From unrivaled golf experiences to new accommodations, the recent enhancements at The Lodge will make all feel right at home.
By Allison Emery
Traveling along the narrow road flanked by grand 160-year-old oak trees, which is named the Avenue of the Oaks, members and guests arrive at the entrance to The Lodge. The secluded English-style manor was built in 2001 as a boutique hotel at the
Sea Island Golf Club. As patrons step in, they are greeted with a warm “welcome home” by Sea Island staff. Fittingly, the vision for the 57-room property was to create a residential ambience. In fact, nothing says “home” quite like The Lodge’s turndown service each evening, when visitors come back to a comforting treat: freshly baked cookies.
“When at The Lodge, we want you to feel like you’re part of the family … you’re at home,” says Brannen Veal, director of golf at Sea Island, who has been with the resort since 1996. Veal has seen not only The Cloister evolve, but also The Lodge and its adjacent golf courses. While The Lodge was originally intended for the resort’s golf-going guests to “roll out of bed and onto the green,” according to Veal, it has become a sought-after accommodation for every type of visitor seeking an intimate experience. “The idea here was to build a hotel that was going to be a five-star, five-diamond experience where you stay right on property and have [personal] butler service, restaurants, golf courses, pool—everything you need right here,” Veal says.
To expand on The Lodge’s distinctive offerings and locale, in 2018, the resort debuted six guest cottages with ocean views, an 18-hole putting course, an oceanfront pool and pool house, an expanded driving range tee, as well as a new putting green and short game area. Even more exciting is the addition of a state-of-the-art 17,000-square-foot Golf Performance Center, opened in March, which replaced the resort’s existing facility. The new center features six instruction and club fitting bays, a putting studio, a full-service golf club workshop, a gym with locker rooms, a spacious retail area and event spaces.
“We wanted to create a place where golfers can get all things golf without ever having to leave,” Veal says. “That means the best accommodations, the best food and beverage, best service, best golf courses and the best instruction along with fitness and club fitting.”
Additionally, currently under renovation, Sea Island’s Plantation Course is slated to reopen in October 2019 after a redesign by Love Golf Design, a golf course architecture firm by Sea Island resident and PGA golfer Davis Love III and Mark Love, his brother.
The new pool house is a popular gathering place with double fireplaces, a wrap-around porch, food and beverage service, and indoor and outdoor event spaces. Likewise, Driftwood, the 18-hole putting course, draws golfers and nongolfers alike, especially just before the sun sets over the magnificent
St. Simons Sound.
“Members and guests have drinks on the veranda overlooking the putting course and Atlantic Ocean, while the bagpiper’s playing,” Veal says. “Generations of people can be out there putting and having fun, enjoying everything Sea Island offers at The Lodge.”