Golf Course WebsitesGolfRevText Golfer

Love to Design Exclusive Course in Georgia


Hampton Island, the 4,000-acre island nestled along the Georgia coast 35 miles south of Savannah, recently announced the addition of a Davis Love III-designed golf course to the list of amenities offered on the island. Georgia's first conservation-centered community, Hampton Island is an exclusive, low-density, ecologically sensitive community that offers the ultimate in luxury amenities and pristine natural beauty.

"My brother Mark and I grew up in coastal Georgia and appreciate its natural beauty and understand what makes this part of the world such a special place," said the PGA Tour pro veteran. "This understanding will be evident at our new course on Hampton Island. We plan to create a golf experience that fits seamlessly within the natural environment, one that reflects not only the history and traditions of the game of golf, but the history of the area itself."

Hampton Island is a good fit for Love Golf Design, a company that believes in the design philosophy of "less is more" for environmental, economic and aesthetic reasons. The 18-hole, Davis Love III-designed golf course will weave through the rice fields and equestrian plantations of Hampton Island.

"We are thrilled to enter into this partnership with Davis and his brother Mark Love," said Wade Shealy, managing partner of Hampton Island. "Their style of design was exactly what we were looking for when we began our search for a partner who shares our commitment to the environment. We are equally committed to protecting our rich coastal history and to preserving the coastal sanctuary that is Hampton Island, while creating a unique golf experience that even the most sophisticated golfer can appreciate."

Love Golf Design was founded in 1994 by Love and his brother, Mark Love, and is based in St. Simons Island, Ga. Love Golf Design has completed 11 original designs and two course redesigns in the Southeast. They believe that modern courses should be designed in the traditional manner, with emphasis on strategy and playability.

The golf course will be among the many amenities on Hampton Island. The include the use of a Cessna Caravan sea plane that will land on an illuminated waterway, the only operational waterway of this kind in the U.S.; two Percheron show horses for pulling a surrey carriage, as well as an iron-wheeled hay wagon; a spa facility designed by Lydia Mondavi; fishing and hunting expeditions; an equestrian center with many paddocks and fenced pastures as well as 25 miles of bridle paths; a private 16-acre organic farm; a community dock that can accommodate up to 150-foot yachts; a 60-acre fresh water fishing pond and sailing lake; staff naturalists and 24-hour concierge services.

Shealy discovered Hampton Island while scouting land for Intrawest, where he was vice president of sales and marketing. He set out to buy the 4,000 acres then owned by retired Atlanta private money manager John Morgan. "From the moment I saw Hampton Island, her beauty spoke to my soul in a way that was unforgettable. I knew, at that moment, that I had to protect this magnificent piece of history, this sanctuary, from typical development," said Shealy.

Morgan, a founder of INVESCO Capital Management in Atlanta, purchased Hampton Island in 1997 with the intent to preserve the environment and to serve as a guardian for the island's future. Over the years, Morgan designed a series of landmark structures that capture Southern plantation life while preserving the integrity of the island. He built a handful of structures on the island, including the home now owned by actor Ben Affleck. Affleck, who knew a friend of Shealy, paid $7.1 million for "The Big House," a graceful 10,000 square-foot plantation home and its surrounding 83 acres.

Setting out to create a 'piece of paradise' for a privileged few, Hampton Island has broken the mold of traditional coastal developments. Nearly 80% of the island will be placed into conservation easements to guarantee the land will remain undeveloped. The developers are seeking fellow Conservators and Stewards to inhabit the island. Prospective Hampton Island residents must go through an interview process to determine whether or not they share the conservation values and commitment for preserving the island's integrity. Wine maker Robert Mondavi is among the islandís Steward members.

At present, Hampton Island has released 25 home sites at prices of $1.5 million or more, including the one-time club membership fee, known as a Stewardship, now priced at $250,000. All 25 home sites were immediately purchased upon their release. Hampton Island plans to offer approximately 112 home sites as well as 130 Stewardships.

A limited number of Conservators will have the opportunity to become part of Hampton Island when 16 home sites are released at a private event on October 22-23, 2004, where Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue will announce that Hampton Island will make a donation of 800 acres to the Georgia Land Trust. The land will be placed in a conservation easement, allowing the continued preservation and beautification of Georgia's coast. Hampton Island will also donate $50,000 to the Georgia Land Trust. A gathering of 200 invited guests will include Governor Sonny Perdue, Dean George Benson of the University of Georgia, wine maker Robert Mondavi, and professional golfer Davis Love III. In addition, Aaron Neville will perform in a concert.

"A small group of future owners will attempt to preserve this land through conservation easements and trust, by honoring the richness of life that can only be found in this coastal retreat," said Shealy.

Recently featured in the July 23rd issue of the Wall Street Journal, Hampton Island boasts maritime forests, winding rivers, tidal saltwater marshes, pastures, limestone roads, and ancient live oaks. Linked to the mainland by a one-lane bridge, Hampton Island features waterfront views, wildlife and a rich history. Surrounded by 12 miles of rivers and marshes, Hampton Island is one of the few remaining undeveloped islands along the South Atlantic coast.

The homeowners association will own 13 homes for owners to use at any time, including the Hampton House, a 15,000-square-foot, eight bedroom home currently under construction and designed by Atlanta architect Bill Foley. A custom Robert Mondavi Wine Cellar will be one of the many features in the Hampton House, featuring French oak floors originally used for wine barrels. The home, designed in a Coastal Revival architectural style, will also boast a grand boulevard entry with a fountain.

Hampton Island's history dates back several thousand years, when Native Americans first inhabited the area. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the island evolved into a thriving Southern rice and cotton plantation. During the Civil War, the island served as a strategic Confederate coastal defense outpost.

For more information on residential opportunities with Hampton Island, call 912/880-8800 or visit www.hamptonisland.com.