Looking Forward to 2024 on Callawassie Island
There, in the tension between sustaining what has always been valued on this treasured island and gaining momentum looking ahead to what 2024 brings in its wake, lies Callawassie Island in perfect balance.
That’s the legacy of this land as far back as you can track the identity of its residency and resource – a place for raising livestock, growing crops of Sea Island cotton and indigo, stewarding the flora, fauna, and marine life and the ecology of all the surrounding waterways as the native islanders and later, early American settlers continued to flock to the patch of land named for its “calm waters.”
In few places does faithfulness to source pair so well with vision for a smart and inviting future. On Callawassie Island, board members, staff, committees, and leadership all work together to ensure the community and development are sustainable and optimized for a lifestyle that draws a likeminded crowd who will protect, preserve, and steer progress in a direction that benefits people and place.
Back in the Swing of Things
One of the most prominent projects to that end is the “Three Courses in Three Years” undertaking underway at the hand of the Director of Agronomy, Billy Bagwell, and team. With Dogwood and Magnolia renovated and reopened and Palmetto underway, Callawassie is also back on in 2024 as the host of the Women’s Big East Conference.
The largest and most visible and permeating project, touching so many parts of the population and the development’s larger role in the golf community, the course renewal is also one of the most symbolic of the carefully managed process of balancing prevention and progress. The agronomy team has been able to maintain the exceptional landscape and ecosystem while advancing the advantages of the amenity, improving playability and longevity, accomplishing all of this in a way that lends itself to the best overall interests of the island.
The Perfect Balance
The same care is poured into all decisions about residential development and the associated amenities – decisions about new building being mindful of the pressure that puts on existing amenities, future needs, and what that looks like for the health of the overall community. Leadership and committees are proactively taking steps to mitigate the overpopulation of the island while maintaining the natural beauty and sustainability of current and future amenities while fostering the perfectly balanced lifestyle desired by the people who have a passion for making their home on Callawassie Island, making it truly “an island apart.”
That phrase, along with Callawassie Island’s brand identity, beats at the heart of brand benefactor Ryan Lockhart, President of group46, the agency behind the love language that describes this inimitable locale and lifestyle. “We’ve worked with Callawassie 7 years,” says Lockhart, “developing a brand position that really shows the value and strength of what this community offers. What we’ve seen in watching it closely – the character and consistency – is beyond the tangible aspects of amenities and nature and gets into the intrinsic value of community spirit and neighborly love. The more true you can stay the course to that brand of ‘warmth, balance, and connection,’ the more fruitful the future, because maintaining that brand integrity maintains the caliber of the residents you’re attracting and what matters to them and what they have in common with one another – birds of a feather flocking together – and literally too considering Callawassie happens to be an Audubon certified island.”
And So Say All of Us …
For Callawassie Island to maintain the course of sustainability and growth, they’re committed to remaining rigid with the standard of brand that they live and die by essentially. The essence of Callawassie Island is the people that make it up – from the team to the residents – and those people understand and live out the qualities of warmth, balance, and connection.
That’s a statement, standard, and sentiment, echoed – or initiated – by community leadership starting right from the top. General Manager Jeff Spencer notes, “We spend a lot of time talking about impact and a unique experience, not becoming an overcrowded island. People enjoy peace, nature, and tranquility so balancing the number of rooftops and the impact on the environment matters.”
Bagwell stands on the same foundation not only for the overhaul of the courses in his own purview but speaking for the spirit of the leadership team overall saying, “Our team is awesome – and I think it’s that, it’s a team; it’s not a bunch of individuals pulling the ropes from different directions. It starts with Jeff at the top as GM. If he wants the ship to go a certain way, we’ve all got to steer it to go that way and we all do a good job of that from Chef in the kitchen to Wes in the Golf Shop to David our Assistant GM, all the way down the line. We work really well together to accomplish the overall goal of providing a quality place for membership to enjoy.”