Golf Digest once billed Sea Island as the No.1 Golf Resort in North America. With sumptuous accommodation and a plethora of recreational facilities, including two public courses (Seaside and Plantation) Sea Island is one of those resorts that simply cannot be overlooked.
The Seaside course was created in the late 1920s by C.H. Alison of the great English partnership of Colt and Alison. Today's 18 holes comprise a front nine that was laid out by Joe Lee in the 1970s and a back nine that dates back to its original construction, with both circuits updated by Tom Fazio in 1999.
The 421-yard 4th is a really distinctive hole where the tee shot requires a forced carry across wetlands to a fairway that then takes a severe ninety-degree turn left towards a green sited on the other side of marshland. With bunkers on the right side of the fairway, golfers who play too conservatively away from trouble on the left will find themselves punished for their lack of ambition.
“One of the boldest designs of the 1920s,” remarked Tom Doak in The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses, “the original Seaside nine was created by dredging and filling the tidal marshes at the mouth of the Brunswick River to create several islands of golf, connected by bridges. It was exactly the sort of big idea Tom Fazio would build today, if they’d let him, so it’s only fitting that it was Fazio who updated the course. The bold carries on Alison’s old 4th and 7th holes remain, while the weak-sister Marshside nine was extensively renovated to fit the new style.”
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Alison studied history, law and divinity at Oxford and represented the university in Varsity matches. In one of these contests he famously pitched onto Woking’s 18th green from the clubhouse verandah roof.