SPRING/SUMMER 2014 SEA Island LIFE THE NATIONAL BIRD MAKES A COMEBACK DESIGNING A NEW FASHION CAPITAL INSIDE THE SMOKEHOUSE THE NEWEST WAY TO SIP OUT ON THE WATER EXPLORE THE MARSHES, OCEAN SEINING, BEACH WORKOUTS AND MORE +
SPRING/SUMMER 2014 | SEA ISLAND LIFE 3 while fall and winter are traditionally deemed the “holiday season,” we believe there is always something to celebrate at Sea Island. Although the Thanksgiving feasts, Christmas gifts and New Year’s Eve countdowns have come and gone, we keep the festivities going well into spring and summer, when we’re toasting marshmallows over an outdoor bonfire in place of roasting chestnuts. We’ve dedicated much of our latest edition of Sea Island Life to highlighting these festivities along with the many ongoing activities you and your family can enjoy at Sea Island—from seining to kids’ activities at Camp Cloister. Our newest additions bring even more options. Take a sailing lesson at our Rainbow Island Water Sports center or grab some delicious fare and wine at The Market, located outside the gates of Sea Island. We raise a glass to you with recommendations for dessert cocktails and a trend that has oenophiles talking: wines on tap. These drinks pair perfectly with dishes from any one of our fantastic restaurants and, in this issue, smoked foods and new twists on chicken take center stage. For those planning one of life’s most important milestones, we also have a feature on wedding accessories to ensure you arrive in style on your special day. We’re so proud of our beautiful region. In the following pages, you’ll also read about the mystique of the marshes as well as the majesty of the bald eagle, just one of the awe-inspiring animals that make their home at Sea Island. Beyond nature, we profile some of the designers that are putting the South on the fashion world’s map. Although I joined the Sea Island family in 2011, I enjoy celebrating the island’s history and those that have helped make Sea Island an award-winning resort. In our “On the Isle” section for this issue, we mark the 10th anniversary of the G8 Summit that was held at Sea Island by presenting fascinating (and often humorous) memories of the event. Meet some of our valued staff in the story titled “The Quarter-Century Club”—about an amazing group of Sea Island employees who have been with us for 25 years or more. We also introduce you to Mimi Rogers, our archivist, who helps us continue our traditions by preserving our past. Whether you are joining us for a holiday, special occasion or simply taking in all that Sea Island has to offer, we hope you enjoy this issue of Sea Island Life and are so glad you’re celebrating along with us. Sincerely, Rick Riess Managing Director, Sea Island WELCOME TO SEA ISLAND AND TO THE LATEST ISSUE OF SEA ISLAND LIFE! welcome
4 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2014 features 32. YEAR OF THE EAGLE The nation’s symbol of freedom makes a comeback after years of decline. By Damon M. Banks 36. TOP TAPS Moving beyond bottles, many bars are delivering quality glasses of wine straight from the keg. By Michelle Franzen Martin 42. ARTISTS OF RENOVATION Meet the men who redesigned Sea Island into a world-class golfing destination. By Chris Chaney 46. SMOKE SIGNALS Smoky flavors spark creativity in food and cocktails at restaurants around the country. By Sarah Gleim 50. MARSH DISCOVERY The scenic coastal salt marshes provide food and habitat for animals while offering opportunities for both adventure and relaxation for human visitors. By Joe Rada 56. DRESSING UP THE DRESS Brides show their personality with style-defining accessories on the big day. By Lisa Marie Hart 62. SOUTHERN EXPOSURE The South’s new generation of design stars are heating up the fashion world. By Debra Bokur 66. HISTORY’S GATEKEEPER By helping to preserve Sea Island’s past, archivist Mimi Rogers is keeping history alive. By Jenn Thornton 70. MODERN MANNERS Even in the digital age, brushing up on one’s etiquette can create new opportunities. By Gwyn Herbein 82. REAL ESTATE SPOTLIGHT Discover the area’s beautiful homes on the market. 46 56 32 SEA ISLAND LIFE MAGAZINE SPRING/SUMMER 2014 BOTTOM LEFT PHOTO BY HOPKINS STUDIO
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6 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2014 departments 3. WELCOME LETTER 10. SEASONAL FLAVORS: GAME ON: CHICKEN Chefs are leading the charge to showcase spirited poultry entrées this season. 12. LIBATIONS: DESSERT REMIXED Mixologists perfectly pair cocktails and desserts. 14. SOUTHERN STYLE: OPEN AIR, OPEN BAG Trendy beach totes make a seaside splash this season. 16. IN THE SWING: PROS PICK Some of Sea Island’s savviest golfers describe their favorite tools of the trade. 20. FAMILY FIRST: THROUGH CHILDREN’S EYES Camp Cloister encourages play and exploration for children, creating memories that last a lifetime. 22. OUTWARD BOUND: BENEATH THE SURF A simple seining net reveals an array of ocean creatures living in the shallow waters just yards offshore. 24. MIND + BODY: MAKING SCENTS Adding an aromatherapy component to spa therapies amplifies healing potential. 26. GET FIT: SANDBLASTED EXERCISE There’s nothing like a stretch of beach to rev up your fitness routine. 28. ON THE ISLE: DID YOU KNOW? Discover fun facts and stories from your favorite island. 30. TRADITIONS: GOING ALL OUT With festive decorations, themed activities for all ages and delectable feasts, celebrating the holidays at Sea Island is serious business. 74. ISLAND NEWS & NOTES 78. SOCIETY Sea Island hosts a “Downton Abbey”-themed weekend; Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations. 94. THEN AND NOW: THE QUARTER-CENTURY CLUB Sea Island has 89 employees that have worked at the resort for 25 years or more, representing a cumulative 2,940 years of service. SPRING/SUMMER 2014 SEA Island LIFE THE NATIONAL BIRD MAKES A COMEBACK DESIGNING A NEW FASHION CAPITAL INSIDE THE SMOKEHOUSE THE NEWEST WAY TO SIP OUT ON THE WATER EXPLORE THE MARSHES, OCEAN SEINING, BEACH WORKOUTS AND MORE + FC_SI3.indd 1 3/12/14 5:20 PM 22 SEA ISLAND’S RAINBOW ISLAND WATER SPORTS CENTER IS NOW OPEN. SEE PAGE 74 TO LEARN ABOUT WHAT’S NEW IN OFFERINGS AND EXPERIENCES. 12 SEA ISLAND LIFE MAGAZINE SPRING/SUMMER 2014 16 14
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8 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2014 EDITORIAL & DESIGN EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Steve Zepezauer CREATIVE DIRECTOR Sonia Chung GROUP EDITORS Allison Hata, Alli Tong MANAGING EDITOR Linda Domingo ASSOCIATE EDITORS Kirsti Correa, Tess Eyrich, Sharon Stello DESIGN TEAM Jenn Prewitt, Stephanie Castro, Paul Graff GRAPHIC DESIGNER/ASSISTANT EDITOR Karlee Prazak EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Bria Balliet CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jackie Adams, Damon M. Banks, Debra Bokur, Chris Chaney, Olivia J. Eppley, Sarah Gleim, Lisa Marie Hart, Gwyn Herbein, Vicki Hogue-Davies, Dale Leatherman, Michelle Franzen Martin, Meghan Miranda, Amber Lanier Nagle, Joe Rada, Jenn Thornton, Neal Webster Turnage PHOTOGRAPHER/PHOTO EDITOR Jody Tiongco DIGITAL MANAGING EDITOR Kim Zepezauer PUBLISHER Scott Sanchez SALES NATIONAL ACCOUNT DIRECTOR Carrie Robles [email protected] 305-431-5409 NATIONAL SALES DIRECTOR Maryellen Case [email protected] 914-953-3202 PRODUCTION MANAGER Tina Leydecker PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Katie Essenfeld FINANCE ACCOUNTING MANAGER Cyndy Mendaros CHAIRMAN Allan Simon CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Steve Zepezauer PUBLISHER & CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER Scott Sanchez ©2014 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, 250 Broadway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 or to editor@ firebrandmediainc.com. 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 Scott Sanchez at [email protected]. Sea Island Life, 250 Broadway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651; 949-715-4100. PRESIDENT Scott Steilen MANAGING DIRECTOR Rick Riess VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING & SALES Parra Vaughan MANAGER, MARKETING & CRM Jessica DiVincent STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Eliot VanOtteren SEA ISLAND LIFE MAGAZINE
10 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2014 GAME ON: CHICKEN CHEFS ARE LEADING THE CHARGE TO SHOWCASE SPIRITED POULTRY ENTRÉES THIS SEASON. BY NEAL WEBSTER TURNAGE seasonal flavors Buffalo chicken sandwich with homemade pickles from the Men’s Locker Room at Sea Island a roasted chicken entrée appears on menus across all gastronomic scales. The bird has a history as a staple in all cuisines for good reason, according to Shane Whiddon, chef de cuisine at The Lodge’s Colt & Alison at Sea Island. It’s a fail-safe staple, a crowd pleaser that speaks through a diversity of palates and cultures. This season, other familiar—and not-so-familiar—chicken preparations are poised to take leading roles over roasting. Taste buds will be surprised as they become acquainted with the latest chicken dishes. Tempting diners most during the spring and summer months at Sea Island are multiple masterpieces that have a genesis in the highest-quality poultry. A determination to bring Sea Island guests a taste of “chicken from the good old days” led Whiddon to Joyce Farms, a small family farm in North Carolina that began raising and selling its chickens in 1962. Focusing on Old World breeds, the farm supplies chickens according to Label Rouge, an artisan label established and approved by French authorities in 1965 with standards that select hardy breeds for their meat quality and slow growth. In order to qualify for such recognition, the chickens must be produced using free-range methods and cannot be used for culinary purposes until 81 to 110 days old—twice as long as the industry standard. Colt & Alison serves Joyce’s Poulet Rouge chicken, a red farm chicken of North Carolina’s Piedmont region with a long breast and legs, pronounced chicken flavor and firm meat. “Colt & Alison’s spring Poulet Rouge begins with a perfectly roasted breast of Poulet Rouge that’s accompanied Chef Shane Whiddon prepares Colt & Alison’s Poulet Rouge chicken.
SPRING/SUMMER 2014 | SEA ISLAND LIFE 11 by a chive potato purée, glazed vegetables, pickled radish relish and spring herbs,” Whiddon explains. Whiddon isn’t opposed to a jaunty summertime take on a picnic classic, the chicken sandwich, either. His only-in-theSouth favorite: a buffalo chicken sandwich that features a sour pickle-brined, fried chicken breast with ranch, hot sauce and bread, all homemade. “Add some [spicy] Georgia Heat cheese from Sweet Grass Dairy, sliced tomato and homemade pickles, and you have a masterpiece,” Whiddon says. Chef Alex Harrell of New Orleans’ Sylvain restaurant also stimulates chicken-based entrées with playful ingredients. “I take the familiar favorite and add another traditional Southern ingredient: bourbon,” he says. “The bourbon brine makes the chicken moist and flavorful. It’s a perfect dish for your summer get-togethers.” It produces a new, if not indigenous, take on fried chicken. “Chicken’s simplicity and mild flavor make it a vehicle for so many different types of cuisine and flavor profiles, which only contributes to its perennial popularity,” Whiddon adds, noting that chicken is also a testament to the South’s ever-inventive culinary spirit. “Chicken was easy to raise—and it produces more food than it consumes. … When you look at many ‘Southern’ items, you’ll notice a common thread: making something spectacular out of what’s available.” m LALA’S FRIED CHICKEN The Oak Room at The Lodge at Sea Island is famous for its fried chicken. It’s the most prized of all foods enjoyed by the PGA TOUR players and families during The McGladrey Classic. The Lodge’s Laishah “Lala” Lewis, who developed the recipe, shares her best tips for cooking with chicken. 1. Use the best chicken you can find. 2. A day before cooking, season the chicken lightly with salt, pepper, a touch of Old Bay, poultry seasoning and a dash of Tabasco. 3. Season flour (for coating the chicken) with salt, pepper, a touch of granulated garlic, poultry seasoning and dried thyme. 4. Deep fry at 350 degrees in canola oil to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. 5. Allow the cooked chicken to rest in a warm place on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving. BOURBON-BRINED FRIED CHICKEN FROM ALEX HARRELL, CHEF AT SYLVAIN IN NEW ORLEANS BRINE: ½ cup bourbon 2 tablespoons salt 2 tablespoons brown sugar 3 cups cold water 1 lemon, thinly sliced 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed 4 sprigs of rosemary SEASONED FLOUR: 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup corn meal 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika CHICKEN: 1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces 2 cups cold buttermilk METHOD: Combine all ingredients for the brine and stir to mix well. In a separate bowl, mix all ingredients for the seasoned flour together. Add chicken to the brine and refrigerate for 6 hours. Remove chicken from the brine and discard liquid. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Dip chicken into the buttermilk then dredge with seasoned flour. Shake off excess flour and fry in peanut or canola oil at 325 degrees until brown and cooked to 155 degrees internal temperature for white meat and 165 degrees internal temperature for dark meat. MICHAEL PALUMBO PHOTOGRAPHY
12 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2014 DESSERT REMIXED AT SEA ISLAND’S FORBES FIVE-STAR GEORGIAN ROOM, SOMMELIER JACOB GRAGG PREPARES PERFECTLY PAIRED COCKTAILS AND DESSERTS. BY JACKIE ADAMS Aviation cocktail with strawberries, Valrhona chocolate, meringue and rhubarb at the Georgian Room Sommelier Jacob Gragg libations a cart covered with an elegant tablecloth rolls up to the table. The bottles are full, and the ice bucket and mixing glasses gleam. This is dessert—the final course in a seven-course menu—and it begins with a simple sip. Walking alongside the cart is sommelier Jacob Gragg, who was named one of the Best New Sommeliers in 2012 by Wine & Spirits Magazine. “We start with the beverage first—whether it be a wine or a cocktail, or a beer or sake,” Gragg says. “When we do it that way, you’re able to make all those little flavors really pop with the food. Sometimes when you’re putting the drink around the food, you can’t always find the correct pairing.” At the table, he explains the story behind the recipe, describes where the ingredients and artisanal spirits originate, and measures the liquids while cutting the garnish. With a practiced shake, the drink is ready—and only then does the dessert come out.
SPRING/SUMMER 2014 | SEA ISLAND LIFE 13 Bryan Keane makes a Syn Er G at the River Bar. A Sweet Evolution While some are just discovering the joy of imbibing to cap off a satisfying meal, dessert cocktails have been evolving over the past century. An apple pie cocktail recipe was included in the 1930 “Savoy Cocktail Book”; but the specialty libations were nowhere near as prevalent as today. For decades, the most common form was simply an after-dinner cognac, scotch or brandy. As time went on, however, people began to crave sweeter drinks. Maybe it was the urge to combine two of a meal’s best parts: the after-dinner sip and the final bite. Or, maybe it was an attempt to decrease calories. Either way, in the 1990s you could walk into any major restaurant and order a mudslide or a chocolate martini and no one would bat an eye. Every menu had a list of sweet drinks. The main cocktails were the same everywhere and there wasn’t much thought put into these mainstays. On the heels of the foodie movement that exploded in the early 2000s, cocktails began to undergo a transformation. “People started May Tai 2 ounces Don Q Cristal Rum 1 ounce Varnelli Punch alla Fiamma liqueur ¾ ounce orgeat syrup ½ ounce blood orange juice ¼ ounce lime juice METHOD: Combine all ingredients. Shake and strain into a wine glass with crushed ice. Garnish with an orange and lime slice. Daisy Buchanan 2 ounces Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka ¾ ounce creme de violette ¼ ounce lemon juice 2 bar spoons orgeat syrup METHOD: Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a violet. (May Tai and Daisy Buchanan recipes provided by the Georgian Room bartender Randi Zeagler) Syn Er G 1½ ounces Plymouth Gin ½ ounce organic spiced rum ½ ounce agave nectar ¾ ounce orgeat syrup 2 ounces African amber tea 2 ounces berry ginger kombucha 1 egg white METHOD: Combine the Plymouth Gin, organic spiced rum, agave nectar, orgeat syrup and African amber tea in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain the mixture into a Collins glass. For berry ginger meringue garnish, place the berry ginger kombucha and egg white into a shaker and dry shake until perfectly frothed. Layer frothed blend over the cocktail and brûlée until golden brown. (Syn Er G recipe provided by River Bar mixologist Bryan Keane) THREE TO TRY caring a lot more about where their beverage products came from,” Gragg says. Many bartenders began to put a lot of thought and effort into their craft. “[Bartenders started] working with fresh ingredients or artisanal spirits,” he explains. “[They] moved away from flavors that are extremely overly sweet and toward essentially more developed flavors: sour, citrusdriven and bitter.” From coast to coast, highly trained mixologists were trying their hands at a variety of new dessert cocktails—from lemon meringue pie martinis that taste exactly like their namesake to after-dinner mints made from white crème de menthe and vodka. At Sea Island, there’s a different, more refined approach to the after-dinner drink. Instead of creating cocktails that taste exactly like an edible counterpart, sommeliers and bartenders are handcrafting unique, after-dinner drinks and pairing them with a sweet treat. “You have to be very thoughtful when you’re making these cocktails,” says Ryanne Carrier, Sea Island sommelier and beverage manager. “But it’s a great way to take a unique dessert and kind of bring everything together.” While creating a tasting menu, the sommeliers meet with the chefs to discuss the different possibilities for the right flavors and textures. “[I] get their input … maybe taste a few things [and determine] complementary flavors. Then they create a dish around that conversation and drink.” One of the most popular pairings at the Georgian Room is a dish of marinated strawberries, Valrhona chocolate, meringue and rhubarb, which is paired with an aviation cocktail, made using Death’s Door Gin, crème de violette, maraschino liqueur and lemon. This new movement toward thoughtfully prepared dessert cocktails and pairings is gaining traction, and both sommeliers and mixologists are constantly thinking of new ways to bring unique flavors to the diner’s palate. “Most guests come into our restaurant and want to drink wine with food,” Gragg says. “Now more of our pairings are done with wine, but we try to push people outside of their boundaries.” m Sea Island mixologists Randi Zeagler and Bryan Keane share some of their favorite recipes for drinks meant to pair with sweet treats or enjoy as a satisfying last course.
14 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2014 spending the day at the beach or relaxing poolside requires more than just a beautiful bathing suit— a chic carryall is a necessity to accompany you to the Georgia coast. Fun and functional, designer beach bags are swelling with style this season in a burst of colors such as orange and lemon yellow, and handy features like durable materials and convenient openings that let sand escape. The lavish availability of such bags guarantees the selection of one that best fits any individual’s lifestyle. A playful Tory Burch water-resistant tote covered in parakeets goes hand in hand with a day spent fishing with the family. Or set off for a fruitful day exploring with Kate Spade’s woven market straw standout. For another option that provides a breezy, artistic accent to any swimsuit, head to the shore with a Tibi tote bag in hand. Inspire envy from other beachgoers with this accessory designed by the brand’s founder, Amy Smilovic, who grew up locally and returns frequently to enjoy the sun and waves. The lightweight cotton tote features a sketch of Tibi-inspired fashionistas along with the brand’s logo, and transitions easily from a morning of running errands to an afternoon of stretching out on the sand. Some trendsetting beach accouterments help give back to Mother Nature as well. In true maritime fashion, the Ogunquit tote from Sea Bags is created from recycled sails and features an escape port for the batches of sand grains that might end up in the nautical-inspired item—perfect for toting around suntan lotion and flip-flops on a relaxing day on Sea Island. m southern style OPEN AIR, OPEN BAG TRENDY BEACH TOTES ARE READY TO MAKE A SEASIDE SPLASH THIS SEASON. BY OLIVIA J. EPPLEY 2. 1.
SPRING/SUMMER 2014 | SEA ISLAND LIFE 15 1. RALPH LAUREN COLLECTION RL LOGO TOTE, $1,500 (RALPHLAUREN.COM) 2. SEA BAGS OGUNQUIT BEACH TOTE, $190 (SEABAGS.COM) 3. TIBI TOTE, $35 (TIBI OUTLET, ST. SIMONS ISLAND; 912-638-1221; TIBI.COM) 4. TORY BURCH LIZZIE TOTE, $150 (TORYBURCH.COM) 5. J.CREW MARKET TOTE, $49.50 (JCREW.COM) 6. LILLY PULITZER COASTAL TOTE, $98 (SEA ISLAND SURF SHOP; 912-634-3123) 7. PETER MILLAR SEA ISLAND BEACH BAG, $80 (SEA ISLAND SURF SHOP; 912-634-3123) 8. KATE SPADE FRANCIS TOTE, $398 (KATESPADE.COM) 5. 6. 7. 8. 4. 3.
16 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2014 PROS PICK SOME OF SEA ISLAND’S SAVVIEST GOLFERS DESCRIBE THEIR FAVORITE TOOLS OF THE TRADE. BY DALE LEATHERMAN Brannen Veal, director of golf at Sea Island, and his favorite club: the Nike Covert driver in the swing every sport involves critical equipment that can mean the difference between winning and losing: Track stars have their favorite set of spikes; baseball players have gloves molded to their hands; and cyclists have bikes they guard with their lives. It’s understandable that athletes become attached to their gear—and with a full arsenal of equipment for any situation, golfers aren’t any different. They carry up to 14 clubs in their bags, each of which has a distinct purpose. Yet one club may carry special sentiments over another. Here, Sea Island golfers share their preferences. Chris Kirk, who trains frequently at the Sea Island Golf Learning Center, scored his second PGA TOUR victory in November 2013 at The McGladrey Classic on Sea Island’s Seaside course. His favorite club is his first choice—literally. “It’s definitely my Callaway Mack Daddy 58-degree wedge, which is a great help around the greens,” Kirk says. “I switched to Callaway clubs in 2013 and it was the first club I put in my bag.” Sea Island Director of Golf Brannen Veal picks a driver as his favorite tool of the trade. “The most important club in my bag is my Nike Covert driver,” Veal says. “The ability to hit it long and control the shape of the shot leads to better scoring. Having confidence on the tee—and knowing I can hit whatever shot is called for—makes every part of my game better.” Likewise, Todd Anderson, Sea Island’s director of instruction, says his driver is his go-to club. “It’s the one you hit 14 times during a round and the one that sets up the rest of your game,” he explains. “You can be a great wedge player and great putter, but if your tee shot is short or not in play, it becomes a difficult game.” As the PGA of America’s 2010 Teacher of the Year—and No. 8 on Golf Digest’s Chris Kirk trains often at the Sea Island Golf Learning Center. DAMON TARVER
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18 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2014 The Golf Learning Center’s clubfitting program uses technology such as the TrackMan Launch Monitor. THE PERFECT FIT Sea Island golfers can test out the latest equipment or verify their existing clubs through the clubfitting program. Craig Allan, Sea Island’s Golf Learning Center manager, is one of the fulltime clubfitters available to help golfers find their perfect fit. Allan is considered one of the best fitters in the country, assisting many PGA TOUR players, including Davis Love III, Harris English, Zach Johnson and Chris Kirk, who seek him out for advice. “With so many options in clubs and the investment required, it’s important for golfers to do due diligence,” Allan explains. “If you want to maximize your potential and the potential of the clubs, you better make sure they fit your swing and your tendencies. “A little adjustment can make a huge difference in ball flight,” he continues. “Perhaps the shaft is too soft or stiff, or too heavy or light. The clubs could be too short or long. Maybe there’s not quite enough loft on the driver. Any of these little things are important.” A qualified consultant, Allan is certified with all major club manufacturers’ fitting systems including the TrackMan Launch Monitor, which is used at the Golf Learning Center. This Doppler radar determines ball flight data by following the ball from the time the golfer strikes it to when it hits the ground, and then the roll. It can also provide data on the golfer’s swing. In addition to these calculations, the fitting process ensures that a golfer has the right clubs in his bag to avoid gaps in distances. “Many amateurs carry too many fairway woods and not enough wedges,” Allan says. “Getting the bottom part of the set right is huge. It shouldn’t be an afterthought.” The golfer’s personal preferences are also considered to warrant prime performance on the course. Allan says, “If he doesn’t like the look and feel, he won’t play well with them.” The Ping G25 driver, a favorite of Billy Horschel’s, features an adjustable loft. Brandt Snedeker has had his Odyssey White Hot XG Rossie putter for eight years. “America’s 50 Greatest Teachers” list— Anderson has amassed a distinguished list of golfing students, including PGA TOUR players Billy Horschel, Brandt Snedeker and Nick Watney. “Billy Horschel would probably say his favorite is his driver,” Anderson says. “He’s used a Ping G25 the last two years and has been in the top 10 in total driving (distance and accuracy). Nick Watney’s favorite would be his Nike Combo irons. He is in the top 20 in hitting greens in regulation.” Another of Anderson’s students, Snedeker, was the PGA TOUR’s top putter in 2012 as well as the fourth in 2013. Snedeker has said he depends on his favorite Odyssey White Hot XG Rossie putter, which he has had for eight years with the same grip for four of those years. Whether golfers prefer a driver or a putter, and rely on either for improvement or consistency, their tools of choice prove to be a valuable asset to their game. While there’s no one club that will turn an amateur into a pro, many seasoned linksmen might agree that behind every great golfer is a great piece of equipment. m
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20 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2014 a girl observes a baby sea turtle break free from its shell in its natural habitat, and she becomes a young biologist. A boy pulls a tray of cookies from an oven and he’s transformed into a James Beard Award-winning pastry chef. A group of teens use a compass to find their way in the dark at night, not because they’re lost—they’re learning survival skills. Kids can let their imaginations run wild with the activities that offer them the chance to learn, cultivate passions and try something new, all in a safe and fun THROUGH CHILDREN’S EYES CAMP CLOISTER ENCOURAGES PLAY AND EXPLORATION FOR CHILDREN, CREATING MEMORIES THAT LAST A LIFETIME. BY VICKI HOGUE-DAVIES family environment. As a family resort, Sea Island is an enriching adventure for all ages with a realm of activities to explore. The experience starts for the littlest member of the family through Camp Cloister, which offers an array of options for children. “Kids can do things here for the first time in their lives,” says Anne Harvey, activities manager for the resort. Led by Sea Island’s Junior Staff, Camp Cloister consists of both creative and instructional activities such as nature walks, sports, fishing, games and crafts designed for children ages 3 through 14. During the seasonal camp, which is a highlight of summer, spring break and holiday vacations, children are divided into age groups. Younger kids, ages 3 to 6, for example, might spend their summer days in organized play such as splashing around in the swimming pool, going on scavenger hunts and storytelling with camp counselors. “The program for older campers, ages 7 and up, is a little more in-depth,” Harvey explains. “They play games in the morning and then spend time with a naturalist doing anything from practicing herpetology (the study of amphibians) at the pond at The Cloister,
SPRING/SUMMER 2014 | SEA ISLAND LIFE 21 participating in a sea turtle presentation on the beach or learning about birds of prey. Every day, they do something different with a naturalist that is fun but also educational.” Older campers also have a chance to participate in the resort’s other amenities after lunch. Campers can learn how to use an air rifle at the Sea Island Shooting School or test their squash or tennis skills by matching up with a pro. They can explore the waters by fishing off the dock or sailing, which Harvey says is one of the more popular activities. “We are giving them a glimpse of all the things you can do here at Sea Island,” Harvey explains. “That’s what makes our program unique. … We can give kids different experiences across the resort, versus playing games in one room all day.” The Junior Staff, a camp tradition since 1960, helps transform the array of activities into fantastic memories that last a lifetime. Approximately 30 college students selected as Junior Staff act as camp counselors and supervise the organized children’s activities at the resort. They are carefully selected for their high academic achievement, outstanding character references and, most importantly, their genuine care for kids. “The first thing we look for is how they work with and interact with children,” Harvey says. “They must have a good attitude, good personality and people skills. We want a staff made up of role models, who can develop relationships with the kids and get on their level.” Some campers eventually become staffers themselves and get their chance to pass along their knowledge and love of Sea Island. “We have a lot of Junior Staff members who grew up coming to Camp Cloister,” says Sea Island’s training manager Ashley Williams. “When I was overseeing the program, and even when I Opportunities for kid-friendly fun on Sea Island range from roasting marshmallows and observing sea turtle nests to baking cookies. was a staffer, parents would come in and reminisce about their glory days at camp.” Witnessing children discover Sea Island through Camp Cloister elevates the experience to something even more magical, Williams says. “I love the kids’ unique perspectives,” she explains. “I don’t think you ever forget seeing turtles hatch when you go on a turtle walk. Watching kids when the turtles hatch, however, just takes it to a whole new level. The excitement of experiencing the island through their eyes was my favorite part of being a Junior Staffer.” While Camp Cloister is the largest children’s program, it isn’t the only one. Other organized activities include tie-dye, where kids are taken back to the 1960s and get to create their own T-shirts (under supervision of the Junior Staff), and Cookie Cutters, a sweet Saturday afternoon program where kids make and decorate baked treats. “Cookie Cutters is phenomenal,” Williams says. “The kids go to town. It is a huge mess, but a delicious one—and so much fun. They get to be little chefs for an hour.” And as most kids know, it’s hard work taking care of parents all day. While mom and dad enjoy Sea Island’s fine dining, Kids’ Night Out frees up children ages 3 to 12 for dinner—kid-style. While video games and TV are go-to pastimes for plenty of kids, there’s a whole world of opportunity to explore on Sea Island alone. Stimulating imaginations with exciting and educational activities may seem like a big task—but Camp Cloister and the Junior Staff are up for the challenge. m JUST FOR KIDS Kids need their own night out once in a while. Specially created for young guests ages 3 to 12, Kids’ Night Out is an exciting experience where kids can have some fun while parents are enjoying Sea Island’s fine dining or simply relaxing. Under the care of the Junior Staff, Kids’ Night Out participants delight in a themed dinner along with an evening of games, crafts and a movie. Reservations are required by 5 p.m. the day prior. (912-638-5111)
22 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2014 the salty ocean breeze wisps past Sea Island beach-goers lounging on the golden sand with a cold drink in hand. Only a few yards from the umbrella-shaded, oceanfront paradise, kids scuttle from the water’s edge back to their turf with brightly colored buckets of water used to fill the moats surrounding their towering sand kingdoms. Just as the shadows of the umbrellas shift and the sun arches beyond the peak of noon, a commotion in the surf catches the attention of kids and adults alike. With a 60-foot net, Mike Kennedy, director of activities at outward bound BENEATH THE SURF A SIMPLE SEINING NET REVEALS AN ARRAY OF OCEAN CREATURES LIVING IN THE SHALLOW WATERS JUST YARDS OFFSHORE. BY MEGHAN MIRANDA Sea Island, and his team of naturalists wade out into the water to begin the afternoon ritual of ocean seining. Seagulls congregate in the air, hovering just above the net to determine whether they would have a better selection at sea, and not far behind, onlookers make their way to the water to investigate as well. Brimming with Life Raleigh Nyenhuis, Sea Island’s lead naturalist, helps Kennedy guide the net out into the ocean. Once the net is stretched to its full width, the pair makes their way across the surf, dragging the net some 25 to 50 yards before circling back to shore. They won’t know just what they’ve caught until they investigate further in the shallows, but a lively show of fish and shrimp jumping up over the edge of the net as it closes in is a sure sign of an interesting pull. “Many of our guests sit on the shore and see the surface of the ocean, but they have no idea what’s happening beneath the surf,” Kennedy says. In the height of summer, crowds of 50-plus onlookers surround the net to catch a glimpse of the hidden sea life that seining reveals. Seining gives beach-goers a close-up look at what lies beneath the ocean’s surface.
SPRING/SUMMER 2014 | SEA ISLAND LIFE 23 From angelfish and mullets to shrimp, blue crabs and spider crabs, there’s no telling what the seining net will hold. With naturalists as guides, seining at Sea Island is more than just seeing, it’s also about discovery. Peering into the net, it is clear that the waters surrounding Sea Island are home to a vibrant ecosystem of ocean life. Since warmer water means a wider variety of creatures, the most interesting time of year for ocean seining is during the months of March through September—when water temperatures range from 70 to 80 degrees. “When water temperatures rise, migratory fish make their way farther south to the waters of coastal Georgia,” Kennedy says. “We’re constantly seeing new species throughout the season. “Even in a single day, we can expect a variety of new creatures that didn’t show up in the first pull,” he continues. “Many people see dolphins swimming, seagulls swooping in or the occasional fish jumping, so bringing this variety of sea life to the surface can really open their eyes to all that the ocean holds.” The team pulls the net twice or even three times to expose an array of ocean creatures. Every pull reveals new species, each with its own stories to be told. “We try to add value to every pull with stories that can teach people more about the sea life they are seeing,” Kennedy says. “For example, most people think shrimp swim, but they actually walk along the bottom. Kids and adults love learning little facts like that.” Nyenhuis and Kennedy make sure that sea creatures remain submerged in the shallow water while surrounded by the net so they are not harmed. Beginning with the most delicate species (so they can quickly be released back into the ocean), Kennedy and his naturalists point out each creature as they bestow upon eager onlookers tidbits of knowledge and lesser-known facts that years of experience with coastal Georgia sea life have taught them. “I like to equate seining to creating a wild touch tank,” Kennedy says. Brave hands can slip into the water to touch some of the sturdier creatures as they swim inside the makeshift “tank” and some even have the privilege of feeling a delicate crab scuttle along their upturned palms. Then, after a thorough examination, the edges of the net are lowered and the creatures disappear into the surf until they are discovered by lucky beach-goers the next day. m Families can use nets to discover Sea Island’s vibrant marine life, including spider crabs (below) and mullets (above), the fish that are often seen jumping out of the water along the beach at Sea Island.
24 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2014 MAKING SCENTS ADDING AN AROMATHERAPY COMPONENT TO SPA THERAPIES AMPLIFIES HEALING POTENTIAL. BY DEBRA BOKUR aromas have the ability to relieve stress, soothe, energize and relax. The essential oil within a scent begins its remedial journey as a plant extract and transforms into an integral component of a spa experience, the ideal destination for relaxation. Spa treatments are laced with scent elements, crafting a therapeutic use of pure botanical essential oils. Such use has a documented history dating back at least 6,000 years, when ancient cultures realized the powerful effect offered by specific aromatic plant extracts. In the 1920s, French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé began a systemic exploration of the effects of essential oils on health and wellness. Today’s spa-goers can reap the benefits of ancient tradition and modern research through aromatherapy. “The No. 1 reason men and women visit a spa is to learn how to manage their stress,” says Lynne McNees, president of the International Spa Association. “The influences of essential oils within the fragrances help to encourage deep breathing ... bring clarity and lower stress.” The Spa and Salon at Sea Island offers the Zents body care line, which provides guests a deeply customized experience by allowing them to select the herbal scent that most appeals to them. Specific scents used in treatments, such as aromatherapy massages, evoke different moods: lavender for relaxation, peppermint to energize and citrus as a mood lifter. “Other popular scents are vetiver and rosemary,” McNees says. “Vetiver is known for its ability to calm and balance the mind.” At-home products are also infused with fragrances to continue the relaxation outside of mind + body SCENT-SATIONAL REMEDIES Indulge in scent-infused treatments at The Spa and Salon at Sea Island to relax and rejuvenate. SEA ISLAND RETREAT (two hours) A consultation with a spa therapist to design your own herbal remedy precedes this aromatherapy experience. Beginning with a salted body polish to deep cleanse, a shower with natural fruit acids encourages circulation while hints of spices, flowers and herbs fill the air. A warm bath induces relaxation, and is followed by a massage to quiet the mind. The retreat concludes with a wrap of rich shea butter crème infused with green tea and sage. SCENTED JOURNEY (90 minutes) The journey starts with a customized scented herbal blend used in a full-body exfoliation, followed by a shea butter and fruit acid moisturizing shower. Finally, a massage with warm bamboo stalks relaxes muscles and guests receive a special Sea Island gift. LEMONGRASS LIFT (60 minutes) This purifying wrap and scrub consists of a lively blend of organic lemongrass, moodenhancing orange and mandarin, and is followed by a cool, refreshing cup of lemongrass tea. the spa. McNees explains that scented blankets, neck pillows and eye masks can incorporate stress management into everyday life. “Scents are personal and are closely tied to memory,” she adds. While the exact connection linking scent with memory and emotion is a topic of ongoing study, many researchers believe that scent receptors in the nose network directly with areas of the brain that warehouse our emotions and memories, influencing our mood and well-being. “When used correctly, scents can provide the benefit of adding an additional sensory touch point with smell,” McNees says. A whiff of fresh lemon blossoms might summon visions of vacations spent wandering through citrus groves near the Amalfi Coast in Italy, as the power of aromatherapy can transport an individual to a different time. m
NANCY FASHION • FOOD • HOME NEW LOCATION SPRING 2014! St. Simons Island, GA (912) 634-8005 facebook.com/NancySSI
26 SEA ISLAND LIFE |SPRING/SUMMER 2014 never-ending, sun-filled days are the perfect incentive to head outdoors and get some sand in your shoes. Trish Welch, Sea Island personal trainer and fitness instructor, says that working out with the challenge of shifting sands comes with a host of benefits that include improved strength, enhanced performance and better coordination. “There are endless things you can do to sneak in a workout in the sand,” Welch says. “Try sprints, skipping or shuffling for the lower body. Add pushups, situps and planks (holding a pushup position with the body’s weight borne on forearms, elbows and toes), and you can hit a total body workout in a short amount of time. The beach is also a serene place to practice a little stretching while enjoying fresh sea air.” While the gorgeous seaside setting might inspire some to feel as though it’s possible to leap tall sand dunes in a single bound à la some famous superheroes, it’s important to build up gradually to a full-blown sand routine. Another one of Sea Island’s personal trainers and fitness instructors, Daniel “Ox” Hocutt, heeds a bit of SANDBLASTED EXERCISE THERE’S NOTHING LIKE A STRETCH OF BEACH TO REV UP YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE. BY DEBRA BOKUR get fit caution to avoid overdoing a workout. “It’s a great way to work on stabilization and muscle recruitment,” Hocutt says. “It requires muscles to work harder—which is why walking in the sand is a popular training technique for sports like soccer and volleyball. You use your entire body when in the sand. Sprinting and simple plyometrics (resistance exercises that rapidly stretch and shorten muscles), like jumping up and down, can have a greater effect.” Sand workouts can be safer on your joints than working out on a hard surface, but Hocutt suggests that it’s best to take it easy at first. Start by walking along the shore and progress from there, as pushing past your fitness level right away can result in shin splints and Achilles tendon problems. Both Hocutt and Welch advise trainees to wear shoes during a sand workout, despite the inclination to ditch footwear. Sand can hide debris that may not be easily visible while exercising. Whether beach-goers walk or simply stretch in the sand, they enjoy the perk of working out to one of nature’s unbeatable soundtracks: the soothing rhythm of waves washing ashore. m BEACH BUFF Energize a workout with these sand starters from fitness experts Daniel “Ox” Hocutt and Trish Welch. ZIGZAG Walk at a slow pace alternating between firm sand near the water and soft, dry sand away from the shore. THROW IN THE TOWEL On a beach towel or mat, practice sets of situps and planks. STRETCH OF SEA Take your yoga practice to the shore. Park your mat and enjoy the views while you fine-tune your cobra pose. Trish Welch (right), Sea Island personal trainer and fitness instructor, leads a workout on the beach. Side planks are a great core-body exercise.
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28 SEA ISLAND LIFE | SPRING/SUMMER 2014 DID YOU KNOW? DISCOVER FUN FACTS AND STORIES ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE ISLAND. COMPILED BY SEA ISLAND LIFE STAFF on the isle In the summer of 2004, Sea Island hosted the G8 Summit, an event that shone an international spotlight on the area. The U.S. president and first lady, delegates from around the world, their staffs, security, Secret Service, media and all of the excitement that surrounds the summit descended on the island for the high-profile occasion, which took place June 8-10. It required months of preparation and planning with all hands on deck. To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the event, here are just a few stories from the G8 Summit. As The Lodge’s Executive Chef John Helfrich says, “[It was] definitely an event that we’ll never forget—that’s for sure.” Lasting Lessons Blair Webb, Sea Island director of catering and conference services: “When I came to Sea Island in November of 2003, on my first day, I walked into the office. The service manager walks up to me and puts a stack of files on my desk. He goes, ‘Here you go.’ I say, ‘What’s that?’ And he says, ‘Well, it’s the G8.’ I say, ‘Well, thank you.’ “I went on with my business that day, then went home to my wife and said, ‘What’s a G8?’ But here I was with all these stacks of papers and I found out very quickly what it was. It was a great honor. “I think because of the magnitude of security and the magnitude of awareness, there will never be anything that will ever come close to [the G8 Summit]. The amount of time for planning and the amount of time for preparation was pretty extensive, but educational at the same time, because we were able to work with the White House staff and White House stewards, who were individuals that served the president and first lady at any of their events. So they taught us the protocol … [for] a service level from their standpoint. It helped to instill some of the service standards we still have here at Sea Island.” Fit for a King Ike Podlesny, butler at The Lodge: “When the King of Bahrain [Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa] ordered breakfast every morning, he didn’t do the actual ordering; his associate did it. When his associate called in his order, he asked for one of everything because he didn’t know what the king was in the mood for that day. So he received an order of waffles, pancakes, eggs, bacon … everything on the room service menu—he got one of each—every day.” A Presidential Cheeseburger John Helfrich, executive chef at The Lodge: “I was the executive banquet chef at the time. I reported to the executive chef and was pretty heavily involved in the planning and execution, schedules, menus, all that stuff. We started preparing six to eight months prior. … We took pictures of everything, and then it went off to somewhere and it would come back, and we had to change a few things, tweak them. … If there were two or three cooks prepping for a breakfast function, there was a person in the kitchen watching from the Food and Drug Administration and then there was someone from the Secret Service there. “At one of the meals, [former French President] Jacques Chirac had asked if he could have a cheeseburger. [Security] was really tight about … when we were allowed to bring food in and what we were allowed to bring in. We didn’t have any hamburgers down there, so we had to make hamburgers at the temporary kitchen that we had set up for inroom dining. Someone came down and grabbed them and whisked them down the drive at around 80-100 mph. It was pretty exciting. Once [Chirac] asked for a cheeseburger, a bunch of other guys were like, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll have a cheeseburger, too.’ ”
SPRING/SUMMER 2014 | SEA ISLAND LIFE 29 Gone Fishing Mike Kennedy, Sea Island director of recreation: “I took President George W. Bush fishing. It was interesting because the waterways were closed to all boaters the whole week of the G8 Summit. I got the call to take the president at about 9 [a.m.] and no one told the Coast Guard. So I came flying out of the little creek in a flats boat [and] I got pulled over at gunpoint. “Within about five minutes, the chief of the Coast Guard team came over in a helicopter and they were screaming over the radio, ‘Get him out of the red zone! He’s a threat to national security! Where did he come from?’ Meanwhile, I’m on my knees with my hands in the air and machine guns are pointed at me. “My cellphone kept ringing. They finally let me answer it and it was Bill Jones, who was the Sea Island Co. chairman and CEO at the time. I could see the dock where Jones was waving at me. I told him I was under arrest and he said he wanted to talk to the Coast Guard guy. “Then I see [the Coast Guardsman] turn to the dock and say, ‘Yes sir, Mr. President, I see you waving your hat. I’ll let him go immediately.’ Then they escorted me to the dock and I took the president fishing in the flats boat. “We had a Secret Service guy onboard that the president called ‘Batman.’ The counter-assault team that traveled with the president was in inflatable rafts surrounding us the whole time, and they also had spotting scopes and snipers on the banks watching us, too.” Driving Range Brannen Veal, Sea Island director of golf: “I was asked to give a golf lesson to the president of Yemen, who had obviously never seen a golf club before. It was he and I, and all of his bodyguards, all of [whom] were carrying guns. … It was a little intimidating. “As we were looking out of The Lodge Pro Shop window one morning, two foreign security personnel had their carts lined up on the 10th tee of the Plantation Course like they were going to race. Sure enough, they take off riding over all of the tees, straight down the fairway. We thought, ‘Surely, they’re not going to ride over the middle of the green.’ But they rode right over the center of the 10th green. A staff member had to go ask them not to drive there.” Who, What, Wear James Fryer, butler at The Lodge: “I was one of the designated butlers to handle the Algerian staff at The Lodge. I worked mainly with the personal butler for Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Every time there was a request, he would say, ‘Jimmy, come quick.’ “It was about 1 in the afternoon when I got a call: ‘Jimmy, come quick.’ On this particular occasion, I could tell Bouteflika was unhappy about something. With his limited English and my attempts to pick up a few French words, I found out that it had to do with his laundry that had been sent out that morning. Normally, clean laundry will be returned by 5 p.m., but he wanted it now. I talked him into going with me to The Lodge Pro Shop to find a shirt. “I ended up buying him a Ralph Lauren polo to wear. ... His laundry was en route, delayed by the multiple security checkpoints. At about 4 p.m., it arrived. He started to take off the Ralph Lauren shirt that he thought to be a loaner, but I told him it was his to keep. Even though he had plenty of nice clothing to wear, he graciously accepted the polo from the Pro Shop and wore it proudly.” Home Base Judi Morgan, Sea Island Club member: “Our neighborhood, Black Banks [was] the first stopping point where cars were checked. ... We were just truly honored and pleased to have all these members of our armed forces throughout our neighborhood the whole time. I’m a Marine Corps brat and grew up on Marine Corps bases, so it brought back such good childhood memories for me. They were the nicest, most gentlemanly guys—and young, baby-faced kids. We all opened our homes to them. “We had a basement … and we said [to the soldiers], ‘We’re going to leave the basement door unlocked. There’s a refrigerator down there stocked with soft drinks and water, and there’s a restroom down there.’ They’d just come in and out—they were quiet, but we’d just hear the door close and I would think, ‘I’ve never felt so safe in our neighborhood.’ “At the end of the event, we had a Lowcountry boil at our neighbor’s house. We all brought food and wine and beer, and they just had a blast. We all bid them farewell, got their addresses and wrote notes to their superiors to let them know what a great job they’d done representing themselves and their service.” m