They say the South has a charm quite distinct from other parts of the US. ¬†And They‚??d be right, from what we‚??ve experienced. ¬†Today at Sea Island ‚?? on the Georgia coastline ‚?? grandeur was very much the name of the game. ¬†Very impressive stuff.
Florida had been very kind to us over the past few days, but ‚??twas time to move onwards and upwards (on the map, that is). ¬†Thankfully the drive was a short one ‚?? at least when compared with the current yardstick, being the Phoenix to Dallas drive we did a week or two ago (21 hours and change) ‚?? maybe 2 and a half hours. ¬†And the sun was a‚??shinin‚??. ¬†Off the 95 you head East over a few striking bridges, ultimately to St. Simon‚??s Island. ¬†I‚??m not sure who St. Simon was (never paid attention in Bible Studies ‚?? in fact, never really attended...), but his island is nice.
We had time for one of our standard supermarket missions en route to the golf course. ¬†Couple bagels; couple bananas; couple nectarines; maybe a yoghurt. ¬†Who said we‚??re not men of simple wants and needs? ¬†
Sweat was pouring off by the time we peeled ourselves out of Dodgy and into the Sea Island carpark. ¬†A/C playing up. ¬†Not ideal in 100 degree heat. ¬†But I digress...
Immediately we were impressed by the clubhouse, which reminded us of Day 84 at Barwon Heads near Melbourne, Australia. ¬†What a beautiful old building it is. ¬†(According to the website The Lodge is a Forbes 5 Star & AAA Five Diamond (as in Ocean‚??s Eleven 5 Diamond, I imagine) recipient - wouldn‚??t surprise me one bit). ¬†Just looking at it makes you picture in your mind what sort of shenanigans were going on in these hallways a hundred years ago. ¬†My wandering mind also decided this would be a quality setting for a murder mystery weekend. ¬†Just a thought. ¬†Anyway suffice to say I‚??m in love with the clubhouse and when I make my billions I will buy it if at all possible.
On the range there were a good few father / son groups. ¬†Fathers giving instructions; sons looking like they know better (much like the episode with the Tataurangi family back in Texas!). ¬†Being of a generation between these two camps, I took no sides. ¬†Just hit balls. ¬†
Today we played The Plantation Course. ¬†Everyone talks about the Seaside course here, but it was out of play and we were quite happy with our lot. ¬†The course is short ‚?? betraying it‚??s vintage ‚?? but extremely pleasant. ¬†It oozes charm like the Live Oaks seem to ooze Spanish Moss (intriguing stuff, like lichen I suppose ‚?? or maybe it is lichen?). ¬†Some holes are bordered by houses, but over many moons the vegetation has grown in partially obscuring them from view. ¬†Like a classy lady wearing a revealing dress that manages to be tasteful. ¬†Usually courses lined with housing bother me, but Plantation certainly didn‚??t. ¬†
I wish we‚??d walked, actually. ¬†But carts are the name of the game down ‚??ere, and we‚??re well in the habit at the moment. ¬†And a storm threatened to hit with a handful of holes to spare (something we‚??re coming to be acutely aware of). ¬†If you get the chance though, walk. ¬†You won‚??t find many nicer spots to put one foot in front of the other. ¬†As I said, the trees are Mature; the lakes are natural and filled with gators; and from time to time you catch a glimpse of (I assume) the Sea. ¬†There's a bit of history to be observed too, like the ruin we came across below.
Ah the locker room. ¬†An entire blog should be devoted to the Locker Room, but time doesn‚??t permit such indulgence. ¬†It has shot straight to #1 in the rankings, without hesitation. ¬†Photos below. ¬†I didn‚??t photograph The Best Shower in The World, but wish I had. ¬†After scrubbing the sweat from my bones I rather decadently donned one of the bath robes that are supplied. ¬†Took me an hour or two to take it off it was so comfortable. ¬†We sat on the leather armchairs and read The Wall Street Journal; and just generally imagined how swell life would be if this was the venue for your Saturday morning outings. ¬†Oh to be a Southern Gentleman for a while. ¬†Had there been more time available a game of chess might‚??ve been played, or perhaps some cards. ¬†
At this point we didn‚??t have anywhere to rest our heads for the night. ¬†Enter Brad Heaven: the Kiwi pro who came to our rescue. ¬†A mutual friend had given us Brad‚??s contact details some months ago, and given us instructions to contact him when on Sea Island. ¬†Like many things we left our email to the last minute (literally just before we got in the car this morning to drive up here). ¬†Brad‚??s up in Canada (with flatmate and fellow Kiwi pro, Josh ‚??Gizz‚?Ě Geary), but nonetheless made contact straight away. ¬†What a lovely guy. ¬†He called; offered us his place to crash; offered us his fridge and pool; put us onto his flatmates and friends who run local restaurants; and generally did everything he could to make sure we had a great time on the island. ¬†This from a guy we‚??d never met and never spoken to until today. ¬†Like I said, a lovely guy.
At Brad‚??s place we ran into Matt, a local chap who‚??s dating Brad‚??s flatmate Kat. ¬†(I just realised that sentence sounded like the opening line of a riddle). ¬†He took us into town to meet Kat at her work, where we had a Sweet Water 420 (an unusual name for a beer, but a nice beer all the same). ¬†This be a seafood & party town. ¬†Across the road was Crab Daddy‚??s, which is run by Brad‚??s mate Josh Williams ‚?? helluva nice guy and seriously good golfer. ¬†Josh really looked after us. ¬†I had possibly the best fish meal I‚??ve ever had (Grouper with vodka cream sauce); and the home made salad sauces were quite something too. ¬†The place was humming, as we were told it invariably does on a Saturday. ¬†A must do if you‚??re on Sea Island. ¬†(Must mention we also met a lovely couple at the bar - Bent & Amy - who kindly bought our dinner!).
After dinner we hooked up with Matt & Kat again, who took us out for an evening on the town, Georgia styles. ¬†An eye opener for sure. ¬†A cantankerous swine of a woman hogged the shuffleboard table all night, so we didn‚??t get the chance to experience what looked like an interesting game. ¬†She thought Goldy was underage and told him she‚??d ‚??regulate him‚?Ě if he wasn‚??t careful. ¬†Being non-confrontational laid back Kiwis we left her to it. ¬†And sat listening to the BEST Van Morrison cover singer ever to grace God‚??s good earth. ¬†Forget his name. ¬†Anyway a quality night after a quality day.
Lovin‚?? The South. ¬†
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