISLAND LIFE 25 and sporting clay shooting courses as well as pistol and rifle ranges. In addition, two freshwater lakes stocked with largemouth bass ensure plenty of opportunities for fishing. For a more unique experience, visitors can watch a falconer and a trained bird of prey work together to bring down quarry. Though there are a multitude of options at Broadfield, all of the activities are safe and family-friendly. Hunters aren’t simply focused on shooting; they are able to experience firsthand the choreographed dance between expert guides and gifted canine retrievers and pointers. “First-timers are completely comfortable because it’s not a competition to see how many quail or whatever we can shoot,” Barber says. “Beginning hunters are taught what we do and why we do it. In the end, they realize there is more preparation and care for the game than there is the actual taking of the game.” Shooters are limited to four per guide, although non-shooters—such as children younger than 13—may accompany the hunt. Quail hunts can last for a half day or a full day, as can pheasant shoots, which are held at Broadfield’s 40-foot tower, surrounded by 11 blinds, with up to two shooters per blind. Barber says that they release 220 pheasants, one bird at a time. “Every 20 birds, we rotate so each person gets to hunt each blind,” he adds. At the end of the hunt, Broadfield staff clean all bagged game for the participants. Many guests are repeat visitors, which Barber attributes to the welcoming nature of longtime employees. “They are the same people that the guests have been seeing since they started,” he says. “We have very low turnover.” Barber himself is third-generation staff, beginning with his great-grandfather. “If half of the family members are interested in going on a quail hunt and the other half wants to do falconry or shoot on the ranges, we can accommodate that,” Barber explains. “We realize that this is your big event for the year and we want to offer Southern hospitality.” It doesn’t matter if it’s a guest’s first time or 50th, he says. Seasonal Selections Outdoor adventures at Broadfield, A Sea Island Sporting Club and Lodge, vary by the season. Fall and winter are the ideal times for quail and pheasant hunts, which typically run from October to March. Equipment and a Southernstyle lunch are provided during both experiences. Falconry is also popular during the cooler months, with a special program that allows members and guests to observe the raptors’ different hunting styles. The many shooting courses and ranges are also open in fall and winter. The accommodations include a main lodge, which sleeps up to 18, and various guest houses. Meals are included with your stay. “We do a lot of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, country-fried steak, and fried quail and pheasant,” says Broadfield manager Lee Barber. “We also offer low-country boils with shrimp and oyster roasts.” BOTTOM: COURTESY OF MIKE GRANUZZO That cordial charm worked its magic on Granuzzo, who knew he wanted to become a Broadfield member on the first night of his visit. Since then, he estimates that he and his children have returned for either overnight or day trips 25 to 30 times in the past six years. “I’m almost certain that there isn’t anything that they offer that we haven’t partaken in,” he says. “Broadfield is like family to me. It’s extremely comfortable, relaxing, peaceful and Southern charm at its finest.” For Granuzzo, Broadfield’s greatest appeal is providing him with the opportunity to spend quality time with his family: “You come to Broadfield and do something unique and it creates a bond, forever really, with your children.” m Falconry demonstrations are available in addition to hunting experiences. Main Lodge at Broadfield Mike Granuzzo with his son, Connor
26 SEA ISLAND LIFE | FALL/WINTER 2018/19 IN THE SWING Putting for Fun The new putting course at Sea Island was designed to allow avid golfers to hone their skills while encouraging people of all ages and experience levels to give the sport a try. By Dale Leatherman The new 18-hole Driftwood putting course
FALL/WINTER 2018/19 | SEA ISLAND LIFE 27 When most golfers study a green, trying to predict where their putts will go, they don’t think about the layers of infrastructure under their feet— the drainage systems, the fine gravel, the sand and the carefully formulated rootzone mixture that is beneath the smooth green surface. For nearly 60 years, the United States Golf Association’s teams of agronomists, scientists and architects have done the necessary fretting about the technology and materials that go into building greens so there is consistent quality in putting surfaces throughout the country, and players can just focus on having fun. Based on extensive research, the USGA (the sport’s governing body for the U.S. and Mexico) issued updated recommendations for greens construction this year, including 31 pages of “Tips for Success” that serve as a bible of sorts for anyone involved in golf course creation. Architects everywhere are availing themselves of the USGA’s guidelines—including Mark Love and Davis Love III as they planned the renovation of the Plantation Course and the design of The Driftwood Course, an 18-hole putting venue situated on an acre of land in front of The Lodge. “The property … is a fabulous setting, and we tried to create a large green that would feel natural but have a lot of character,” Mark explains. He says that the vision he and Davis shared for the project was brought to life through the construction process, as the team created a gently undulating surface. Then they found the areas that would make the perfect hole locations before laying out each hole the same way they would if they were creating a full-size golf course. The result is a putting course that contains holes of varied lengths as well as uphill and downhill features and breaking putts. “One of our favorite spots is where the course works its way into a corner that also serves as the back tee for the Plantation Course’s 10th hole,” Mark adds. “This corner makes for some really interesting holes and helps connect the putting course to the full course, tying the whole area together.” In an effort to make it versatile, Mark notes that The Driftwood Course can even be played backward, or start from any hole. “Creating the putting course for Sea Island was a lot of fun for us,” Mark says. “Our firm has designed many putting greens and practice facilities in conjunction with golf course design projects, … but this is our first actual putting course. The putting course and short course concepts … have been around [for] a long time and they are becoming more popular at clubs and resorts worldwide.” The Driftwood Course, which opened in August, is part of a growing wave of sophisticated putting courses—sophisticated in that they are as far removed from miniature golf as a racing-themed video game is from driving a real IndyCar. There’s no artificial grass, no windmills and no volcanoes to be found on these new putting courses; instead, expect immaculately groomed turf sculpted into challenges with all of the nuance of a PGA TOUR venue. The abbreviated facilities encourage people of all skill levels and ages to enjoy the essence of the game without the expense and time commitment. “A putting course is a great way for groups … to get in some extra golf without committing to another full round—and to settle a few bets,” Mark says. “It’s also a great place for families to play together, for beginners and kids to get more comfortable before moving to the full course, and for instructors like ours at the Golf Performance Center to teach on. All in all, I think it is going to be a great addition and complement to the resort’s golf offerings.” Because the Driftwood Course is next to the new pool, it’s likely to draw in those who aren’t avid golfers as well. According to Sea Island Director of Golf Brannen Veal, it’s the perfect course to introduce new players to the game. “One of the big issues in golf, for some people, is time,” Veal says. “This is an opportunity for guests to go out on the course before dinner with a cocktail or with their kids and putt 18 holes. I think it’s going to be utilized by a wide variety of people—those who play golf a lot as well as those who have never played.” m
28 SEA ISLAND LIFE | FALL/WINTER 2018/19 Rooms Manager Terry Wiggins has worked at Sea Island since the 1980s, but his connection to the Golden Isles started much earlier. Wiggins was born and raised on St. Simons Island, a mere block from the beach. “I knew from an early age that I didn’t ever want to move anywhere else,” he says. Wiggins worked as a doorman, a bell captain, guest services manager/transportation manager, hotel manager and front office manager prior to his current role at The Lodge. Numerous family members, from three of his grandparents to his parents and brother, have also held positions at Sea Island, employed in the flower shop, assisting with landscaping, engineering and more. As rooms manager, Wiggins runs all front-of-house operations at The Lodge and manages housekeeping. Outside of work, Wiggins enjoys golfing (and taking his dog for rides in the golf cart), going to the beach, riding bikes and spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren, some of whom also have connections to the resort: He and his wife first met at The Cloister—the two have been married for over 26 years—and his youngest son works for the golf department during school breaks. Sea Island Life: What do you find most rewarding about your role at Sea Island? Terry Wiggins: As I drive down the Avenue of Oaks each day heading to work, I never forget how special it is to have been a part of this company [for] as long as I have. … As with any job, you will have challenges, but making people happy and satisfied is what I find the most rewarding. SIL: What does Southern hospitality mean to you? TW: Growing up in the South, I know this is not just a catchphrase—and there is no doubt [that] we use Southern hospitality every day at Sea Island. We welcome our guests with open arms and, sometimes, great big hugs. Being polite and kind while helping guests and each other with charm is the pure essence of Southern hospitality. Terry Wiggins has been with Sea Island for 36 years. Did You Know? A longtime Sea Island employee, Terry Wiggins, shares some of his memorable experiences at the resort and touches on the meaning of Southern hospitality. By Ashley Ryan ON THE ISLE
FALL/WINTER 2018/19 | SEA ISLAND LIFE 29 Wiggins helped unload President Bush’s helicopter during the 2004 G8 Summit. SIL: What is the most memorable experience that you have had at the resort? TW: I would have to say the G8 Summit in 2004 is right at the top of the list. To have many world leaders here at one time was an experience of a lifetime, especially since we were in the process of building the new Cloister. I was guest services manager at the time and the most fun I had was when [I was] asked by the Secret Service to have a team of bellmen ready to unload President Bush’s helicopter when it landed. Little did we know the helicopter was going to land on the Sea Island causeway, just before the bridge. We were right in place when the president came off. As we entered the huge helicopter and unloaded what seemed to be an endless supply, the chopper pilots never turned their engines off. The heat and the noise from the engines and blades were incredible. SIL: What makes Sea Island so special? TW: Its rich history, involvement in the community, location and having a one-of-a-kind resort is what attracts so many influential guests and residents to our community. From the very minute first-time visitors approach the Island and see the marsh, ocean and majestic oaks, they are wowed with excitement and pleasure that they want to experience again and again. SIL: If you weren’t at Sea Island, what career would you have wanted to pursue? TW: I used to say I wanted to be a lawyer or a pilot like my uncle before I started my Sea Island career. However, this company has been the right fit for me for a long time and I don’t regret a minute of it. A lot of people can’t believe it when I let them know how long I have been with the company and say how rare this is. But I know time travels fast, and it really isn’t that rare at Sea Island. … I really couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. SIL: What are your plans for the future? TW: My plans are to continue with The Lodge as the rooms manager and be a part of its exciting future. We have 14 new sleeping rooms in six new cottages, a pool and pool house that will be open and ready for guests in November, just in time for the RSM Classic golf tournament. m The Avenue of Oaks welcomes him to work.