The ‘Private Side of Sea Pines’ Awaits in Hilton Head Island’s Leading Coastal Community
Cathie Rasch has helped many people find their Lowcountry getaway from points north to Hilton Head Island, S.C. since arriving here in 2003. The longtime REMAX Island Realty associate says most new residents share a common journey.
First, they visit this barrier island -- frequently named the #1 island in the U.S. by Travel and Leisure Magazine -- for a week. Then a week turns into a month, and a month turns into three or four.
People purchase a home on the island for a variety of reasons: retirement, second home, vacation home or maybe they’re able to work remotely … and who wouldn’t rather work remotely from the beach?
“We had a brief lull like everywhere else, but real estate activity accelerated in May, once businesses started reopening and there was more clarity about our path forward,” Rasch says. “We’re anticipating a busy fall season as people realize that they have more flexibility either by working remotely or opting for early retirement.”
There aren’t many certainties in the world heading into the final five months of 2020. But real estate experts like Rasch agree: the U.S. is entering a prolonged period of migration from dense urban areas to lower-density areas.
In addition to traditional areas that people migrate to Hilton Head from, such as Ohio and New York, Rasch says residents of southeastern stronghold cities like Atlanta and Charlotte are seeing more residents investing in their “vacation home for life” on Hilton Head Island.
“I expect we’ll see new residents from a wide-variety of cities and states moving forward,” she says. “It’s not just weather that’s driving people to reconsider where they live. It’s the quality of life, ample space and the availability of outdoor activities. During the quarantine people were still able to walk the beach, ride bikes, take walks and play golf here. That is a lifestyle that is attracting people to Hilton Head Island.”
Rasch specializes in Sea Pines, Hilton Head’s original master-planned community and the brainchild of real estate visionary Charles Fraser. Situated on the island’s south end, Sea Pines features a wide variety of residences ranging from luxury beachfront homes to low maintenance, lock-and-leave villas and condos.
And new residents who may have given up a private club membership in order to move to the island will be thrilled to discover what many refer to as the “Private Side of Sea Pines,” Sea Pines Country Club.
A private, invitation-only enclave situated just behind the gates of famed Sea Pines community, the club is an attractive option for those relocating to Hilton Head Island or neighboring Bluffton, as members are not required to live “inside the gates.”
And the club is well-positioned for the next wave of relocations, invigorated by a visionary plan for the future and substantial capital investment.
Sea Pines Country Club’s “re-imagination” began in 2017 with a $2.7 million renovation of the main clubhouse. This first phase resulted in an entirely new dining facility, the Blue Heron Pub & Grille, a 24-meter outdoor pool and resort-style deck with children’s splash pool, as well as an indoor saline lap pool.
In 2019, the club leveled-up its health and wellness game with the debut of a stunning new $3 million fitness center. Completely renovated and expanded from 2,500 to 7,300-square-feet, the new facility features the latest cardio and strength training equipment, as well as a grab-and-go café and infrared saunas.
A new second floor with a balcony overlooking the tennis courts and golf practice range features a multi-purpose room for group classes and gatherings. Locker rooms have doubled in size to accommodate infrared saunas, a popular post-workout amenity. The group fitness lineup includes yoga, Pilates, spin, full-body strength training, TRX and even water aerobics.
“We are a lifestyle-focused club, and the fitness center is the hub that connects to golf, tennis, culinary, social and everything we offer,” says General Manager and Chief Operating Officer Robbie Ames, brother of Champions Tour player (and former PGA Tour star) Stephen Ames.
As a premier Hilton Head Island tennis facility, the club is well-equipped with seven pristine Har-Tru clay courts that host friendly matches, member clinics, inter-club competitions and even state tournaments.
Tennis and fitness options notwithstanding, golf is still the major draw at Sea Pines Country Club. The Club Course is the only private course inside the Sea Pines gates. Originally designed by Arnold Palmer and Frances Duane in 1973, it opened just four years after neighboring Harbour Town at Sea Pines Resort.
“The Club Course is a quintessential example of Lowcountry golf course design,” says Ames. “It has narrow, tree-lined fairways, a high percentage of doglegs, subtle green complexes and lagoons. There’s a sense of intrigue on every tee box as to what comes next.”
Earlier this year, Sea Pines Country Club opened a new pickleball center and bocce court, continuing to offer its members unparalleled lifestyle amenities and activities.
The club installed a USA Pickleball Association regulation surface to create the four pickleball courts, and finished the pickleball patio with outdoor furniture, umbrellas, comfort stations and an information board.
A new 60-foot long bocce court overlooking the expansive tidal marsh is situated behind the club’s beautiful Lowcountry-style clubhouse. Like pickleball, bocce is a rapidly growing game at clubs and communities throughout the country.
“There’s something for everyone here, whether they enjoy traditional club sports like golf and tennis, or fine dining, wine tasting events or playing cards,” says Director of Membership Development Nic Booth. “New members feel at home from the moment they walk through the door. We’re also seeing an uptick in young families who enjoy the pool, activities and programming, like our summer camps.”
For more information about Sea Pines Country Club’s membership options, click here or call (843) 671-2335.