A certain mystique has long surrounded South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island.
Beautiful golf courses, grand live oaks and long, sandy stretches of wide beach have been bringing people to the island ever since Charles Frazier started developing the area back in 1956. Frazier’s unprecedented approach to preserving the island’s natural beauty was ahead of its time.
Today, crossing the causeway on to the island is still as relaxing as ever.
Located within the 5,000-acre, gated-community of Sea Pines Plantation, Sea Pines Country Club is an oasis of health and goodwill. Recently recognized as one of America’s healthiest clubs, the country club scored an 88 on America’s Healthiest Club’s Health Report, a leader in private club wellness programs.
The Health Report is based on a comprehenseive evalutation of seven club categories: strategy, membership, fitness, food and beverage, golf, tennis and human resources.
“Keeping our members healthy, happy and fit is a priority and an integral part of our lifestyle design approach,” said Robbie Ames, Sea Pines Country Club general manager and chief operating officer told the club.
Sea Pines Country Club was recently recognized as one of America’s healthiest clubs, according to America’s Healthiest Club’s Health Report. (Photo: Sea Pines Country Club)
Ask members of the club and they will say they have found the fountain of youth.
“We have unbelievable members,” said Karen Fleming, director of membership development at SPCC. “We have 22 members in their 90s and six of them are still playing either golf or tennis.”
Members of SPCC take health seriously. Currently, the club is undergoing a $2.7 million upgrade to facilities, as well as a $450,000 indoor and outdoor pool renovation that was completed in April.
The connection between physical and mental health has long been documented. If further proof is needed, simply look at the members. There are members in their 70s still going strong along side newer, younger members.
Michael Tucker, a member since 2010 and resident since 2012, often tells the story of his first experience at SPCC. While on a tour of the property, he walked into the pro shop and told the staff he would like to play 18 holes. Within 15 minutes of leaving the property, he got a call from the pro shop telling him a member wanted to play. Fifteen minutes after that, a member’s wife called his wife about playing tennis, and then meeting up later for drinks.
The inclusiveness is real.
By the time the Tuckers officially moved to the property in 2012, they already had an established group of friends. At their annual Memorial Day party in May, Tucker and his wife hosted 360 people at their house.
“This is a family,” said Tucker, membership chair at SPCC. “I’ve been a member of four country clubs, but I’ve never joined one like this. You’re joining the Sea Pines family.”
A member since 2011, Judi Levy joined SPCC for the social and tennis aspects, but ended up finding so much more.
“The membership at the club is very welcoming to newcomers, lots of fun social events for all, but I think what I enjoy most is the commitment by members to give back to the community,” Levy said. “This is a membership that volunteers, serves on local boards, actively involved in Club issues and fundraises for causes.”
Of course, being on Hilton Head means you’re close to great golf, and SPCC is no exception. The course was originally built in 1973, designed by Frank Duane and Arnold Palmer. In 2001, the course was redesigned by award-winning course achitect Clyde Johnston. The par-72, 6,383-yard course is known for its supreme playing conditions.
The centuries old live oaks and sweeping tidal marsh views aren’t too bad either.
SEA PINES COUNTRY CLUB
Location: Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Patrick Rhyne has spent the last 20 years building luxury and private community brands across the United States, Mexico and Caribbean. He lives in Asheville, N.C.