The ultimate guys’ weekend escape, Sea Island, ups the ante for fun with dream golf, world-class angling, a five-diamond spa and even a little falconry for the bucket list.
Together with Sea Island we sent a select group of Committee members and one Modern Luxury editor to experience the best of the best located just a quick flight away. Join us for this three part journey.
Day 2: Plantation Golf. And More Golf.
If golf is a religion, then Sea Isle might be one of the holiest places in America. It’s the Pebble Beach of the East. Tradition reigns here—and roughly 20 pros who have PGA or Korn Ferry status play the courses regularly—but it’s also a place where those who are new to the game or have been playing for years (and still cursing certain shots) can feel equally comfortable.
There are three courses—Seaside, Plantation and Retreat—and, according to Patrick Richardson, the head golf pro at the resort, each course plays differently and offers unique challenges. He’s particularly proud of the recent renovation on Plantation. “Davis and Mark Love gave it a really fresh look,” Richardson says. “The vistas have completely changed. You can see all of the back nine, and it’s really pretty. They lowered the greens, and the course feels more like a classic design that matches up with the best anywhere. And for fun, we even created an 18-hold Speedway putting course. It’s free to use, and we’ll see buddies playing in the evening with cocktails. Families also love it.”
Frank, David, Anthony and I begin the day at the new 17,000-square-foot Golf Performance Center, where we marvel at skill-improvement simulators that track every nuance of our golf game—from our grip to foot positioning, swing and even weight distribution. It’s a technological marvel at every turn, especially a putting simulator that can be raised up, lowered or tilted sideways, to showcase real-life angles out on the course. Before each of us heads off to work on specific parts of our golf game with a Center instructor, we check out a private fitness room, where we spot tour player Michael Thompson working out with a trainer—yes, the same Michael Thompson who won the 3M Open in July (with a 4-under 67, bagging $1,118,000).
I work on my short game with the legendary Gale Peterson, ranked among the top 100 instructors by Golf Digest. She’s been at Sea Island since 1978. Peterson sets me up indoors on the SwingCatalyst, which checks out my feet, toe-to-heel pressure, among countless other foundational measurements. Above all, the machine—video and all—helps me develop the right balance. The affable Peterson tells me something I’ll never forget about any sport with a ball: “When you get into a motion, you want the ball to get in the way of the motion.” In other words, it’s all about muscle memory and smoothing out the fundamentals. She’s a miracle worker: My chipping went from a disaster to functional within 10 minutes.
We dine in The Locker Room. Technically, yes, it is a locker room, but that’s like saying The White House is technically a place to spend the night and have a few folks over for dinner. Make no mistake: This space might be the finest—and best appointed—man cave on the planet, with leather chairs, a full bar and sturdy, hand-carved wood tables for dining from a menu that includes sandwiches (we love the grilled chicken) to an unforgettable burger with butter lettuce, tomato, bacon-onion Jam, pimento cheese, house-made pickles.
As we sip on a few chilly beers, we discuss what we’ve witnessed so far. “I’ve played so many amazing courses around the country—and I live in Florida—and this is easily the most impressive teaching facility I’ve ever seen,” says David.
Anthony nods. “From a guy who’s exceptionally inexperienced at the game of golf, I’m inspired to go and learn; my instructor made it palatable and tangible,” he says. “I hit the ball off the tee the first time—straight and far. What a game. What an instructor.” (And, of course, Anthony becomes so infatuated with the game that he greets the sunrise with a bucket or two from our cottage.)
Frank, a photographer, is a man who studies details, and he relishes when others do the same. “This entire place is different in so many ways,” he says. “They remember your name. Last night, the chef knew my name before we sat down. And in the Golf Center, they paid attention to my game flaws and resolved everything in 10 minutes. My first three shots off the tee all made sense. That’s never happened before.”
Interested in your own getaway? Enter to win a three day golfer’s getaway to Sea Island with our Mensbook and Sea Island Sweepstakes. Terms and conditions apply.