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Plan Your Visit

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The Ford’s Pete Dye Golf Course Among Golfweek’s “Best 2024”

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Shaped by the Lowcountry’s natural beauty and designed by World Golf Hall of Fame architect Pete Dye, The Ford Field & River Club’s award-winning golf course has been included in Golfweek’s “Best 2024: Top 200 Residential Golf Courses in the U.S.” for the sixth year in a row, this year at #62. With no tee times, the 250-acre championship course welcomes golfers to socialize with fellow members while playing in a breathtaking natural setting where there’s never a rush.

Surrounded by freshwater lakes, sprawling meadows and picturesque coastline, the Pete Dye golf course has long been celebrated as a masterful design amidst unparalleled natural splendor. Dye himself hailed it as his “finest Southern design,” a testament to its exceptional quality and timeless appeal. It’s for good reason the course has played host to the prestigious Georgia Open six times, further solidifying its reputation as a premier golfing destination.

Golfers embarking on a round at The Ford are treated to a unique experience as they traverse the course’s front nine and back nine. The front nine, with its parkland-style layout, offers a serene landscape characterized by towering oaks, shimmering lakes and the private community’s Southern-style homes. The idyllic setting provides a rich backdrop for a relaxed and contemplative game of golf.

In stark contrast, the back nine presents a thrilling challenge with its links-style design set on a distinct peninsula. Here, golfers are met with a very different world — tall grasses, birds and views of the estuary. The transition between these two distinct environments ensures that every round played at The Ford is truly memorable.

“One thing I love about The Ford’s course is its unique setup,” says David Engram, The Ford’s Director of Golf. “When you walk behind the Clubhouse, and you get to see the entire back nine, it really is an ‘ah ha’ moment. That’s what gets me every day. I can’t tell you how many different photos I’ve taken of the back nine when the sun hits just right.”

One of the hallmarks of The Ford’s golfing experience is its unhurried pace through the two worlds. With no tee times to adhere to, golfers have the freedom to enjoy their game at their chosen tempo, inviting players to better connect with the landscape, the wildlife, and their fellow golfers.

Interested in playing Pete Dye’s renowned golf course at The Ford? Schedule your Discovery Visit today and experience our private haven’s one-of–a-kind Lowcountry living.

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Welcome Home:
Country Estates at The Ford

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With traditions of Southern hospitality, paired with year-round outdoor pursuits, world-class amenities and breathtaking acres of Lowcountry beauty, there is nowhere better to call home than The Ford Field & River Club. Offering five distinct enclaves comprised of 400 residences and homesites, our new “Welcome Home” series guides you through our distinct neighborhoods, helping you discover your ideal sanctuary—from a waterfront home with a dock slip to a gas lamp-lit street cottage to an ornate French Colonial estate framed by towering oaks.

Whether you prefer a rich, beautiful forest creating a natural and private sanctuary or the engaging, scenic beauty of our Pete Dye award-winning golf course and water views, Country Estates neighborhood offers a myriad of options — and our top reasons to call Country Estates home are featured below.

Featured Home: 220 Belted Kingfisher Lane by Axon Homes
2 bedrooms | 2 bathrooms | $1,199,000

Historical Lowcountry Architecture

Historical Lowcountry architecture is the cornerstone of homes at The Ford. The lots of Country Estates are larger lots ranging in various sizes, strung together on streets that create a labyrinth tying all settings together. In designing a home for the larger lots, it’s important to consider the context and scale of the natural landscape as much as the visible relationship to surrounding homes.

These homesites allow for multiple structures, whether your interest is in building a carriage house, a large estate home or a guest cottage. The planning of ancillary structures and their relationship to a main house is equally important. Lots within Country Estates consist of a primary estate house — Beaufort House, Charleston Double House, Farmhouse, Federal, French Colonial, Georgian, Greek Revival or Victorian Farm/Village House.

Size and Scale

The homes of Country Estates go beyond typical dimensions. A much more sizable scale is available—ranging up to 6,000 square feet for main house structures, up to 2,000 square feet for ancillary structures and homesites up to 16 acres, which presents more room for decorative features and architectural embellishments.

Featured Home: 191 Hidden Cove Drive
5 bedrooms | 6 bathrooms | $3,200,000

Featured Home: 590 Dogwood Way
3 bedrooms | 2 bathrooms | $999,900

Location, Location, Location

With a sprawl of locations making up Country Estates, there comes a profound range of what surroundings are offered to each homestead. The homesites of Country Estates are strung together on streets that create a labyrinth tying all settings together. Interior homes and homesites may come with woodland and lake views or golf course views, while exterior homes and homesites enjoy direct water access to the Ogeechee River, Lake Clara or Sterling Creek.

Unique Features

While each of the five enclaves are defined by a distinct look and offering, from homes shaded with acres of majestic live oaks to residences overlooking the neighboring wildlife and bird sanctuary, Country Estates offer a unique freedom, the chance to discover or design your dream home with a personalized expression of Southern style.

Featured Home: 182 Dogwood Way
4 bedrooms | 5 bathrooms | $3,250,000

To explore The Ford’s current home and homesite offerings, please check out our interactive map or contact our sales team for more information. 

Eager to discover The Ford’s charming neighborhoods for yourself? Schedule your Discovery Visit today and experience our private haven’s one-of–a-kind Lowcountry living.

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5 Reasons to Plan
Your Discovery Visit in 2024

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The magnolia trees silhouetted against a sunset, the marsh grass swaying in the breeze, shore birds drifting over our tranquil sanctuary — the natural beauty surrounding The Ford Field & River Club can only truly be experienced in person. Exploring Lowcountry living in one of the most picturesque stretches of the Ogeechee River is something you can discover first-hand with a Discovery Visit at The Ford. Our Discovery Visits offer curated adventures for our guests — and quickly filling up our 2024 calendar. While these 1,800 storied acres are indeed a sight to behold, what makes the experience truly exceptional is our private haven’s warm and welcoming community, members and world-class sporting pursuits across land and water.

Here are five reasons you should plan your visit to The Ford in 2024.

1. Stay at Henry and Clara Ford’s Historic Main House

Immerse yourself in The Ford’s rich history with a stay at the iconic Main House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and once the Lowcountry dream home of Henry and Clara Ford. Framed by lush expanses of grass, flourishing gardens and century-old oaks, the 7,000-square-foot Greek Revival estate boasts five beautifully appointed guest suites, each one offering garden views and access to open-air verandas overlooking the estate’s pool and nearby Ogeechee River.

2. Choose Your Curated Adventures

Whether you’re staying two nights or just the day, our team will thoughtfully plan an unforgettable experience tailored just for you. You could tee off on our award-winning Pete Dye golf course with no tee times, set out on a wildlife-viewing excursion from our Deepwater Marina and savor a farm-to-table meal all in one unforgettable stay. If you’re seeking a memorable experience, whether it be a guided fishing excursion, a captivating Ogeechee River cruise or an adventurous kayak tour, The Ford is your gateway to discovering the finest aspects of Georgia’s natural landscapes. Our array of carefully curated adventures ensures a truly enriching exploration of the region’s beauty.

3. Enjoy The Ford’s Amenities

Discover fun and adventure everywhere you turn across breeze-rippled lakes, miles of riverfront trails and acres of lush open land. From hiking, racket sports and golf to boating, fishing and kayaking, The Ford has earned its reputation as the finest coastal sporting club in the nation. Stop by the Equestrian Center, Sports Barn or Lake Dye Pool for further active pursuits, or head inside to unwind after outdoor activities with a meal at The Clubhouse or a personalized massage at The Spa.

4. Get a Taste of the Lowcountry Lifestyle

Lowcountry life is synonymous with gracious living, Southern charm and a strong connection to nature. Here at The Ford, community, tradition and slowing down to appreciate what we have are a big part of who we are as well. Our social calendar is filled with events to suit all ages across our multigenerational membership, from monthly oyster roasts to chef-led specialty dinners and wine tastings.

5. Tour of Estate Homes and Coveted Homesites

Explore the possibilities of calling The Ford home by taking a guided tour of our estate homes and homesites. Spread across five distinct enclaves, our sprawling residential community ranges from New Orleans French Colonials to Charleston-style garden homes. Be sure to explore our interactive map to find your dream home or discover the perfect homesite to build it.

Ready experience The Ford’s one-of-a-kind Lowcountry living for yourself? Schedule your Discovery Visit today and turn your dream into an unforgettable trip.

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Celebrating 2023 at The Ford and Looking Ahead at What’s to Come

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As The Ford Field & River Club bids farewell to 2023, we find ourselves reflecting on the past year and the special moments that brought our Lowcountry community closer together. From gathering for time-honored traditions to growing our Ford family to celebrating 25 years of our storied sanctuary, we are truly appreciative of all those who made this year such a special one.

Read on for our annual recap, paired with a look at what’s to come in the new year. If you haven’t yet scheduled your Discovery Visit, we invite you to make 2024 the year you experience the finest coastal sporting club in the nation.

33 Sales and New Collaborations

In the heart of Southern charm and Lowcountry allure, The Ford thrives on the togetherness of family, friends and neighbors shaping our vibrant community. This year, we celebrated 33 real estate sales, welcoming new members who chose between meticulously crafted new homes and timeless estate homes in our five distinct enclaves. Among the sales, two members reinvested in The Ford, purchasing architectural heritage homes, while five former non-resident national members became full multigenerational members.

Collaborating with HMAF, LLC, a visionary developer owned by The Ford’s members, we launched the Indigo Collection—an exclusive assortment of five new construction home designs in a prime Lowcountry location. This collection provides an effortless path to owning a new-construction home with coveted access to multigenerational membership.

Excitement soared with the announcement of our new partnership with Axon Homes, a leading custom home builder in the Lowcountry. This dynamic collaboration promises coastal modern homes designed for quintessential Lowcountry living, with the first home breaking ground over the summer. The Ford continues to evolve, embracing community spirit, innovation and the enduring beauty of our Southern haven.

Exclusive Member Events, Only at The Ford

2023 was filled to the brim with fun and memorable events, offering our members and their guests a delightful and exclusive spectrum of new experiences and longtime traditions. 

A weekend for the books was The Ford’s Silver Anniversary Homecoming weekend, celebrating 25 years of Ford history. The festive weekend featured everything from pool parties and pony rides to a golf tournament and the iconic Homecoming Oyster Roast as well as a Homecoming Gala at The Main House.

Some of the year’s most beloved moments included sunset kayaking tours, Cookies & Cocktails at The Main House, Chef’s wine dinners, fishing tournaments, and pickleball clinics for beginners and experts alike. There were also a number of exciting member-guest golf tournaments throughout the year for men and ladies—with ladies having their highest-ever number of participants this year. A special thank you to all the members who attended any of the events. We look forward to seeing you next year.

Image: MDB Photography

In the News

Once again, The Ford has retained its prestigious status as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.” Our private enclave has been awarded this title since 2020 through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, an Audubon International initiative. In August, The Ford played host to the PGA’s 72nd Golf Pro Payments Georgia Open, marking the sixth time this storied tournament has graced the fairways of our Pete Dye Championship Golf Course.

Just up the road, Savannah, The Ford’s neighboring big city to the northeast, was voted one of the “Best Cities in the United States” by the 2023 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, giving our members just one more reason to treasure life here in the Lowcountry. Savannah was awarded the title because of its reputation for friendliness, interesting architecture and diverse array of attractions and activities. The recognition also celebrated the city’s rich history, picture-perfect scenery and moody, mossy atmosphere.

The Best is Yet to Come

A pivotal highlight of this year has been the restoration and update of The Main House. Originally built in 1937 and recognized in the National Register of Historic Places, our 7,000-square-foot Greek Revival estate now stands more majestic than ever—a testament to Henry and Clara Ford’s vision of a Lowcountry dream home. We’re thrilled to fully unveil the renovated and restyled details of The Main House in the beginning of 2024.

Our excitement extends to The Ford’s Amenity Transformation project, recently granted enthusiastic member approval. This project represents the most extensive amenity transformation ever witnessed for a private community in the Lowcountry, and it will break ground in 2024. Stay tuned for forthcoming details.

With Discovery Visits already booked for 2024, a plethora of community events, new homes under construction and many more updates for us to share soon, we know the best is yet to come here at The Ford.

Want to experience our Lowcountry community for yourself? Schedule your Discovery Visit today.

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From Eagles to Boating:
Discover The Ford’s Winter Wonder

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Nestled amidst serene Lowcountry landscapes, The Ford Field & River Club invites outdoor enthusiasts to embrace the enchanting beauty of winter in Georgia through an exhilarating spectrum of outdoor pursuits. With the natural world a bit quieter in winter, our renowned coastal sporting haven turns into a playground for those seeking adventure and solace in equal measure. From cherished classics like sunset kayaking to new programs such as “Fishing The Ford,” every day offers a winter wilderness for those wanting a unique blend of engaging recreation and natural splendor.

The winter months hold a special allure for fishing aficionados both on and off our property. Before February arrives, stripers and bass are regular catches in our waters. Longtime fishing enthusiasts and curious novices alike are welcome on our surrounding freshwater lakes and the Ogeechee River. On the horizon, we’ll see the launch of a new fishing lesson program called “Fishing The Ford” as well as the relaunch of the fly fishing tutorial program known as “Ford on the Fly.”

A youth-centric program called “Kids & Captains” is set to be a wonderful rotating mix of adventurous on-property pursuits for children, ranging from being taught archery to going on guided nature walks, on the lookout for local birds, turtles and more.

There’s winter fun for the whole family, as guided tours remain popular year-round. Embark on guided sunset kayak tours of Lake Clara, where your informative guide will point out native plants and colorful birds. It’s warm enough at dusk in the winter, and if you’re lucky, you may see birds returning to their nightly roosts as flocks of white ibis and tree swallows fly over with the setting sun. For those preferring a land-based adventure, members also enjoy guided bike tours of The Ford, where you’re able to learn its rich history while exploring the sprawling, storied grounds and riverfront trails.

An upcoming time honored tradition is our much-anticipated wing and clay tournament this winter. This event consists of morning quail hunting and a Southern-style lunch, followed by an afternoon of clay shooting at Dorchester Shooting Preserve, where Ford members are afforded privileged access.

A monthly highlight, “Coffee With Captains” is an nature-focused presentation at the marina given by our outdoor pursuits staff or a special guest lecturer, such as a marine biologist who may explain how offshore reefs are built. Topics range from conservation tactics to hunting and fishing, always looking to celebrate life outdoors and the natural world that defines it, with a coffee in hand, of course.

Head off property in a private van tour if you’re looking for a change of scenery with the “Explore Georgia” program. This program features different, interesting and potentially lesser-known parts of Georgia, including its coastal wonders.

Amidst the simple joys of winter, our discovery boat cruises welcome all aboard to travel along the Ogeechee River in comfort. Snuggle into bean bags with waterproof blankets, spotting dolphins, otters, osprey and bald eagles, creating cherished memories against the backdrop of a Georgia winter. At The Ford, every moment is an opportunity to come home to the embrace of nature, and the winter season is no exception.

Want to experience the outdoor pursuits enjoyed in our Lowcountry community? Schedule a Discovery Visit today and explore The Ford for yourself.

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Home for the Holidays:
Traditions at The Ford Field & River Club

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The Ford Field & River Club embraces the holiday season by transforming our Lowcountry community into a haven of colorful lights, festive events and an infectious sense of cheer, making it the perfect place to call home for the holidays. From our joyous Christmas Tree-Lighting Ceremony to our heartwarming Giving Tree initiative to our meaningful Menorah Lighting, our members come together to create special memories with those nearest and dearest. With new faces and exciting events on the horizon, we’re gearing up for a season filled with anticipation and cherished moments ahead.

Christmas Tree-Lighting Ceremony

Kick off your holiday season at The Ford with our Christmas Tree-Lighting Ceremony, featuring a North Pole bounce house, a snow machine, Christmas cookies, plenty of apple cider and a hot chocolate bar sure to thrill kids and adults alike at the Clubhouse.

Giving Tree

The spirit of generosity has long been an integral part of our private community, upheld throughout the year by our thoughtful members, especially during the holiday season. For the seventh consecutive year, The Ford is hosting a donation drive for clothes and toys to support Bryan County Family Connection. In our sales office, a holiday gifting Christmas tree is adorned with paper angel ornaments, each one indicating an item requested by a family in need. Our generous members stop by to select an ornament and later return with the item for donation.

Image: Andrew Frazier

Champagne Wine Dinner

Take your holiday festivities up a notch with a Champagne Wine Dinner at The Main House, newly and wonderfully renovated, looking better than ever. This elegant event gives attendees the opportunity to explore wines from the Champagne region of France, with Executive Chef Luis Young expertly pairing a delicious menu to complement each wine.

Breakfast with Santa

Come meet Santa at the Clubhouse! Each year, the families of The Ford drop by the Clubhouse to visit and take a picture with jolly old Saint Nick. It’s a fun and festive morning, made even better by the day’s delicious breakfast buffet. Strike a lively pose with Santa, tell him what you’d like for Christmas and head home with a full belly and a photo to cherish through the season.

12 Days of Christmas Eve Dinner Sing-Along

Come Christmas Eve, our Clubhouse is the place to be. Join families of The Ford for a celebration of Christmas with a very special three-course dinner. The evening’s highlight is surely our members, young and old alike, singing along to “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” a Christmas carol we’ve all grown up with. Not everyone can carry a tune, or even remember the lyrics in their entirety, but that’s no matter. In fact, it makes it all the more fun! What really matters is sharing a wonderful time together.

Lighting a Menorah

Many of our members here at The Ford will be celebrating Hanukkah by lighting their menorah at home and reading nightly blessings aloud with loved ones. As part of our community Hanukkah celebration, The Ford will be serving traditional menu items at the Clubhouse, where many families come to dine throughout the holiday’s eight days and join our evening readings and lighting of the menorah.

New Year’s Eve Dinner & After-Party

Ring in the new year at the Clubhouse! Celebrate the end of another great year at The Ford and the beginning of the next one with a special dinner menu and an especially festive evening to follow. The after-party will be held in the bar and is open to all.

The Ford 100

Once the new year is underway, many members of The Ford join “The Ford 100,” a friendly fitness challenge to help motivate any health-conscious resolutions. For the year’s first 100 days, our members strive to accumulate as many miles as possible by walking, jogging, biking, kayaking and the like, all right here, across our 1,800 acres. It’s such a fun way to get moving — and stay motivated — with fellow members cheering on one another.

Want to experience the holidays in our picturesque Lowcountry community? Schedule a Discovery Visit today and explore The Ford’s exclusive lifestyle.

Top Image: Esther Griffin

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A Celebration of Gratitude:
Thanksgiving at The Ford Field & River Club

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As the holiday season unfolds, The Ford Field & River Club embraces the spirit of gratitude amidst the storied landscapes of Georgia’s Lowcountry. Whether sharing cozy evenings by the fire with neighbors or strolling along the majestic Ogeechee River, The Ford’s offerings are an everlasting source of joy year-round. As Thanksgiving approaches, we’re reminded to reflect on the moments and people that matter most.

This time of year is a celebration of togetherness, and there’s no better way to come together than over a home-cooked meal. For our members, that means a traditional Thanksgiving Day feast with carving stations and all the fixings at the Clubhouse. The day after, we invite members and their guests to join us for a special new tradition around the Main House’s Reflecting Pool — The Ford’s inaugural Thanksgiving Lowcountry Boil, with Chef Young and the Ford Team preparing a classic Lowcountry celebration, enjoyed alongside fried chicken, seasonal selections, a full bar and music.

But Thanksgiving is more than a singular day for us, as we look to ensure that every day at The Ford is one worth cherishing, enhanced by shared experiences and activities. Throughout the month, we’ll be hosting our Thanksgiving Pickleball Tournament, Thanksgiving Nature Scavenger Hunt and Turkey Trot 5k, inviting members to engage in friendly competition while exploring our sprawling landscape of salt marsh grass, lakes and century-old live oaks. We also look forward to hosting our New Member Meet & Mingle, where new members can begin to form lasting bonds.

Our gratitude extends deep into the shared memories among families, friends and neighbors at The Ford. If you’d like to experience this extraordinary Ford lifestyle, Schedule a Discovery Visit today

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The Ford Debuts an All-New Overview Video

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The storybook magic of The Ford Field & River Club is always being able to find what you want. Whatever you wake up wishing to do or explore, our 1,800 beautiful storied acres have it. From golfing to fishing to our seasonal Oyster Roasts, life at The Ford is wonderfully filled with activities and experiences enhanced by our unique natural landscape. Each morning begins with Lowcountry sunlight glimmering on the riverways and through the magnolia trees, and each afternoon comes to a picturesque close with a rich palette of the softest pinks, purples, oranges and golds soaring over our coastal sanctuary. In our new video, we celebrate the wonder of possibility and the importance of community — a special thank you to The Ford families who made this video possible. Whether you spend your day biking with family, boating with friends, golfing with neighbors, or riding your favorite horse, The Ford always has more to offer, from world-class dining to regular social events that bring our multi-generational haven together. Simply put, life at The Ford is everything you hoped life would be and more.

Interested in experiencing year-round Lowcountry adventures at The Ford Field & River Club?  Schedule a Discovery Visit today and immerse yourself in The Ford’s one-of-a-kind lifestyle.

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Savannah Makes Headlines As One of the Country’s Best Cities

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The Ford Field & River Club brings together the charm of Southern hospitality and the allure of the finest coastal sporting club in the nation. Yet, what makes our recipe for the magic of Lowcountry living all the more uncommon is our close proximity to one of the country’s most celebrated destinations for art, culture, dining, history, music and shopping — Savannah, Georgia.

Renowned for its friendliness, architecture and variety of attractions and activities, Savannah was recently voted one of the “Best Cities in the United States” by the 2023 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. In their honoring of the moody, mossy city, Condé Nast Traveler celebrated Savannah’s picture-perfect scenery.

Walk along the city’s cobblestoned historic district and ornate architecture, and find shade under live oak trees drooping with Spanish moss, the article suggests for a quintessential Savannah moment. “And for a fantastic dining experience, go to The Grey, an elegantly reborn former Greyhound Bus depot, where James Beard Award–winning chef Mashama Bailey serves elevated takes on Southern classics, like foie gras and grits and tempura-fried catfish.”

Savannah was also recently hailed as one of Southern Living’s “Best Places To Retire In The South,” especially for those interested in arts and culture. As Cyndi and Chuck Seidel, who lived in Salt Lake City but always knew they’d retire in the South, told Southern Living, “We loved Savannah from day one.”

On top of these honors, Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) was recently voted “#1 Airport in the U.S.” for the fourth consecutive year by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. Just three right turns from The Ford’s front gates, SAV makes for a breezy entry to Lowcountry life from anywhere in the country. If you find yourself in SAV’s baggage claim upon arrival, be sure to keep an eye out for The Ford’s latest video playing on the nearby screens.

Only a short and scenic 30-minute drive from The Ford’s 1,800 picturesque acres, Savannah combines a rich appreciation for heritage and culture with a spirited energy of modern leisure. When it comes to the welcoming nature of Southern charm, one of the first places that comes to mind is The Ford’s northeast neighbor of Savannah. 

Dreaming of life in the Lowcountry with the cultural richness of Savannah at your doorstep? Schedule a Discovery Visit today and explore The Ford’s one-of-a-kind lifestyle.

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Celebrate the Magic of Fall at The Ford Field & River Club

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When fall arrives at The Ford Field & River Club, the coastal breeze carries with it a refreshing crispness, setting the stage for a season of reconnection beneath the southern live oaks. Our Lowcountry atmosphere resonates with laughter and stories, as members come together to celebrate both time-honored traditions and those soon to be.

Imagine a weekend where the aroma of roasted oysters fills the air, parties and annual competitions commence and the melodies of live music set the mood. That’s the essence of our much-anticipated Homecoming Weekend. But it’s not just about the Lowcountry fare, outdoor fun or the music; it’s about the memories being made. Our 25th “Silver Anniversary” Homecoming Gala at The Main House stands as a beacon of these treasured moments, where dancing and joy mark the promise of more incredible seasons to come.

As the humidity fades away and the cool, comfortable fall air settles in, The Ford’s state-of-the-art Equestrian Center becomes a hub of activity. Children’s laughter echoes as they enjoy pony rides and fun-filled photo ops, and the Ponies & Pumpkins event adds a touch of festivity to the season. Meanwhile, our Wild West Party pays homage to The Ford’s rich equestrian heritage with an evening of bourbon, bluegrass and bonding — not to mention a mouthwatering feast prepared by Executive Chef Young.

The Ford’s award-winning golf course, bathed in the gentle autumn light, beckons members with a love for sport to participate in a Homecoming Tournament and a Halloween “Tee” Party for the ladies. The feeling of community and thrill of friendly competition that surrounds each event can only be matched by the legacy of playing on a course designed by the legendary Pete Dye.

For those with a palate for fall’s finer delights, the newly renovated Main House invites members to enjoy a Burgundy Wine Dinner. Executive Chef Young will be serving curated menu items alongside wines from the famed Burgundy region of France — ensuring each pairing tells a story.

As the season matures, creativity takes center stage at the Seasonal Planting Party. Members, guided by a master gardener, craft vibrant displays of flowers and foliage that encapsulate their own personal style, as well as the essence of autumn.

At The Ford Field & River Club, every gathering, every celebration and every shared moment  reinforces our community’s spirit of togetherness — no matter the season. We invite you to become a part of our story and discover the magic of The Ford through a Discovery Visit this fall.

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A Lowcountry Lifestyle You Can Only Find at The Ford

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Tucked away in the heart of the Lowcountry, The Ford Field & River Club beckons those seeking more than just a home, but an extraordinary way of life. Here, an intimate community joins together to craft its own legacy among storied landscapes. With a serene and perfectly situated locale, multi-generational bonds and world-class sporting club amenities, The Ford offers the picture-perfect backdrop for families and fellow members to connect with one another and experience a lifestyle unlike anywhere else.

A Legacy Built Together

Entirely under the care of the community’s membership base, The Ford’s present-day stewards continue to preserve and honor its rich history while creating exceptional opportunities for enjoyment. Because most of our members are also proud property owners here, you’ll find a deep sense of kinship and commitment within our community. It’s this sense of belonging that makes The Ford truly special. Our spaces and amenities are thoughtfully designed to be enjoyed collectively — parents can share a leisurely round of golf with their kids, grandparents can impart the art of fishing to their grandchildren by the serene private lakes, and our younger members can revel in the freedom of friendship at our pools and sports courts.

Sunny Days & Sporting Adventures

At The Ford, an active lifestyle is woven into the fabric of everyday living. Here, a meandering river, scenic trails, and lush marshlands create an ideal backdrop for year-round sporting adventures. Nestled in our private coastal community, you’ll enjoy consistently pleasant temperatures and mild winters with daytime highs in the 60s and nighttime lows in the 40s. This climate perfectly complements a diverse range of thrilling sports and activities both on land and water. Explore over a dozen on-site trails on foot, bike, or horseback, or set out on extensive protected waterways for boating, kayaking, or canoeing. Whether you’re pursuing a lifelong passion, uncovering a new talent, or simply striving for wellness, The Ford offers a vibrant array of options to answer your call to adventure.

Award-Winning Golf Without Tee Times

Upon the completion of this masterpiece, renowned golf course designer Pete Dye himself hailed it as his “Finest Southern Links.” Spanning 250 breathtaking acres, this award-winning course is meticulously crafted around serene freshwater lakes, verdant meadows, and captivating coastal vistas. What sets it apart is its welcoming atmosphere—here, there are no tee times to rush your game. Players of all ages and skill levels are free to step onto the course at their own pace, savoring the joy of an unhurried round whenever they please. Designed exclusively for the enjoyment of members, the Ford’s private course has garnered acclaim from esteemed national publications, including Golfweek, Golf Digest, and LINKS Magazine.

A Sweet Spot in the South

While members can indulge in a lifetime of on-site amenities and activities at The Ford, there are epic excursions and cultural gems waiting just beyond our gates. Just outside our gates is Richmond Hill, a charming city of over 18,000 residents that has retained its small-town allure. A short 30-minute drive northward brings you to Savannah, and just two hours away, the renowned city of Charleston awaits. For maritime escapades, residents can set sail to nearby Barrier Islands or explore the Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge, each just a stone’s throw from The Ford’s deepwater marina. Traveling to and from The Ford is effortless, with the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport a mere 20-minute drive north, offering direct flights to major cities.

An Idyllic Investment

In the serene enclave of The Ford, the allure of Southern living is complemented by a tax-friendly environment. Georgia’s reputation as a tax-friendly state extends gracefully to The Ford, making it an even more enticing place to call home. Here, property taxes are thoughtfully structured, allowing residents to benefit from lower tax burdens on their cherished homes. This favorable property tax landscape, coupled with a rich array of amenities and a close-knit community, enhances the appeal of The Ford as a haven where residents can savor the joys of life without the weighty monetary concerns found in other locales.

A Place in History

Completed in 1938, The Main House, a 7,000-square-foot masterpiece, stands proudly as a classic example of Greek Revival architecture. Honored with a place in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, it underwent meticulous restoration by businessman Ghaith R. Pharaon upon his acquisition of The Ford in 1981. Today, The Main House remains the cherished centerpiece of The Ford’s community, offering a welcoming space for families to gather. Inside, you’ll find a wood-paneled library, inviting rooms for hosting events and an underground tunnel. Members can even reserve one of five well-appointed private suites, including Henry and Clara Ford’s very own private quarters for special events.

If you’re interested in ownership, schedule a Discovery Visit today and explore the extraordinary lifestyle this Lowcountry retreat has to offer.

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Watch: Experience the Beauty of The Ford With a Discovery Visit

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The Ford’s Discovery Visits offers guests the opportunity to enjoy either a single-day experience or a three-day and two-night stay at The Main House, Henry and Clara Ford’s winter home. Whether you have a few hours or a few days available, our dedicated team is ready to curate an unforgettable journey for you. 

Tee off on our award-winning Pete Dye golf course, set out from our Deepwater Marina by boat for a wild-life viewing experience, explore our 1,800-acres by bike, or savor a farm-to-table meal at one of The Ford’s on-site dining venues. After your adventures, take a private tour of our beautifully designed Lowcountry homes and coveted homesites. From its miles of scenic waterfront and 1,800 acres alive with centuries-old oaks, blooming magnolia trees and vibrant native wildlife, The Ford Field & River Club is a one-of-a-kind Lowcountry oasis just waiting to be discovered. 

Please contact Marianne Schofield at 912.756.5614 or email [email protected]  to schedule your Discovery Visit and experience everything Georgia’s premier private coastal sporting club community has to offer.

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Thriving Together:
How Women at The Ford Unite Through Sport and Camaraderie

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At The Ford Field & River Club, the spirit of camaraderie and friendly competition flourishes among women through an array of sporting and social activities. From days spent on our Pete Dye-designed golf course to equestrian adventures, card games to clay shooting, The Ford is a haven for members to embrace their passions, build friendships and create lasting memories.

Girls on the Green: Laughs and Lively Rounds

“Girls on the Green”, affectionately known as GONG, is a golf clinic for golfers of all levels. Here, the focus is on enjoyment, not intimidation. With a mission to create an environment where laughter echoes more than frustration, GONG encapsulates the spirit of supportive golf etiquette with a playful twist. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a novice, GONG promises a community where individual achievements are celebrated together, and fun on the course is always guaranteed.

Equestrian Center: Leisurely Rides and Exciting Events

Embrace your passion for horses at our state-of-the-art Equestrian Center—an idyllic haven for riders of all levels. Whether you’ve spent a lifetime in the saddle or are saddling up for the very first time, our seasoned instructors and world-class facilities cater to your individual skill level and style. Our women riders coordinate frequent trail rides together to enjoy the serenity of the Lowcountry and bond with their trusty steeds. From lessons and clinics to group trail rides and on-site events, there’s something for every rider to enjoy and explore.

Sporting Adventures: The Thrill of Shooting and Hunting

Venture beyond the ordinary with sporting clays, wing shooting and hunting at Dorchester Shooting Preserve, just a short drive away and open to all Ford members. After a few rounds of fun, swap scores and stories over lunch or dinner in the lodge. Whether it’s testing your aim or embracing the thrill of the hunt, Dorchester Shooting Preserve offers an exhilarating experience for those seeking adventure and shared excitement.

Weekly Card Games and Book Club: Connecting Through Play and Literature

For those who delight in card games and curling up with a book, The Ford presents weekly opportunities to bond. Members can join fellow card game lovers in the Clubhouse Dining Room to enjoy a weekly ladies’ game of “Hand and Foot.” Those who aren’t familiar with the game are welcome to come “watch and learn” before trying their hand or schedule a lesson with fellow members before joining the group to play. If you’re a literature enthusiast, our Ladies Book Club invites you to discuss captivating reads over dinner, sharing insights and perspectives with fellow members.

Pickleball Clinics: Active Pursuits and Friendly Rallies

Elevate your athleticism at our Pickleball Clinics, designed to suit varying skill levels. From intermediate players to seasoned pros, the pickleball court becomes a canvas for friendly rallies and active enjoyment. Members can participate in our clinics on Mondays and Thursdays, where topics change weekly, ensuring a dynamic and engaging experience.

The Spa: Indulge and Rejuvenate

For those seeking relaxation and pampering, The Spa at The Ford offers a tranquil escape. Tailored to the comfort of members, The Spa provides a range of services, from hair design and cosmetology to massages and facials. With licensed professionals tending to your needs, The Spa promises a retreat where rejuvenation and enjoyment take center stage. The private rooms, locker rooms, and serene environment offer a space where you can unwind and refresh, embracing moments of pure bliss.

At The Ford, shared passions among members are what shape our community, embodying the true spirit of togetherness. If you’re interested in ownership, schedule a Discovery Visit today and explore everything this Lowcountry retreat has to offer.

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The Ford’s Pete Dye Championship Golf Course
Plays Host to the 72nd Georgia Open

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The Ford Field & River Club played host to the 72nd Golf Pro Payments Georgia Open this past weekend, August 3-6, making this the sixth time the storied tournament has graced the fairways of our Pete Dye Championship Golf Course.

Organized by the Georgia PGA, the four-day event showcased 144 professionals and promising amateurs, set against the picturesque backdrop of our Lowcountry coastal setting. This championship holds a unique distinction as the sole 72-hole, four-day event among all Georgia PGA events, punctuated by a captivating cut after the initial 36 holes of competition.

As the fog cleared after a brief delay on Friday morning, the stage was set for a fun, competitive weekend. Mini-tour professional Kam Williams overtook third-round leader Greg Edwards with well-timed birdies. The competition narrowed to Williams and Edwards on Sunday during the final round, with Williams securing a two-shot victory, thanks to a stellar finish on the last two holes. In front of a supportive crowd, Williams clinched the championship with a score of 17-under par 271, securing the $9,000 prize for first place.

“The Ford has a special place in my heart since I got to play there for the first time years ago in the Georgia Open,” shared Williams. “I always tell people how perfect The Ford’s course is with its impeccably maintained greens and inviting yet challenging fairways. Over the four years I’ve competed, I’ve only had great experiences there, and the staff and members are always so welcoming. I want to say thank you again to everyone who supported us this week and for inviting us to your special community.”

Aidan Kramer claimed the low amateur title, finishing in third place at 10-under par 278, followed by Brett Barron and Harry Jones at 9-under par 279.

The Ford’s celebrated course, hailed by Pete Dye as one of his finest Southern designs, combines parkland-style and links-style elements. Meticulously crafted, it offers a rewarding golf experience, showcasing Lowcountry beauty with bunkers, greens and hazards that challenge all skill levels.

The 72nd Golf Pro Payments Georgia Open came to a triumphant close, leaving behind a legacy of competitive spirit, camaraderie and unforgettable moments on the fairways of The Ford. 

Interested in ownership at The Ford?

Schedule a Discovery Visit today to experience our coastal sporting club’s award-winning golf course.

 

Photo Credit: Michael Rakowskiew

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From Dream Horse to Cherished Foal: A Member’s Equine Adventure at The Ford Field & River Club

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Amidst the backdrop of our breathtaking coastal setting, The Ford Field & River Club emerges as a true equestrian haven. In this interview with Mrs. Hamilton, a cherished member who found her love for equestrianism at The Ford, we uncover the extraordinary connection she formed with her horse Shiner, and the magical arrival of Primrose, Shiner’s first foal.

As the tale of horse ownership unfolds, Heather’s profound appreciation for The Ford and the unwavering care from our dedicated team shines through. This is where The Ford thrives—a sanctuary for horse lovers, offering state-of-the-art facilities and fostering a supportive community for riders of all levels.

 

Let’s start with the story of how Shiner came to be part of your family.

Shiner is actually the second horse I’ve owned here at The Ford. Before her, I leased a horse named Cooper to make sure horse ownership was for me. Shiner was my “dream horse.” I wanted a Palomino horse and looked at several before finding her. I just didn’t connect with them. Then, my trainer saw someone post a photo of Shiner on social media and knew I’d fall in love with her. She wasn’t for sale at the time, so we decided to negotiate for her. It turns out that her owner wanted to start her own horse training business. She used the payment for Shiner as seed money for her business. It all felt very serendipitous!

 

Witnessing the birth of Primrose must have been a profoundly emotional experience. Can you tell us about her birth? How did you and the team at The Ford handle the challenges?

Primrose’s birth was actually quite traumatic. She was her mom’s (Shiner) first foal. Shiner had an extremely difficult labor, and Prim was what is called a “red bag” baby. That means there was blood in the sac. She wasn’t breathing when she was born. Luckily, The Ford’s Equestrian Manager Lindsay was there to save the day. She jumped in right away and got that little filly breathing! I’m so thankful Lindsay and the rest of The Ford’s equestrian team were there to guide me through the process. They’ve taken such amazing care of both Primrose and Shiner.

 

Tell us about Primrose and her growth so far.

Primrose continues to grow and thrive here at The Ford. She has learned to wear a halter and lead. Right now, she’s learning manners, like not biting or putting things in her mouth. Essentially, she’s like a toddler — and she needs the same guidance and patience as one. Lindsay has been a tremendous help in that arena. Her expertise and nurturing spirit are truly invaluable.

Do you have any plans for Primrose’s future?

Prim will be leaving The Ford mid-August to go to a trainer. She will be learning things like how to get on and off of a trailer, how to stand tied, how to get her feet trimmed, and how to start to use her body. It takes years to train a horse to ride, but ultimately, I would like her to be a show horse.

 

What makes The Ford such a special place for horse enthusiasts like yourself?

Owning Shiner and Primrose has given me such a deep appreciation for the amazing staff we have here at The Ford. I’ve always been fascinated by horses, and living here has allowed me to explore that passion at my own pace. It’s a wonderful place for horse enthusiasts. You can find miles of beautiful trail rides through the Lowcountry and lush pastures to meander through. The Equestrian Center itself is incredible. Lessons and horse care are available to members, and the team can even help you with leasing and purchasing. If you’re a member who is considering equestrianism at The Ford, my advice would be to just do it! Leasing is a great way to see if the lifestyle is for you.

 

Can you share the ways in which owning and connecting with your horses have brought fulfillment to your life, both as a rider and on a personal level?

Equestrianism is such a fulfilling sport. The benefits are unparalleled. Connecting with a 1200 lb animal is an amazing experience that is difficult to put into words. You form an extreme bond. Your horse will love and take care of you. Not to mention, it’s just so much fun — especially in a setting as picturesque as this one. This barn is my “happy place.” I can’t imagine my life without Shiner and Primrose, and I’m so grateful to live in a place that connects me so easily to my passions. The Ford, and the equestrian staff, have added so much beauty and purpose to my days.

The Ford’s Equestrian Center


With state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor facilities, acres of paddocks and extensive interconnected bridle trails that meander under groves of century-old oaks, Heather, and so many others, have found an equestrian sanctuary right here at The Ford. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or eager to embark on your first equestrian adventure, The Ford’s Equestrian Center is ready to help you explore your passion.

Interested in ownership at The Ford?

Schedule a Discovery Visit today and explore all the equine adventures this Lowcountry retreat has to offer.

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Game, Set, Match: Racquet Sports at The Ford Field & River Club

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State-of-the-art racquet court facilities are just one of the amenities that make The Ford Field & River Club Georgia’s premier private coastal sporting club community. Sports enthusiasts of all levels can immerse themselves in a range of offerings that serve up a winning combination of exhilaration, skill refinement and camaraderie. Set amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Georgia’s Lowcountry, our Sports Barn is a hub of activity, featuring an unmatched gym facility that seamlessly connects with the adjacent Lake Dye Pool.

Inside the Sports Barn, you’ll find a first-rate squash court. Outside, you’ll find three Har-Tru clay tennis courts, a grass court for bocce ball and croquet and a new multipurpose area with four pickleball courts—which can also be used for basketball. Whether you’re perfecting your game or discovering a new passion, The Ford offers an idyllic setting for racquet sports of all kinds.

Pickleball

The latest addition to The Ford, and overlooking the Lake Dye Grill, these first-come, first-serve courts are perfect for quick matches and casual tournaments. Take advantage of our Intermediate and Advanced Pickleball Clinics every Monday and Thursday to refine your techniques, develop strategic gameplay, and immerse yourself in the country’s (and The Ford’s) fastest growing sport. Each clinic is led by our on-site expert and topics change weekly. Prepare yourself for upcoming member events featuring an exhilarating pickleball poker match, a captivating glow-in-the-dark session, a dynamic round-robin tournament, and special member-guest events that promise unforgettable moments of camaraderie and friendly competition.

Tennis

At The Ford, tennis reigns supreme, captivating players of all skill levels. Members can learn their way around the sport that epitomizes elegance and precision on our meticulously maintained Har-Tru clay courts offering stunning views overlooking the picturesque Lake Dye Pool. Whether you’re a seasoned player seeking a challenging match or a beginner looking to develop your skills, our tennis program caters to all. Under the guidance of our experienced instructors, you’ll refine your technique, perfect your serve, and embrace the thrill of the game amidst the serene beauty of the Lowcountry.

Squash

For those seeking fast-paced action, our squash court delivers an exhilarating experience. Squash is a dynamic game that challenges both physical prowess and strategic thinking. The Ford’s squash facilities provide the perfect environment for thrilling matches, where players showcase their agility, speed, and precision. Private lessons for members with Head Tennis and Pickleball Pro are a great way to improve your game. Whether you want to strengthen your shot, make your serve more accurate, or just become a better overall tennis or pickleball player, private lessons will help.

Unparalleled access to recreational amenities like these continue to establish The Ford as Georgia’s premier private coastal sporting club. Whether you’re embracing the classic sport of tennis, mastering the art of pickleball, or immersing yourself in the intensity of squash, our state-of-the-art racquet facilities, experienced instructors, and breathtaking surroundings ensure a memorable sporting experience.

Interested in ownership at The Ford? Schedule a Discovery Visit today and explore all the sporting amenities this Lowcountry retreat has to offer.

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Embrace the Joys of Summer: Family-Friendly Events at The Ford

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Make the most of your summer at The Ford Field & River Club with our exciting lineup of family-friendly member events. Nestled in the heart of our coastal Lowcountry community, The Ford embodies the spirit of Southern hospitality, where warm smiles and genuine connections await at every turn. From a spectacular Independence Day celebration for the family to nature outings for the kids, we have curated a series of experiences that will delight both young and young at heart.

Independence Day Golf Cart Parade & Celebration

Tuesday, July 4

Join fellow members in honoring Independence Day with our Golf Cart Parade and Celebration. Deck out your golf cart in vibrant red, white, and blue decorations and join the parade, or simply enjoy the spectacle as a spectator. The parade will begin at the Marina, with participants lining up along Captains Walk. Cheer on the patriotic display as the parade moves through the property, culminating in front of the Clubhouse and ending at Lake Dye Grill.

Following the parade, continue the festivities at Lake Dye Grill. Dive into the pool party fun, enjoy a live DJ and indulge in American BBQ classics like burgers, potato salad, smoked brisket, mac & cheese and cornbread with jalapeño and honey butter.

Kids in Kayaks & Birding Exploration

Friday, July 7 and Saturday, July 22

Our carefully crafted kid events ensure a balance of fun and educational activities, allowing children to discover fascinating facts about the local flora and fauna, learn new skills and ignite their passion for the great outdoors. On July 7, led by our on-site Naturalist Shannon, the group kayak tour for kids ages 10+, will focus on adventure and safety on Lake Clara. From the moment your little explorers step foot into the kayak, they’ll embark on an unforgettable journey of discovery and nature. On July 22, kids ages 5-12 will spend time at the Oyster House learning about birds, making bird feeders and creating bird journals.

Family Canoe Day

Saturday, August 12

Make lasting memories with your loved ones as you embark on a refreshing adventure on the lake. Naturalist Shannon will guide you through a comprehensive demonstration on the essentials of safe canoeing before you set sail on the tranquil waters. To facilitate a smooth outing, families will have two seats per canoe, to fully immerse themselves in this exciting activity.

At The Ford Field & River Club, we believe in fostering a vibrant and meaningful community where members can enjoy cherished moments together. If you’re interested in ownership, schedule a Discovery Visit today and explore all the family-friendly adventures Georgia’s premier private coastal sporting club community has to offer. 

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Audubon International Recognizes The Ford Field & River Club for Environmental Excellence

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The Ford Field & River Club is delighted to announce that it has retained its prestigious status as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, an Audubon International initiative.

First achieved by The Ford in 2020, this accomplishment underscores the community’s unwavering commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable practices and places The Ford’s Pete Dye-designed course among one of only 16 golf properties in Georgia that hold this prestigious certification.

John Johnstone, General Manager/COO of The Ford Field & River Club, expressed his gratitude, “I want to extend a special thank you to our Director of Golf Course and Grounds, Jared Nemitz, and The Ford’s Audubon committee for their remarkable dedication and efforts. Our successful recertification is a testament to The Ford’s emphasis on education, community outreach and commitment to environmental stewardship.”

Valerie Foradas, Audubon Committee Chair, Dr. Bill Thompson, Green and Grounds Committee Chair, Jacob Bennett, Golf Course Superintendent, Shannon Matzke, Naturalist and Lakes Manager Dalton Taylor were instrumental in achieving recertification.

Christine Kane, CEO at Audubon International, commended The Ford for its dedication to environmental preservation, stating, “The Ford Field & River Club has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program. They continue to safeguard the natural heritage of the area by protecting the local watershed and creating a sanctuary for local wildlife within the golf course property.”

Kane explained that to retain this certification, a golf course must consistently maintain high standards of environmental quality across multiple categories, including Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Quality Management. Golf courses must undergo a rigorous recertification process every three years to ensure these standards are upheld.

Recognized by the United States Golf Association, the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses offers resources and expert guidance to golf courses, enabling them to enhance wildlife habitats and protect invaluable natural resources. The Ford’s successful recertification reaffirms its position as a leading residential community in environmental stewardship, setting the benchmark for harmonizing luxury and sustainability within the sporting club space.

Learn More

To learn more about the efforts of The Ford in conserving the Lowcountry while engaging its members in meaningful and memorable ways, including the community’s Bluebird and bat boxes, Native Plant Sale, BioBlitz and Monarch’s in the Rough program read this Field Notes story.

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Pooch Paradise: Why Dogs Live the Good Life at The Ford Field & River Club

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At The Ford Field & River Club, dogs aren’t just pets; they’re cherished members of the family. Situated amidst the picturesque landscape in the Georgia Lowcountry, The Ford’s private coastal sporting club community welcomes furry friends with open arms, offering them a life full of adventure, comfort and endless tail wagging.

Whether it’s embarking on scenic walks on one of our many trails or playing fetch in open green spaces, memorable experiences for you and your four-legged friend are easy to come by at The Ford.

Enjoy Doggy Play Days

Every Friday afternoon, members join us for Doggy Play Days — an exciting weekly event that allows dogs to enjoy off-leash exercise and playtime while their owners socialize with neighbors and friends. Water bowls and complimentary doggy treats are provided, ensuring a delightful experience for everyone involved.

Walk or Run on Picturesque Trails

Explore the remarkable natural surroundings of The Ford by embarking on scenic walks and hikes with your pup along one of the many on-site trails. From the waterfront allure of the Lake Clara Trail to the picturesque McAllister Trail and the captivating Sterling Creek Dike Trail, each pathway offers a unique experience. Let the sights, scents and sounds of nature awaken your dog’s senses, forging a deeper connection with the world around them.

Swing by Ogeechee Outfitters

Indulge your furry friend with the finest treats from Ogeechee Outfitters, conveniently located at The Ford’s Deepwater Marina. This on-site store serves as the base camp for The Ford’s Outdoor Pursuits programs, providing an array of gear for your open-air adventures. After a day spent boating on the river or exploring the trails, swing by and pamper your pup with their favorite treats. Afterwards, unwind by the fire pit and watch the boats pass by as your four-legged companion enjoys a well-deserved reward.

At The Ford Field & River Club, dogs are embraced as integral members of the community, enjoying a life of adventure and happiness. From weekly playdates to scenic walking trails, The Ford offers an unparalleled retreat where dogs can thrive alongside their human companions.

Interested in ownership at The Ford? Schedule a Discovery Visit today and explore all the dog-friendly adventures this Lowcountry retreat has to offer.

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Introducing Indigo Collection:
The Ford’s Newest Real Estate Offering

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The Ford Field & River Club is excited to announce it has now launched sales for the Indigo Collection, featuring five new construction home designs located in a prime Lowcountry setting at The Ford. Developed by HMAF LLC, the visionary developer wholly owned and managed by members of The Ford, the exclusive collection offers an effortless path to owning a new construction home in less time paired with coveted access to multi-generational membership at The Ford.

Designed by the award-winning Court Atkins Group, the five distinct Lowcountry cottage designs of the Indigo Collection include floor plans ranging from three to four bedrooms, with each design varying in layout, porch size, and one or two stories. The spacious, coastal homes blend modern design with Lowcountry-inspired architecture, creating the perfect sanctuary for you and your family.

The collection also includes the option to upgrade to a private, detached carriage house or garage. Choose from two carriage house designs or two garage designs and a range of customizable options, including a spacious bedroom and bathroom, versatile workshop, temperature-controlled storage area, or dedicated golf cart shed. Each option features a two-car garage for a touch of convenience and extra storage, making life even easier.

Located within The Ford’s newest enclave, Silk Hope, the Indigo Collection is set amidst a stand of towering oaks, offering the utmost privacy, yet is still just a short golf cart ride away from all amenities, including the Deepwater Marina, Clubhouse, Pete Dye Golf Course, Sports Barn, and Lake Dye Pool. A testament to the enclave’s premier location is the recent sale of 96 Riceland Way in Silk Hope, listed for sale at $1.15M.

Exclusively dedicated to building new homes at The Ford, HMAF is also the developer of the Captains Walk Collection and Marina Basin Cottages. These homes are pre-approved in the Marina, along with the newly listed waterfront marina home at 576 Ogeechee Lane, which is currently under construction. Located front row in Silk Hope Harbor, The Ford’s private marina, this build-to-suit home is located on a rare double lot and features a three-bed, four-bath main house with an additional bedroom and full ensuite bath in the carriage house. Discover more information on the coveted listing here.

“For those yearning for a seamless route to owning a new construction home in a quintessential Lowcountry setting at The Ford, these pre-approved designs offer an unprecedented and effortless way to make owning your dream home a reality,”

shared Gene McQuown, a managing partner of HMAF.

For more information about HMAF’s Indigo Collection:

Download the brochure here and contact the sales team today by emailing info@fordfieldandriverclub.com for pricing, floor plans and complete details.

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The Ford Partners with Premier
Custom Home Builder Axon Homes

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The Ford Field & River Club is excited to announce a new partnership with Axon Homes, one of the Lowcountry’s leading custom home builders. The exciting collaboration promises to deliver something truly special — coastal modern homes designed for quintessential Lowcountry living at The Ford.

The first home of this partnership is set to be built immediately adjacent to our Deepwater Marina in Silk Hope Harbor Village, steps from the yacht basin, Ogeechee Outfitters, and our lakeside dock and kayak launch. A soon-to-be-shared design book created by the home’s architect, Broad Hill Studio, will provide a taste of what you can expect from this waterfront residence  — exquisite interior finishes, floor plans that flow effortlessly, and unparalleled indoor-outdoor living at The Ford.

We’re thrilled to partner with Axon Homes and bring their expertise in custom home building to The Ford Field & River Club,” said Dimitri Cassini, CSO & Managing Partner @ Ansley Developer Services, The Ford’s exclusive real estate partner.

Silk Hope Harbor Village at The Ford is the perfect location for the first of these new homes. With direct access to boating, kayaking and fishing, it offers an unparalleled lifestyle for those who love the water. With Axon Homes as our partner, we believe that together, we can create homes that will stand the test of time and become beloved family retreats for generations to come.

Axon Homes is a highly experienced custom home builder based in Charleston, SC, with over 50 years of expertise building homes in the Lowcountry. They specialize in creating semi-custom and custom homes that reflect the unique needs and personalities of their clients as well as the Lowcountry’s unique coastal environment. Whether building a primary residence or a vacation home, Axon Homes is dedicated to delivering exceptional quality and craftsmanship, creating homes that their clients will love for years to come.

“Working with The Ford has been an incredible experience for our team,” said Peter Oakes, President, Axon Homes.

“The natural beauty of the location and the sense of community here is truly inspiring, and we are honored to be a part of it. We can’t wait to bring our expertise in Lowcountry home design to this incredible setting.”

Join the Priority List

To be placed on the priority list to make sure you’re the first to hear about updates, new releases, and more, please contact the sales team today by emailing info@fordfieldandriverclub.com.

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The Ford’s New Executive Chef, Luis Young,
Brings International Flair to Lowcountry Cuisine

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Get ready to embark on a new culinary journey at The Ford Field & River Club, with Executive Chef Luis Young leading the way. A James Beard Award semi-finalist (2020 and 2021) with extensive experience in top hotels and private clubs worldwide, Chef Luis earned his master’s degree in the heart of San Sebastian, Spain, a region renowned for Michelin-star restaurants. In our interview, he shares his excitement for building relationships with members of The Ford, inspiration for using ingredients harvested from our Edsel Community Farm and his passion for spending time in the Lowcountry’s great outdoors.

Welcome to The Ford! What are you most looking forward to as the Executive Chef at The Ford?

It’s great to be here! I am looking forward to meeting all of the members and the chance to build lasting relationships. As opposed to a more traditional restaurant setting, The Ford offers the rare opportunity to bring a personal touch to my cooking as I get to know everyone. Many of my team members are also new, so I can’t wait to build an innovative team that enjoys working together. 

You’re joining The Ford after serving as the Executive Chef at Charleston Yacht Club, and prior to that, Chef de Cuisine at the acclaimed Penrose Room at The Broadmoor. Can you tell us more about your past experiences and discuss how you plan to apply them to further elevate the culinary offerings at The Ford?

My background is largely in fine dining, and for a long time, that’s what I wanted to do. But I’ve realized that life has a way of leading you in the right direction, even when you don’t know it’s happening. 

I had the pleasure of meeting our general manager, John Johnstone, several years ago when he was at The Broadmoor, and he offered me the opportunity to join his team. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. The Broadmoor gave me the creative freedom to really fine tune my own cooking philosophy and to get to know myself as a chef. At the end of the day, I plan to use my experience to further elevate the already incredible offerings here at The Ford. 

How will you incorporate the ingredients harvested from The Ford’s Edsel Community Farm, which was just featured in The New York Times, into the menus you create?

In the beginning of my career, I focused on learning about the latest cooking techniques, but later I realized that enhancing an ingredient’s natural flavor is just as important. With the quality of ingredients we grow at the Edsel Community Farm, the possibilities for unique seasonal options are endless. Having your own garden is every chef’s dream.

Where have you found inspiration for your culinary creations at The Ford? 

All over! I am inspired by beauty in nature, so it’s easy to find inspiration at The Ford. Particularly, the community beehives have caught my eye. As someone who is not a big fan of sugar, the ability to bring natural sweetness with locally harvested honey in my cooking is fantastic. 

How do you feel the food offerings at The Ford stand out from those of other private club communities?

I think there is a misconception that club food is often boring, and at many clubs, it can be. It wasn’t until my experience in Charleston that I realized club food can be just as exciting as fine dining, if not more. At The Ford, whether ordering a steak or a club sandwich, you’re going to get the highest quality food and innovative dishes. 

How does your global experience working on culinary teams across Spain, Germany, Panama and the United States inform your expertise as a chef?

From each location across the world, I’ve gained a new perspective on what it means to create an exceptional dining experience. I’m looking forward to combining everything I’ve learned with the excellent dining experiences which already exist in our community. 

You were born and raised in Panama, which is known for its incredible seafood. Are there similarities to Lowcountry cuisine, given that our community is also coastal?

The Lowcountry has a lot of similarities to Panama — it feels very familiar. Many of the same vegetables and fruits are grown here, so I love that I can bring a bit of home into my cooking, while also learning more about Southern cuisine. 

When you’re not at work, how do you enjoy life in the Lowcountry?

I’m passionate about spending time outdoors, and I’m really looking forward to all the activities at The Ford  — the water activities especially. Being from Panama, I really enjoy fishing and being surrounded by the water. From day to day, my routine starts with a good workout followed by a quick drive to The Ford. In the evenings, I enjoy relaxing with my wife and winding down from the day.

Get to know Executive Chef Luis in this quick 1-minute video.

At The Ford Field & River Club, our members’ dining experience is a large part of what makes our community exceptional. See more reasons you’ll love living at our private, coastal Lowcountry community in Why We Chose The Ford: Video Highlights Experience of New Member Family.

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Discover Endless Coastal Sporting Pursuits at The Ford

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The moment you arrive at The Ford Field & River Club, you’re immersed in a culture that thrives on connection to the land and a love of adventure. Located amid some of the most stunning natural waterways, pine and oak forests and vast green spaces, our private club community inspires recreation at every turn. Whether you’re setting out from the Deepwater Marina with fishing poles in tow, teeing off on the Pete Dye championship golf course or grabbing a racket to play tennis on our Har-Tru courts, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the great outdoors.

The pursuit of a sport at The Ford offers an endless journey to refine skill and strategy, while also deepening the bonds of community. Our members seize every opportunity to entertain their interest in nearly any sport imaginable, regardless of skill level. Within the gates of the community, members enjoy state-of-the-art facilities and expert instructors to ensure each member receives the support and guidance necessary to excel or simply have a good time. Take in the incredible natural surroundings on foot or bike several on-site trails, including the popular waterfront Lake Clara Dike Trail, McAllister Trail and scenic Sterling Creek Trail.

But it’s not just about the activities — the relationships our members form through adventuring together make an impact, too. New members mingle with longtime members on the golf course, forming lasting friendships that extend far beyond the fairways and greens. Grandparents spend time with their grandchildren by teaching them how to catch shrimp right off the dock in the deepwater marina. Our tight-knit community radiates with a shared love of both adventure and growth, enduring from one generation to the next.

Frequent social events and workshops hosted by The Ford get our members outdoors, too. Fridays on the Fly is a weekly introduction to fly casting held at Ogeechee Outfitters, our on-property sports supply store. Girls on the Green is another weekly workshop where the women of our community gather to play the game in a friendly and supportive space. Additionally, many women participate in our monthly ladies’ archery group, which is always a favorite. Social gatherings like these focused on recreation foster a sense of camaraderie among members, especially when a little bit of friendly competition is involved.

Sporting life at The Ford is more than just a hobby – it’s a way of life. When members of all ages and backgrounds come together for a game or head out by boat for a day spent on the Ogeechee River, the undeniable sense of community and fellowship is felt all around.

Schedule a Discovery Visit today and explore all the outdoor coastal pursuits The Ford has to offer.

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Welcome to The Ford,
Where Southern Hospitality Greets You at Every Turn

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Southern hospitality is imbued into every aspect of life at The Ford Field & River Club. Whether you’re stopping by to say hello to a neighbor, enjoying dinner at the Clubhouse or playing a round of golf, every experience is infused with a spirit of warmth and care. Members from across the nation are drawn to living at The Ford because of its remarkable sense of community where neighbors become friends and friends transform into cherished family.

Read on to immerse yourself in the Southern charm and hospitality found only at The Ford: 

 

New Members at The Ford Are Warmly Welcomed

When you become a member of The Ford, you’ll see how existing members go out of their way to introduce themselves to you. Our new members are welcomed into our private community with open arms — there truly are no strangers at The Ford. 

New member welcome receptions are held twice per year, serving as an opportunity to socialize with one another, and our Meet & Eat program pairs new members with longtime members through dinner parties at one another’s homes. Kindness radiates between adults and children alike, an embodiment of Southern hospitality that can only be found at The Ford.

 

Exceptional Standards of Hospitality

Not only is Southern hospitality felt among our members at The Ford, but also among the staff. Led by General Manager John Johnstone, our staff has a genuine heart for hospitality. With a level of familiarity that’s truly unmatched. Staff members go out of their way to ensure every one of your needs is met from the moment you step foot on the property. Members show gratitude for staff through ongoing kindness and respect.

 

A Spirit of Kindness Among All

Our mission at The Ford involves positively impacting the lives of our community and their families, and all who work here, by deepening their connection with each other. Because of this promise among all, our community is filled with some of the most genuine and welcoming people you’ll ever meet.

Our members take care of each other – if there’s a family emergency, members rally around and do what they can to help – from cooking food, walking the dog, driving members to appointments or picking up family from the airport and more. When there’s an occasion to celebrate, our members are there to toast to the good times and recognize special memories made right in the moment.

Here at The Ford, our members thrive on each other’s company. The Ford hosts exclusive, members-only events, like Cookies & Cocktails at The Main House, seasonal oyster roasts, nature hikes, book clubs, and much more to help our members stay connected. Outside of our hosted events, many members meet on their own for golfing, fishing, or dinner in neighboring Savannah.

At The Ford Field & River Club, Southern hospitality is a cornerstone of what makes our community exceptional. See more reasons you’ll love living at our private, coastal Lowcountry community in Why We Chose The Ford: Video Highlights Experience of New Member Family.

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Welcome John Johnstone, Our New General Manager
at The Ford Field & River Club

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We’re thrilled to formally introduce you to John Johnstone — the new General Manager of The Ford Field & River Club. With over 39 years of experience in the international and domestic hospitality industry, John brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our team.

A conscientious leader and strategic thinker, John has led teams at luxury hotels, clubs and resorts across the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, including prestigious brands such as The Ritz-Carlton Luxury Hotels & Resorts, Augusta National Golf Club, The Greenbriar and, most recently, at The Broadmoor.

Now, as General Manager, John is dedicated to ensuring that member homeowners and national members enjoy an unparalleled experience at The Ford. From food and beverage to golf and real estate sales to new memberships, John’s leadership will be instrumental in maintaining the luxury and Southern hospitality for which The Ford is known.

We invite you to read our full interview with John to learn more about his role, his family, passion for culinary delights and more — all below.

Welcome to The Ford! What are you most looking forward to as General Manager?

It’s great to be back in Georgia, it truly feels like home. I’ve had a house in the North Georgia Mountains for 15 years. My oldest son attended Georgia Tech and married his high school sweetheart from Augusta, my youngest son was born in Athens — so I guess you could say this is my adopted home away from Scotland.

Now, I’m incredibly excited to start a new chapter here at The Ford. I couldn’t be happier to be a part of this beautiful community and lead the team in providing world-class amenities and experiences.

You were born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, which is known for having the friendliest and most hospitable people in the UK. What are the similarities to Southern Lowcountry hospitality?

The biggest similarity is the kindness of the members; they, along with the amazing staff, have warmly and genuinely welcomed me to be a part of The Ford family.

What does it mean to you that The Ford is known as the finest coastal sporting club in the nation?

This is a phenomenal accolade and it’s my goal to ensure that our members receive the finest services and experiences. At the end of the day, I hope to only enhance The Ford’s amenities in this spectacular coastal setting.

How do you feel The Ford stands out from other private club communities?

I believe The Ford’s commitment to family and community — as well as the kindness and support of The Ford team — is a true standout. The pride for this nature-driven community is what really sets it apart.

As General Manager, how do you define your leadership style?

My style is rooted in providing exceptional and personalized services by building a dedicated, quality-focused team. I’m constantly looking for ways to both improve and motivate the team to strive for excellence.

You’re incredibly committed to offering an exceptional standard of service and aiming for excellence when it comes to our members’ experience. Could you tell us about what this looks like behind the scenes?

Behind the scenes for our staff should be no different than our members’ experience. We want to create a culture for The Ford team members that values their hard work and commitment, and provides them an excellent quality of life at work.

Can you speak to your experience with prestigious brands and how you plan to bring that experience to The Ford?

It’s truly the team that makes the difference. I build and support teams by sharing best practices and am constantly striving to go above and beyond by sharing the experiences of the world-class environments I’ve been part of.

Can you talk about your experience at The Ford so far and what you hope to accomplish in your role as general manager?

Although it’s early days and I’m just learning about the team and members, my goal is to offer the best in class when it comes to amenities and services, and to enhance the culture of excellence that exists throughout our community.

You achieved Certified Master Chef from the American Culinary Federation in 2003. Can you tell us more about your passion for the culinary arts and its role in the private club community?

This is obviously a great competitive advantage that I will rely upon to create a five-star culinary program and to provide the members with exceptional dining experiences. This CMC certification means a great deal to me and it keeps me passionate about all things food and beverage. I hope to instill this same passion and knowledge into our culinary team!

In your spare time when you’re not at work, how do you enjoy family life in the Lowcountry?

You can find me making the most of the Lowcountry outdoors, whether that’s fishing, just being out on the lakes or, of course, walking our dog, Daisy.

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Explore These Lowcountry Winter Events at
The Ford & Neighboring Savannah

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When our members come together, a sense of pride and unity fills the air. It’s this spirit at our community events that is truly magnetic, a feeling that draws in new members and deepens bonds between existing members. Cookies and Cocktails at The Main House, poolside celebrations at Lake Dye Grill and roasts at the Oyster House are just a few of the special, members-only events bringing The Ford together as each season unfolds. 

Plus, many of our members enjoy visiting nearby Savannah for a lively cultural and arts scene, all within minutes of The Ford. Read on and discover the local events happening now through the end of March in the Lowcountry:

Meet & Eat at The Ford

At The Ford, neighbors become friends and friends become family. Starting February 3, our new members can meet longtime members by hosting dinner parties right in the comfort of home. Meet & Greet participants are thoughtfully divided into groups, where each family will have a chance to host. Not a cook? That’s an easy fix — dine at The Clubhouse or out on the town. 

Meet & Greet gives members the opportunity to create instant connections, so everyone knows one another on a first-name basis, and much more: friendships that last a lifetime. 

Wing and Clay Tournament & Wild Game Oyster Roast Weekend

This much-anticipated event is usually one day only, but due to its popularity, has been extended into a two-day tournament for 2023. Taking place from February 17 to 18, the already sold-out tournament will consist of morning quail hunting and a Southern-style lunch, followed by an afternoon of clay shooting at Dorchester Shooting Preserve, where Ford members are afforded privileged access. 

In the evening, Ford members — including those not involved in the tournament — are invited to the vibrant Wild Game Oyster Roast, where a selection of wild game will be served while tournament winners are announced and given their respective awards.

Watch the Great Ogeechee River Race by Boat

On March 4, the Great Ogeechee River Race returns for its second annual kayaking expedition. Kayakers compete to see who can paddle fastest down the Ogeechee River, circle the train bridge and loop back. Everyone’s on their toes to see who comes out first in this one-and-a-half-mile-long race. After crossing the finish line, the winner will have the honor of holding the infamous Golden Paddle. Cheer your favored paddler on while enjoying coffee and pastries at the marina or by boat out on the river. 

Gathering All Lady Golfers for Girls on the Green

All skill levels are welcome for this engaging and empowering women’s-only golf group. Girls on the Green, also known as GONG, invites Ford members to improve their game, socialize, and enjoy time on the course — all in a low-pressure, supportive, fun-focused environment. This season, a series of events will bring together the women of The Ford to learn more about the best practices and techniques for a great round of golf.

Explore Nature’s Wonders with Our Naturalist

On March 25, members can join in an engaging workshop led by our on-property Naturalist. Discover the ways the Ogeechee River has shaped our natural environment and the unique history of The Ford. 

Lessons will focus on plant and animal identification, the ecology of the Georgia coast, outdoor skills, and more. Activities will range from a guided hour-long kayaking excursion on Lake Clara to nature hikes spotting birds and native plants. All levels are welcome!

Attend the Citywide Savannah Music Festival

A favorite for our members and open to everyone is the Savannah Music Festival. Spanning over two weeks, this world-class celebration brings together over 500 musicians of all genres, from jazz to folk to chamber. As Georgia’s largest musical arts event, over 100 productions will take place this year from March 23 to April 8. Critically acclaimed by national and international media, the Savannah Music Festival draws international crowds for incredible live performances, along with arts education programs. 

Image courtesy South Mag

This winter in the Lowcountry, you won’t want to miss these special events and even more happening right here at The Ford. Schedule a Discovery Stay and explore all that The Ford’s coveted location has to offer. 

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Celebrating the Joys of 2022 and Looking Ahead to 2023

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As 2022 draws to a close, we’re reflecting upon memorable highlights at The Ford from the past year. From the special moments that brought our community together, to growing our Ford family, we are appreciative of all those who made this year a special one.

Read on for our yearly recap and a look ahead at what’s to come. If you haven’t scheduled your Discovery Visit yet, make 2023 the year to experience the finest coastal sporting club in the nation.

50 Sales of Homes and Coveted Homesites

While our coastal setting and Lowcountry allure draw newcomers to The Ford, it’s the people that define our culture and community. And, this year, with 50 sales we’ve had the opportunity to welcome many new members, a few of whom moved into new homes built from the ground up in our Silk Hope and Cherry Hill neighborhoods, while others chose to purchase an estate home within our five enclaves. For some, becoming a member at The Ford involved claiming a coveted homesite and breaking ground on a custom Lowcountry dream home.

The 50 sales included 13 existing members that sold their homesite and reinvested in The Ford by buying one of our available architectural heritage homes — a testament to the desire for immediate living within our storied sanctuary amongst friends and family. Four of our new members in 2022 were non-resident National Members of The Ford who became full multigenerational members by purchasing a home at The Ford.

With new and familiar faces in our community, the spirit and traditions of Southern hospitality are felt all around. The bonds between parents, children and grandchildren grow even stronger every year, thanks to the uniquely multigenerational club membership at The Ford. Here’s to new neighbors and friends, and to future members we are excited to welcome next year and beyond. 

 

Exclusive Member Events, Only at The Ford

There were so many incredible events in 2022, some new and some long-standing traditions. The events at The Ford are always exclusive to members of our community and their guests, offering a special way to connect with fellow neighbors.

One of our members’ favorite events from this past year was our annual Kentucky Derby Party at The Main House. Everyone of all ages loved joining in the excitement of the horse races while sipping down mint juleps. And then, the real fun began with pig races (yes, live pigs). Our members had so much fun cheering on their favorite pig to win the race!

The Ford also held its first-ever Nature Triathlon, which included kayaking, biking and walking or running through our land while searching for nature-inspired clues. Our members teamed up in groups of one to three people to compete in this recreational and fitness-forward tournament. 

This year, The Ford welcomed a new naturalist to the staff, and along with the expansion came new nature-themed events. Holiday wreath and ornament making and flower arranging are just a few of the fun workshops led by our very own naturalist.

Between our seasonal oyster roasts at Henry Ford’s historic Oyster House, Cookies & Cocktails at The Main House and more member events, there’s always an abundance of activities to explore at The Ford.

 

Welcoming Our New General Manager

We recently welcomed our new General Manager COO, John Johnstone, to The Ford. With nearly 40 years of global experience in luxury hospitality, John has an incredible record of offering the highest level of service possible. Joining us from the team at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, John is a collaborative, strategic thinker who brings his affable warmth to our community and has already shown his talent for exceeding all expectations.

 

The Ford In the News

Good news travels fast. The Ford made headlines in Luxury Magazine’s summer 2022 issue in the publication’s annual Home Guide. Titled “Forever Homes,” the story speaks to the attraction affluent buyers have for a forever ‘escape home.’ Writer Irene Rawlings describes the trending shift toward making a summer home in the country a primary home base. 

In Savannah Magazine, one of our members’ recently remodeled home was featured in an article highlighting the details of its inspiring interior design and architecture. The exquisite barn-turned-home pays tribute to its Lowcountry surroundings, while also embracing modern comforts.

And speaking of Savannah, which is only a short drive from The Ford, the city was named the top friendliest city in the U.S. in Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2022 and claimed the number-two spot on Southern Living’sThe South’s Best Cities 2022” list. 

 

The Best is Yet to Come

As we look toward 2023, we’re especially grateful for the memories shared between families, neighbors and friends at The Ford. Our private Lowcountry community is upheld by the spirit of connection, a feeling of warmth we’re proud to share with new members. And now, with a number of Discovery Visits already scheduled for 2023, community events on the horizon, new homes under construction along with more exciting news to announce — we know the best is yet to come.

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Holiday Traditions Our Members Cherish at The Ford

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At The Ford Field & River Club, our members celebrate the holidays every year with exclusive events hosted right here. All season long, our events bring together neighbors and friends, providing endless opportunities to socialize and connect with one another. An abundance of peace, joy and love fills every corner of our private, Lowcountry community. Cheerful holiday music carols echo throughout The Main House, all while twinkling lights and stunning decorations adorn many of our homeowners’ front doors.

A few beloved holiday traditions our members enjoy at The Ford:

12 Days of Christmas Eve Dinner Sing-Along

On Christmas Eve at The Clubhouse, the families of The Ford celebrate the holiday together for a very special four-course dinner. Members both young and old sing along to the “12 Days of Christmas,” a Christmas carol we’ve all grown to love over the years. Not everyone remembers all the lyrics, but it doesn’t matter — the fun is all in holding hands, swaying to the beat and carrying the tune along — even if a few of us are slightly off-key!

Lighting a Menorah

This year, Hanukkah falls between December 18 and 26. Many of our members at The Ford will celebrate by lighting a menorah inside the comfort of their homes and reading aloud nightly blessings together with loved ones. Traditional menu items like potato latkes are served at The Clubhouse, where many families come to dine during the eight days of the holiday and join our nightly menorah lighting and readings.

Giving Tree

The beauty of our private community in the Lowcountry comes not just from the Spanish moss hanging from centuries-old oaks, but also from the spirit of giving, upheld by our members all year long, especially during the holidays. For the sixth year in a row, The Ford is hosting a toy and clothing donation drive in support of Bryan County Family Connection. In our sales office, a holiday gifting Christmas tree is decorated with paper angel ornaments, each indicating an item requested by a family in need. Our members stop by to select an ornament and then return later with the item for donation.

Breakfast with Santa

Bring the kids along to meet Santa at The Clubhouse! Every year, the families of The Ford love taking a photo with everyone’s favorite white-bearded, jolly old Saint Nick. Along with feasting on a delicious breakfast buffet, our members enjoy getting together for this beloved annual tradition. Strike a pose, tell Santa your wishlist and then head home with a family photo to cherish for a lifetime.

The Ford 100

At the start of the new year, our members and guests love joining The Ford 100, a fitness challenge filled with plenty of friendly competition. For the first 100 days of the year, participants will work to accumulate as many miles as possible by walking, biking, jogging, kayaking and more, which can all be accomplished on or off property! It’s a fun way to get moving – and motivated – with fellow neighbors and friends cheering one another along.

Looking for more reasons to love The Ford? Read more: The Ford Named Top Second-Home Destination for Families.

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Step Inside The Ford’s 7,000-Square-Foot Main House

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Stop by, grab a cookie, read a book and stay awhile. At The Ford Field & River Club’s Main House, you’re sure to run into a familiar face. Originally the home where Henry and Clara Ford lived during the winter months, The Main House is a favorite attraction for our members, set right along the great Ogeechee River. A lively central hub of activity, The Main House often holds both formal and informal events, such as weddings, family reunions, ice cream socials and more. Day-to-day, members of The Ford are welcome to sit in the shade of the patio and unwind anytime.

See why the families of The Ford love visiting The Main House:

 

A Place Filled with Heartfelt History

Completed in 1938, The Main House is 7,000 square feet of enchanting beauty and rich history. Built in Greek Revival architectural style, The Main House was inducted into the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. When businessman Ghaith R. Pharaon purchased The Ford in 1981, The Main House was restored to mint condition. Today, its legacy endures by serving as a central gathering point for the families of The Ford.

Just one look inside and you’ll see a wood-paneled library, a bright breakfast room stocked with coffee and tea, and a kitchen and formal living room ideal for book club meetings, wine dinners and other special events.

The Resplendent Gardens, Pool and Lawn

If you’re not reading the newspaper on the sofa inside The Main House, you might be roaming the stunning scenery and gardens just outside. A wading pool along the riverfront offers a day full of fun for the kids, surrounded by lush expanses of grass. On the south side of The Main House, a rose garden flourishes, once tended by Clara Ford. On the north side, a walking garden provides our members the chance to stroll through nature peacefully.

 

The Secret Underground Tunnel

Many are surprised to learn about the underground tunnel that extends from The Main House parallel to the avenue of oaks east of the building. Head to the kitchen in The Main House and you’ll find an inconspicuous door just downstairs leading to the tunnel. Legend says Henry Ford loved the tunnel and often liked to take nighttime walks through it in his slippers. He also liked to greet workers in the morning and have “tunnel talks” with them.

The Guest Suites at The Main House

The Main House includes five upper-level guest suites, which are available to reserve for a Discovery Visit or by members for special events. Each suite features views of the gardens or the Ogeechee River, with a breezy, open-air veranda overlooking The Main House pool and nearby Ford Island, a wildlife and bird sanctuary.

Members can even reserve Henry and Clara Ford’s very own private quarters, consisting of two rooms – one, Henry’s, and the other, Clara’s. A grand, all-white marble bathroom with golden fixtures creates a luxurious look and feel in Henry’s room, along with traditional furnishings made for every comfort imaginable.

At The Ford Field & River Club, history is embedded into every corner of the land. See more reasons you’ll love living at our private, coastal Lowcountry community in Why We Chose The Ford: Video Highlights Experience of New Member Family.

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These Year-Round Activities at The Ford Are Fun for the Entire Family

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As the seasons change, members of The Ford have a world of year-round adventures at their beck and call. The soaring, centuries-old oaks, marsh grass and many species of wildlife majestically span across the 1,800 acres of our community, an enduring delight to witness from the indoors or outdoors at any time of year. From winter to spring and summer to fall, our members of all ages seize the day and relish the splendor of the land at our one-of-a-kind coastal Lowcountry community.

Take a look at some of our members’ favorite recreational activities, enjoyed year-round:

Fishing Right Off the Dock

The catch of the day awaits! The excitement of catching a fish continues to thrill members of all ages. Families at The Ford spend leisurely afternoons casting a line or a net off the dock at the Deepwater Marina, Lake Clara or along the Ogeechee River. Teeming with bass, trout, snapper, blue crab and shrimp, The Ford’s waterways and lakes showcase some of the finest marine and freshwater habitats in the Lowcountry, experienced from the shore or by boat. Members can arrange expert-led excursions from the Deepwater Marina, an exciting activity for young children any time of year. What will you catch along the Ogeechee River? Cast a line and give it a go!

Exploring the Flora and Fauna at the Naturalist Center

Set within The Ford’s Oyster House, the Naturalist Center is a gathering place for all ages. Children love engaging up close with wildlife here, where they can partake in Naturalist Center excursions and day camps. A hub for learning and discovery, the center is the home base for The Ford’s on-site staff naturalist. From bird counts to gator-tagging, shelling trips and more, the activities are endlessly educational and fun for the families of our private community. 

Relaxing at The Main House

All year long, members of The Ford come together to mix and mingle at the Main House, boasting over 6,000 square feet. Spend just a day at The Ford, and you’ll see our members stopping in, grabbing a cookie or reading a book at the Main House. Neighbors and their children mingle together in the ample shade of the patio or bask in the gentle sunlight by the pool. A rose garden presents a romantic setting for a quiet stroll observing nature’s harmony. Four large Grecian columns welcome lovers of Southern architecture, a defining characteristic of our community.

Golfing with the Kids at Our Private Course

A landmark of the coastal Lowcountry, our private, Pete Dye-designed golf course has no tee times, making it easy to play an unhurried game any time of year. Parents and grandparents enjoy teaching their children and grandchildren the best practices of the game on The Ford’s course, an ideal setting for new golfers. Outlined by freshwater lakes, lush meadows and scenic coastline, our championship golf course provides an exciting round of play in every season.

Exploring the Land on Foot and by Bike

For those who enjoy activities on foot, The Ford offers members an abundance of hiking trails for an idyllic experience in nature. Discover Lake Clara by taking a walk around the entire shoreline or try the McAllister Trail and scenic Sterling Creek Dike Trail. You’ll also see many members, young and old alike, riding bikes through cycling paths. Children have the freedom to explore on their own within the safety of our one-of-a-kind private community.

Prefer an adventure by horseback? Head to our Equestrian Center, a full-service boarding facility, and then saddle up and ride along one of our on-property trails. If a fitness class is more your taste for the day, explore The Ford’s Sports Barn, where over 80+ classes are held every month.

Now is the time to experience The Ford in person. Schedule your visit today and discover why families from around the world are choosing to make our unique community in the Georgia Lowcountry their home.

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Explore These 3 Labor Day Events at The Ford & Neighboring Savannah

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Labor Day Weekend is almost here, and our members at The Ford are gearing up for a weekend full of family fun. An abundance of holiday weekend activities awaits our members, right here at The Ford, like swimming with the kids at the pool or joining in on a community barbecue. Nearby Savannah is also a convenient option for a quick day trip to see live music or outdoor movie screenings. This Labor Day, there’s no shortage of things to do at Georgia’s premier sporting club community in the coastal Lowcountry.

Labor Day at The Ford’s Lake Dye Grill

Winding down the summer with neighbors, friends and family is a favorite activity among members. At The Ford, the sense of community abounds through gatherings created for the entire family to enjoy. Monthly events like this one are the perfect example of the amenities and members-only social opportunities our families love about living at The Ford.

This year, members of The Ford will celebrate the long weekend with an exclusive pool party, DJ and delicious lunch buffet. With music and good company, there’s not much more to ask for!

 

Annual Labor Day Fireworks Show at Fish Tales

In the mood for fireworks? Head to Fish Tales! On Sunday, September 4, the annual fireworks show returns for a spectacular night everyone will enjoy. Head out by boat from The Ford and then catch this stunning show from the water in the Marina.

A quick visit by boat from The Ford, Fish Tales is one of our members’ most loved restaurants along the Ogeechee River. The fireworks show starts just after dark, so be sure to head in the direction of Fish Tales before sundown.

 

Farewell to Summer Labor Day Weekend Celebration

Not ready to wave goodbye to summer yet? Bring the entire family to live it up at the Plant Riverside District from Friday to Monday. Live music, kids activities, riverfront performances by Cirque Divina and an outdoor screening of Grease are just a few of the fun festivities planned for the event.

Don’t miss the Savannah Ghost Pirates — the Hostess City’s newest hockey team — when they come out to provide free arts and crafts activities for kids of all ages in Montgomery Park. A quick 30-minute drive away, the Plant Riverside District is within easy reach of The Ford.

 

We hope you and your family enjoy Labor Day Weekend! To explore all that The Ford’s coveted location has to offer, read more about the joys of our low-density setting in the Lowcountry

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The Ford Named Top Second-Home Destination for Families

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The Ford Field & River Club makes headlines in Luxury Magazine’s Summer issue, featuring the publication’s annual Home Guide. In a story titled “Forever Homes,” writer Irene Rawlings speaks to the allure affluent buyers have for a forever ‘escape home’ and the trending shift toward making one’s summer home in the country a primary home base.

Rawlings recommends The Ford for families seeking the “less stressful, more relaxing pace of life offered by living in the [low]country.” She adds: “[The Ford] offer[s] both adventure and culture, giving homeowners the option of not having to choose so starkly between the excitement of the city and the restorative powers of nature.”

Speaking on the many amenities at The Ford, Rawlings mentions: “Of course, bring your horse. The Equestrian Center is a full-service boarding facility set across seven lush acres. Kids’ programs include day camp, trail rides, expert-led archery, and shooting tutorials, supervised fishing excursions plus golf, tennis, and pickleball clinics.”

Read the full article here. See why living at The Ford is meant for you. View available listings and schedule a tour of The Ford Field & River Club today.

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3 Places to Visit By Boat from The Ford Field & River Club

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There’s nothing quite like the bliss of an open expanse of water on a beautiful, sunny day full of promise and adventure. Here at The Ford Field & River Club, life happens on the water just as much as it does on land. A sprawling 1,800 lush acres of salt marsh grass, lakes and century-old live oaks make up the breathtaking natural setting of The Ford. When you live at The Ford, you can also be within reach of hundreds of nearby attractions—many of which are accessible by boat.

We’ve gathered three of our favorite places to visit nearby, all accessible by boat:

 

Fish Tales Restaurant

Food, atmosphere, and kind service—Fish Tales has it all. Located along the Ogeechee River, Fish Tales has the best seafood you could imagine. This casual dining destination makes a perfect pit stop while you’re out of the water for the day. Connected to Fish Tales is Fort McAllister Marina, where you can park your boat and head right on in.

Don’t miss their fried shrimp baskets and world-famous hushpuppies, rumored to be a family recipe passed down through generations. If you catch a fish during your boating adventures, Fish Tales will gladly cook your catch. A stunning setting for the sunset, Fish Tales is known by members of The Ford for good food and good fun that everyone in the family can enjoy. Come by for happy hour and live music!

 

Fort McAllister State Park

This historic riverside Civil War fort features a museum, biking and hiking trails, and educational programs and tours. Canoes, kayaks and paddle boards are also available to rent. Filled with opportunities to see wildlife and explore the outdoors, Fort McAllister State Park makes a great stop while you’re out on the water.

Pack lunch and bring a blanket for an impromptu picnic on the grass, or if camping is your style, the park also offers 67 tent, trailer and RV campsites. Set on 1,725 acres, you’ll have more than enough to explore. Boat ramps, dock and fishing pier available.

 

Wassaw Island National Wildlife Refuge

If you’re headed out farther by boat, be sure to make a stop at Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge. This stunning habitat provides a home for an array of migratory birds and countless creatures. As part of the chain of barrier islands along the Atlantic Flyway, Wassaw Island is blissfully uncrowded, feeling almost like your own private island. 

Anchor just off shore to enjoy over 10,000 acres of pristine land filled with wildlife and natural greenery at this hidden gem within reach of The Ford by boat. From sunrise to sunset, enjoy all the beauty the outdoors has to offer at Wassaw Island.

 

Looking for more exciting activities happening close to The Ford? Read our Neighborhood Spotlight: Richmond Hill.

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The Ease of No Tee Times at The Ford’s Pete Dye-Designed Golf Course

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A game at your own pace—that’s the benefit of teeing up at The Ford. When you live at The Ford Field & River Club, you have exclusive access to our 250-acre golf course designed by famed architect, Pete Dye. No tee times mean you can sink into an unhurried game, stay awhile, and socialize with fellow players. Our members arrive on time, every time, when any time is tee time.

The parkland-style front nine and links-style back nine of the course are distinctly designed, making for two different types of engaging rounds of play. Our highly-coveted course has been host to the Georgia Open five times in the past six years. Picking up a casual game of golf at moment’s notice is part of life at The Ford. Socialize with fellow members while playing in a breathtaking natural setting—there’s never a rush.

See why the simple luxury of no tee times makes all the difference:

 

Play Golf at Your Own Leisure

The game of golf has become more popular than ever in recent years. Over 24.8 million people sought out the sport in 2020 alone, and today, it’s becoming a favorite outdoor activity among all ages.

Now, heightened interest means new players are flocking to the course, while experienced golfers are looking to play more rounds than previously. While it’s great for the sport, the increased demand often leads to difficulty scheduling tee times and shorter, hurried games at many public and private courses alike.

Practice your swing and stay awhile. Here, there’s never a worry about having a spot on the course—because no tee times are required. On other courses, missing a tee time can mean having to wait to play or not playing at all. At The Ford, no tee times give our members flexibility and control over their own game.

 

Bring the Entire Family

As a refuge in the Lowcountry, The Ford cultivates a sense of community both on and off the green. Our course welcomes players of every age and skill level, so parents can bring their children for a round of golf at any time.

Coined “very playable” by many of our members, the course offers golfers the option of a challenging route through bunkers and hazards or an easier alternative by avoiding them altogether.

Fostering the connection between family members is a key component of life at The Ford. The lack of tee times allows members of all ages the opportunity to start a game at a moment’s notice—any time the occasion calls for it.

 

Return for Multiple Rounds

A course made for you. With no tee times, our members can play a round of golf more than once a day. Renovated by Pete Dye in 2014, our course has received high praise from national publications such as Golfweek, Golf Digest and LINKS Magazine.

You’ll want to return to our award-winning course, which features two distinct landscapes between the front and back nine courses. Just steps from your own home lie both a parkland-style and a links-style course, offering an immersive experience switching between tall grasses, birds, and views of the estuary on one course and towering pines, oak trees, and ponds on the other.

Return to The Ford for unlimited golf, at your leisure.

 

Interested in more reasons to love living at The Ford? Take a look at The Joys of The Ford’s Lowcountry and Low-density Setting.

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4 Family-Friendly Activities Happening this Memorial Day

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This Memorial Day, a number of family-friendly events are happening right here at The Ford and in the neighboring cities of Savannah and Richmond Hill. Living at The Ford Field & River Club means you’re close to everything the Lowcountry has to offer, including holiday festivities, parades, and coastal activities along the Ogeechee River and the Atlantic. Mark your calendars for these all-ages activities you’re sure to enjoy with your entire family, as we all come together to commemorate those who have died in the line of duty.

Pool Party & Cookout at The Ford

Starting summer off on the right foot is easy when you live at The Ford. This Memorial Day, we’re hosting a barbecue at Lake Dye Grill exclusively for owners at The Ford, where neighbors can mix, mingle and catch up over food and drinks.

There’s nothing like a classic summer barbecue, and this year, the kids will love the Jenni’s Treats on the Street ice cream truck. Enjoy an afternoon basking in the sun and catching up with neighbors this Memorial Day at The Ford. We’ll see you poolside!

 

Shabazz Seafood Festival

Whether you’re craving shrimp, crab, or fish, at the Shabazz Seafood Festival, you’ll find it all. The festival is back this year for Memorial Day Weekend at this favorite spot among locals and tourists alike. Serving the best fish in Savannah, GA, since 1989, Shabazz Seafood Restaurant is known for its generous portions and warm hospitality. 

The bright yellow building on the corner of Victory Drive and Martin Luther King Boulevard has also recently caught the eyes of Hollywood as the focal point of the new Netflix show, Fresh, Fried, & Crispy. Come out to enjoy the Shabazz Seafood Platter, which includes Shabazz fish, shrimp, crab, fries, and salad.

When: Friday, May 27 through Monday, May 30, 12:00pm – 8:00pm

Where: Shabazz Seafood Restaurant, 502 West Victory Drive, Savannah, GA 31405

Cost: $25 per platter

 

Memorial Day Commemoration

Join in the commemoration at Fort McAllister State Park in Richmond Hill and pay tribute to soldiers who lost their lives while serving. Watch living history reenactments all day long, including musket firing. Tour the fort, museum, and grounds of Fort McAllister along the shores of the Ogeechee River.

Kids will love learning about U.S. history during this event celebrating our nation’s roots. Participate and explore the grounds while celebrating Memorial Day.

When: Saturday, May 28, 10:00am – 3:00pm

Where: Fort McAllister State Park, 3894 Fort McAllister Road, Richmond Hill, GA 31324

Cost: $5-9

 

“Savannah Salutes” at Plant Riverside District

Known across Savannah as the epicenter of entertainment, Plant Riverside District will host a special “Savannah Salutes” event featuring live music and aerial performances along with a wide variety of delicious food and drink options for all ages. Bring your own blanket and listen to blues, soul, funk, and rock music while picnicking on the grass.

Throughout the holiday weekend, Plant Riverside District’s iconic smokestacks, fountains and other landmarks will be illuminated with red, white and blue lights after dark. Even better, a patriotic salute will be conducted during nightly fountain shows in Martin Luther King, Jr. Park.

When: Friday, May 27,  1:00 PM through Monday, May 30, 10:00 PM 

Where: Plant Riverside District, 400 West River Street, Savannah, GA 31401

Cost: Free

 

From our family to yours at The Ford Field & River Club, Happy Memorial Day! To explore all that The Ford’s coveted location has to offer, discover what’s nearby and noteworthy.

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The Joys of The Ford’s Lowcountry and Low-density Setting

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The Lowcountry is undeniably special. Those who live at The Ford Field & River Club see this each day—through the comforts of a sprawling coastal setting where the natural scenery coincides with a slower pace of life. The low-density of the land also means each member has the space to connect intimately with nature and take advantage of the amenities available exclusively to members of The Ford.

See why a low-density setting in the Lowcountry is meant for you:

Freedom to Explore

The less-populated living at The Ford means our residents have the room to explore virtually untouched land. Unlike other communities in the Lowcountry, The Ford—set on 1,800 acres of storied land and waterways—is low-density, which provides our residents the opportunity to make the most of every amenity available. Even better, the connections made at The Ford transform into a thriving community where neighbors are friends and friends are family.

Exercise and Recreation

Fresh air can’t be beat by much else. In a low-density setting such as The Ford, recreational activities surround you at every turn. Whether it’s fishing in the Deepwater Marina or getting close-up with nature at the Naturalist Center, the chance to seek outdoor activities are endless.  The Ford’s recreational activities—which offer plenty of health and exercise benefits—are designed to be enjoyed together. The low-density aspect of our land means you’ll have more time to spend doing the things you love, with the ones you love—no crowds in the way.

An Intimate Connection with Nature

Verdant wetlands, tidal creeks, ponds, lakes and woodlands at The Ford have all been preserved with care. When you live at The Ford, you’re situated right along Georgia’s great Ogeechee River. The allure of Spanish moss, which sways in the light breeze, is unique to the Lowcountry, rekindling stories of the past. Our residents wake up to gentle sunlight and breathe easy as the sun fades away into the surrounding waters, finding moments of peace and welcome solitude.

Golf with No Tee Times

Our award-winning, 250-acre Pete Dye-designed golf course requires no tee times, so you and your family can pick up a game at any time. Shaped by freshwater lakes, lush meadows and scenic coastline, our golf course immerses you in an experience that’s as much as a sport as it is a wildlife tour. Our residents at The Ford can enjoy exclusive access to an unhurried game, at their own leisure—yet another benefit of our low-density setting in the Lowcountry.

Year-Round Coastal Climate

The Ford’s easy climate basks in sunshine and blue skies for nine months out of the year. For the majority of days spent at The Ford, weather is temperate, inviting families to pursue favorite outdoor activities, like golf, horseback riding, and fishing. Mild winters—from December through February—see average daytime highs in the low 60s. Coastal breezes draw our residents in, while the ever-present warmth of Southern hospitality remains year-round. 

 

Whether you come to call The Ford home or a retreat for the season, an uncommon way of life awaits.

 

Interested in more reasons to love living at The Ford? Take a look at Why We Chose The Ford: Video Highlights Experience of New Member Family.

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Southern Living Names Savannah No. 2 “South’s Best City”

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Part of the appeal of The Ford Field & River Club is its proximity to some of the best cities, landmarks, and natural attractions that the South has to offer. One of these is the quintessential Southern city of Savannah, Georgia, just a 30-minute drive from The Ford. And it’s just claimed the number-two spot on Southern Living’s “The South’s Best Cities 2022” list

“Stroll through Savannah, and it will become one of your favorite Southern cities too,” says the article. And for those who’ve spent even a short amount of time in this locale, this statement couldn’t ring any truer. Savannah is inarguably a Southern treasure—filled with rich history, world-class eateries, stunning natural beauty, and vibrant culture.

“The lush squares and beautiful architecture make it a favorite for weekend trips,” the article continues. “Start on the riverfront for pralines from historic sweet shops and dinner with waterfront views, and then head into the walkable districts farther inland.”

In addition to the overall city rating, Southern Living recognized some of Savannah’s finest: Wiley’s Championship BBQ was named “The Best BBQ in Georgia,” while Back in the Day Bakery earned the number-one spot on the “South’s Best Bakeries” list.

Curious about the rest of the lists and winners? View all of “The South’s Best 2022” content on the Southern Living website.

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The Ford Chef’s Go-To Spring Recipes Using Garden-Grown Ingredients

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Springtime is officially here, which means Edsel Community Farm — The Ford’s very own organic garden — is flourishing with fresh produce and veggies that’ll be transformed into our members’ favorite dishes. To learn more about what we can expect to find on the table this season, we asked The Ford’s Executive Chef, Frank Chiasera, to share his go-to springtime recipes from The Ford’s beautiful garden— all below.

 

What are some of the fruits, vegetables and herbs you grow at The Ford? 

We have a myriad of fruit trees planted next to the garden in our Silk Hope neighborhood that include kumquat, lime, tangelo, grapefruit, tangerine and oranges. These are available for both the culinary team and the membership. We use fresh herbs year round at The Ford, almost all of which are grown here on property. Basil, oregano, mint, chives, cilantro, parsley, dill, sage and rosemary are just some of the many fresh herbs that enhance the member dining experience. 

Edsel Community Farm, our organic garden, is where the majority of our gardening efforts reside. We grow organic vegetables year round, rotating crops based upon seasonality, to ensure that our membership receives the freshest, finest, highest quality ingredients in our dining rooms at the Clubhouse and the Lake Dye Grill. 

 

Why do you think it’s important to use seasonal produce in your dishes? 

Fresh produce simply tastes better. There’s something so special about products that go straight from the garden to the table with no manipulation of the ingredients. 

What do you love most about having fresh produce and herbs at your fingertips at The Ford? 

It allows for infinite possibilities and sparks the creative imagination of the entire culinary team. We’re lucky to be able to harvest only the freshest, highest quality ingredients and provide a uniquely personalized culinary experience for our members.

What are your favorite springtime main dish recipes that use site-grown produce? 

With so many site-grown ingredients available to us, we love cooking vegetarian dishes in a variety of ways, using only the freshest ingredients and creating these unique dining experiences for our members and their guests. One week it may be a Moroccan-themed vegetarian experience, the next week may be a Mediterranean vegetarian experience, and the next may very well be showcasing the true southern experience of coastal Georgia. The possibilities are endless, and the team and I embrace the opportunity to showcase Edsel Community Farm and share this bounty with others. 

What about your favorite springtime dessert recipes that showcase site-grown produce? 

At Edsel Community Farm, we grow our own strawberries, blackberries and blueberries. One of my favorite springtime desserts is an Edsel Farm fresh fruit Sabayon using these fruits. The tartness and the sweetness of these berries are a wonderful complement to the warm, soft-light sabayon foam that literally melts in your mouth. It’s a perfect way to finish off a springtime meal in that it’s light yet foreshadows the bounty that comes from the summer harvest. It makes for a delicious end to any meal. 

 

Explore all that The Ford’s Clubhouse has to offer here

 

Suggested Recipes:

 

Mediterranean Bean Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15- oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15- oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • ½ English cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup chopped red onions
  • 1 ½ tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 10-15 fresh mint leaves, torn or gently chopped
  • 10-15 fresh basil leaves, torn or gently chopped
  • Garlic Dijon Vinaigrette
  • 1-2 garlic cloves minced
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the beans, chopped peppers, onions, capers and fresh herbs. Mix using a wooden spoon.
  2. In a small bowl, add the vinaigrette ingredients. Whisk vigorously to combine.
  3. Add the vinaigrette to the salad bowl. Toss to coat.
  4. For best results, cover and refrigerate for a bit before serving so that beans soak up the vinaigrette flavors. Give the salad another quick toss before serving.

Sabayon

INGREDIENTS 

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoons of dessert wine (your choice)
  • 4 tablespoons of white sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pour a few inches of water into a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low to keep water at a simmer. Combine egg yolks, water, wine, and sugar in a large heat-proof bowl and set above the simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly with a balloon whisk, until sugar is dissolved and mixture starts to thicken, about 2 minutes.
  2. Continue cooking and whisking until sabayon is the texture of mousse and holds its shape, 15 to 20 minutes. Lift the bowl occasionally to let steam escape and keep eggs from overcooking. Serve immediately.

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Architect Christian Sottile Talks Inspiration & Collaboration Behind the Newest Silk Hope Homes

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Set amidst a wild expanse of grassy fields and moss-draped live oaks, Silk Hope is The Ford Field & River Club’s newest residential enclave where contemporary, English village-inspired homes offer families a dream-worthy lowcountry retreat. And since every immaculate square foot of Silk Hope started with just a small idea, we wanted to learn more from one of the visionary architects himself: Christian Sottile of the award-winning, Savannah-based firm, Sottile & Sottile. Below, we discuss design, inspiration, collaboration and more, all of which unveils Silk Hope’s elegant modern character and authentic historical roots.

 

What was the inspiration behind the design of the homes in Silk Hope?

Silk Hope Village is a unique expression of timeless, lowcountry architecture. The homes evoke a scale, character and material palette that are timeless, honest and noble. Informed by the English heritage of provincial settlements, the homes are characterized by an informal massing that evokes the English and French derivations found in the lowcountry. The Silk Hope homes are set within a walkable village setting, enjoying interior and exterior views with personal courtyard gardens and generous community green spaces. These homes embody a simpler lifestyle deeply rooted in the picturesque lowcountry landscape.

Describe the Silk Hope enclave in three words.  

Timeless, elevated, authentic.

What details have to be considered when designing a collection of new homes within an established community?  

Within the Silk Hope neighborhood, designing with a very special context in mind was an important foundation for the overall process. There was a distinct focus on the setting being very pedestrian-friendly, so we made sure to include features such as walking paths that reveal numerous views and linked to all of Silk Hope’s shared amenities, such as the Great Lawn, walking gardens and fireside gathering place. Each of the Silk Hope homes is designed to build on the vision and character of this unique neighborhood.

What’s your favorite element of the Silk Hope home designs?  

Their quality, intimacy and timelessness. These exquisite homes are composed of simple, refined detailing and are constructed using authentic “forever” materials such as brick, slate, timber and copper, which require minimal maintenance and, in fact, continue to improve in beauty and value over time as they patina. I also love that, if they enter the process at the right time, buyers can choose their preferred materials for our built-to-suit homes, like 80 Riceland Way and 134 Riceland Way. This allows homeowners to add their own touch to the home, which makes it even more special and unique. 

What sets Silk Hope apart from other enclaves within The Ford? 

The design for Silk Hope created a refreshingly unique neighborhood within the Ford Field & River Club. It centers on the idea of community and well-being through a series of walkable neighborhood experiences, knitting together community features such as the generous Great Lawn, the historic oak allée and the adjacent Wildlife Sanctuary. 

What is your favorite community feature of the new Silk Hope enclave? 

I feel a great sense of well-being when I walk through Silk Hope’s interconnected community spaces—from the majestic oak allée, across the expansive Great Lawn, to the intimate landscape on Riceland Way and onward to the Wildlife Sanctuary. 

Which Silk Hope home design is your personal favorite, and why? 

Each of these homes has such a unique personality — from the graciously sloping roofs to generous expanses of windows, all set within a material palette of the highest quality. 

I really enjoy the airiness of the living spaces in 96 Riceland Way, which is a turn-key, Longleat Village home. The kitchen opens to the main living room, which has these amazing soaring ceilings—it’s just a wonderfully bright, inviting home. And I also love the elegant bay window and side porch entrance on the Foxley design. It’s a wonderful blend of the Savannah and Charleston traditions.

What value has your collaboration on these designs offered? 

Developing the master plan and the overall community vision for Silk Hope has been a world-class collaboration with the McAlpine and Tippett Sease Baker team. Sottile & Sottile’s many years of experience in the lowcountry, and our deep understanding of nationally registered historic districts, provides meaningful insight into how these designs will contribute to the longevity of this very special place. We are witness to a moment in history as the elements being set in place today will endure for centuries to come. We see these homes as jewel boxes, each with a special contribution to the full, vibrant fabric of the neighborhood.

 

Learn more about real estate at The Ford Field & River Club here

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4 Innovative Ways The Ford’s Audubon Committee is Conserving Lowcountry

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Through careful planning, wildlife and habitat management, water conservation and education, The Ford is proud to have earned Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program Certification — an acclaimed recognition for environmental achievements and leadership around the globe. We sat down with Valerie Foradas, Chair of the Audubon Committee at The Ford since 2016.  Read on to learn how the community commits to conserving the Lowcountry while engaging its members in a fun, out-of-the-box way.

Bluebird & Bat Boxes

Throughout The Ford’s 1,800-acre community, you can find more than 100 bird and bat boxes designed to foster a safe, sustainable environment for the native species while simultaneously enhancing the living experience for residents. The community – from young children to their grandparents – have worked in tandem with our Naturalists to build and install a variety of bird boxes that are elevated and protected with a metal ring around the entrance to fend off larger creatures like snakes and raccoons. “One of the commitments of Audubon Certification is to make sure that we’re nurturing the environment in sustainable and sympathetic ways,” said Valerie. “Locating bat boxes up in our tree canopy allows us to attract migrating bats passing through that feed on our mosquitos and midges here in the Low Country – one of the more natural solutions to pest management.  The migrating bats cycle through and return — it’s the rhythm of nature,” shared Valerie. 

Native Plant Sale

Another way The Ford aims to enhance the environment and educate residents is through the annual Spring Native Plant Sale.  The Ford Press, the weekly digital community newsletter, lists the plants available for purchase beginning in February, with delivery in April.  The Audubon Committee teams up with local growers to bring a wide variety of native species to residents’ backyards and beyond. “We’ve planted over 2,000 native plants inside of our five-year plan,” Valerie said.  “If we have found the right spot, the plants thrive down here.  We have had several fun educational opportunities to learn about suitable plants and trees here at The Ford including ‘Buds + Suds” — a gathering that featured local beers and native plants suitable for our environment, shining a light on what tends to grow best.” 

The Ford’s BioBlitz

The BioBlitz is a fun, highly anticipated annual tournament wherein teams of residents compete to photograph and identify native species. The competition is a helpful tool for understanding species diversity in the region and highlights the  unique biodiversity found on The Ford’s grounds. The  Ford’s Naturalists monitor the residents’ photos and help with species identification; a photography competition centers on the rarest plant, bird or animal species. Throughout the competition, new discoveries are frequently made by The Ford’s citizen scientists and all information is shared with an online database for further scientific study.  In fact, during the most recent BioBlitz project,  when more than 1,100 species were identified, team “Nature Nurturers”  spotted rare roseate spoonbills and  eastern phoebes, which hadn’t been seen in the area for several years. “One photograph taken and posted by Cheryl Chip—with the help of her BioBlitz teammates, Dawn French and her husband—showed  the eastern phoebe, which is a flycatcher, eating a Chinese Tallow tree seed and thereby possibly spreading the seeds of this invasive tree,” Valerie recalls. “Scientists studying this bird species and their behavior  were immediately all over the posted sighting and reached out to Cheryl for more information about the circumstances.” 

Monarch’s in the Rough and Monarch Watch Site Designation

The Ford’s “Monarch’s in the Rough” program is the result of partnership between Audubon International, the Environmental Defense Fund and the United States Golf Association. The Program’s goal:   to reverse habitat loss for Monarchs by planting and seeding with butterfly weed vast expanses of “out of play” areas on golf courses that can act as migratory paths for Monarch butterflies throughout North America.  “We’re able to help reverse the decline of these important pollinators by planting designated areas along The Ford’s Pete Dye-designed golf course,” says Valerie. “We ended up with several acres worth of seed to put on our front and back nine that combined native wildflower seeds with seeds from this Program. Then, as part of our native plant sale, we’re able to install different kinds of Asclepias — the milkweeds that are native to this area, and the primary host plant for Monarchs.”  Annual butterfly counts lead by our Naturalists, help our citizen scientist residents contribute to databases tracked by many nature-based organizations including Monarch Watch that track migratory paths of pollinators. 

To learn more about The Ford Field & River Club or to arrange a Discovery Visit, call Danielle Hopper at 912.756.5614 or email [email protected].

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From Dream to Reality: A Special Look at The Ford’s Home Design Process

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At The Ford Field & River Club, members can create their very own lowcountry retreat inspired by the region’s most beloved architecture styles. “There’s a little bit of everything here at The Ford,” says Tom Draffin, Director of Association Management and member of The Ford’s architectural review board. 

In this video, Tom describes the distinct style of a few Ford neighborhoods, from the bright, contemporary English-cottage-inspired homes in the new SIlk Hope enclave to the grand, two-level historic Savannah-style riverview homes in McAllister Point. Tom also explains how The Ford’s construction and design teams help make the process of building your dream home as effortless as possible. 

“Our architects, landscape architects and contractors are used to building these types of homes and therefore it’s really a congenial, collaborative process from the initial design to final product,” says Draffin. “One of the neat things about being part of the architectural review process is that you get to see a home start from an idea and (become) a reality. And you get to see the excitement of the family moving in—and we have the same excitement as they do.” 

To learn more about The Ford Field & River Club or to arrange a Discovery Visit, call Danielle Hopper at 912.756.5614 or email [email protected]

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A Day on the Water at The Ford: Adventures on the Ogeechee River & Beyond

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From fishing, kayaking and water-skiing to swimming and island-hopping, when The Ford Field & River Club is home, unforgettable water adventures are on deck year-round. 

Members can request expert-led excursions from the Deepwater Marina and explore The Ford’s four miles of Ogeechee River frontage, nearby Ossabaw Sound and the Intracoastal Waterway—all of which represent some of the finest marine and freshwater habitats in the Southeast. Anglers of all skill levels will delight in fishing for bass, trout, snapper, triple tail and red fish. 

When exploration calls, residents can motor out to Ossabaw Island for private picnics and relaxed, island-to-yourself beach days filled with dolphin-watching. Farther out are St. Simons, Jekyll and Amelia Islands, each offering their own unique wildlife, scenic beaches and sandy terrain. 

Before heading home, be sure to stop by Fish Tales for fried fish baskets and hit-the-spot hushpuppies. Casual and family-friendly, this riverfront restaurant at Richmond Hill’s Fort McAllister marina is a longtime favorite among Ford members. 

For more on nearby water adventures at The Ford, read Best On-Water Excursions That Are Just a Boat Ride Away

To learn more about The Ford Field & River Club or to arrange a Discovery Visit, call Danielle Hopper at 912.756.5614 or email [email protected]

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Marc Ray Named 2021 Club Executive of the Year

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The Ford Field & River Club is proud to announce that Club Management magazine has named General Manager Marc Ray the2021 Club Executive of the Year.

Club Management annually recognizes the best in club leadership with this prestigious award. It is presented to the club management professional who embodies professionalism within their club and community—embracing mentoring, creating a club culture that supports the staff team through ongoing educational opportunities and crisis assistance, and supporting and impacting their local community.

“To professionals in the club industry, this is the equivalent of being selected as the league MVP for the NBA or NFL,” noted Club President Jeff Fusile in an announcement to The Ford members earlier this month. “It is truly a stunning accomplishment, and we are proud to have Marc at the helm of our team.”

“I am truly humbled to have been selected by my peers in the industry for this award,” says Marc, who joined The Ford Field & River Club in 2015 and has more than 23 years of experience in the club industry. “No one does this alone, and I believe it says more about the incredible volunteer leaders who have shared their intellectual capital with me, The Ford membership and the extraordinary team members that I am privileged to work with.”

Among Marc’s many accomplishments over his six-year tenure as General Manager are his curation of numerous engaging community events (including The Ford’s beloved Homecoming festivities and new Master Chef Dinner), his proactive preparedness for emergencies such as hurricanes, as well as steadfast leadership throughout the last 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Marc’s exceptional, prompt and thoughtful guidance set our Club apart and ensured a successful operation for both members and staff,” says Fusile. 

In the last three years, Marc has also coordinated The Ford’s Club and POA Boards, committees, members, developers, marketing and club professionals, and management team to focus on goals to stimulate real estate sales, strengthen The Ford’s membership base and build out its marketing program. “His efforts have produced a range of successful results,” says Fusile. “Our membership is growing, usage is at an all-time high, discovery visits will well exceed our goals and amenity revenues are positive to budgeted goals.”

“This is arguably the most exciting time ever at Ford,” says Marc. “We have embarked on a path forward with the final build-out of remaining homesites, which has already resulted in a vibrancy within the membership that is positive and palpable. Today, I am most looking forward to sharing The Ford experience with others. For too long, Ford was arguably the best kept secret in the Club world. No more. I know I mirror the membership, the community and the staff when I say that we are excited to welcome the next generation of members into our Ford family.”

Marc will be featured in the January/February 2022 issue of Club Management magazine, profiled in a forthcoming edition of the Let’s Talk Club Management Podcast and honored in person at the 2022 CMAA World Conference and Club Business Expo in San Diego, CA in February 2022. 

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Why We Chose The Ford: Video Highlights Experience of New Member Family

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In this new video, Brad and Carrie Brookshire, new members of The Ford Field & River Club, reveal what the experience has been like becoming a part of The Ford’s private, 1,800-acre riverfront community.

Discover what drew them to their home in Cherry Hill Village, their favorite family-friendly Ford amenities, what has impressed them the most and why The Ford’s location—just 20 miles from Savannah—is one of its greatest features.

“If I had to describe The Ford and our experience here…I always say it’s unique and it’s rare,” says Brad. “Here, there’s something for every member of the family to enjoy. It’s a great place—a place we wanted to raise our kids. And that’s why we’re here.”

To learn more about The Ford Field & River Club or to arrange a Discovery Visit, call Marianne Schofield at 912.756.5614 or email [email protected].

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An Ode to The Ford: Our Homecoming 2021 Celebration

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Every year, The Ford members look forward to our Homecoming celebration. It’s a weeklong ode to our property, its history, and the people who live and play at The Ford. Filled with food, friends, and festivities, the events are a highlight of the year for our members and staff alike. This year’s events included tournaments, trivia, and the not-to-be-missed Homecoming Gala. Below, get a glimpse of the Homecoming 2021 celebration at The Ford.

 

Friendly Competition

If there’s one thing our members love, it’s good ol’ fashioned friendly competition. Throughout Homecoming week, we hosted competitions for members of all ages. From pickleball to the annual homecoming tournament to blackjack and craps, members got to challenge themselves and each other in the spirit of friendly competition all week long.

Kid-Approved Fun

The Ford is beloved by members of all ages, and we wanted to show our appreciation for even the youngest crowd throughout the week. We hosted a variety of kids-only and family-friendly events and activities to engage and delight. These included a watercolor class, a kids’ night hike, an extraordinary fireworks show, and the crowd-favorite ferris wheel and the spectacular views from its top.

The Annual Oyster Roast

On Friday night, we celebrated a treasured Ford tradition of seeing old friends and meeting new ones at the Oyster House during our Homecoming Oyster Roast. Members enjoyed freshly roasted oysters, boiled shrimp, small bites, and cocktails among great company. 

Viva La Ford! – Homecoming Gala

Arguably the highlight of the week for most of our members, our Homecoming Gala was a night of extravagance—not soon to be forgotten. Members arrived dressed to the nines, enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, played casino games, danced and socialized, and ended the night with a bang with a fireworks show.

 

Click here to learn more about life at The Ford.

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Best On-Water Excursions That Are Just a Boat Ride Away

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One of the nicest things about living in the Georgia Lowcountry is that the transition between seasons tends to be gradual. Even though fall is upon us, we can comfortably enjoy some of summer’s best summer activities year-round—from boat rides and beach days to outdoor dining and more. For those looking to spend some extra time on the water this season, here’s a list of our favorite coastal and riverside stops, each accessible by either car or boat.

1. A Guided Island Tour

This time of year, Ossabaw and Wassaw Islands will feel like your own private oasis. Venture out for a day of solitude—looking out for dolphins or casting a line and seeing what fish you can catch. While you can easily access these islands on your own, we recommend a guided tour—departing from The Ford’s Deepwater Marina, with one of our experts from the Outdoor Pursuits Program as your captain. Be sure to make a stop at one of our favorite restaurants below on the way back!

2. Dinner & Live Music at Fish Tales, Richmond Hill

Located along the banks of the Ogeechee River, Fish Tales is a favorite restaurant among The Ford members. Serving up a rotating selection of fresh fish, delectable fried seafood baskets and famous hushpuppies, it’s fun for the whole family. Take a look at their website for menu details and visit their Instagram page for specials and upcoming events—from live music to boat parades and more.

3. The Wyld Dock Bar, Savannah

Overlooking Country Club Creek in Savannah, The Wyld Dock Bar has plenty of outdoor seating—both totally open-air and covered options—to enjoy a beautiful breeze and view while you eat, drink and converse. Locally caught faves include shrimp or fish tacos, which pair beautifully with small plates like scallop corn fritters, peach salad or chicharrones with truffle hot sauce.

 

4. Skull Creek Boathouse, Hilton Head Island, SC

An hour’s drive from The Ford, Hilton Head Island is a picturesque destination with an abundance of things to do—from strolling through museums to exploring wildlife refuges to relaxing on the beach. Of course, one of our favorite things to do is feast on local seafood with a stunning view of the water. Skull Creek Boathouse is a landmark, award-winning restaurant—famous for its lowcountry eats.

 

5. AJ’s Dockside Restaurant, Tybee Island

Comfort food with a view—what more could you ask for? AJ’s Dockside Restaurant serves up crab legs, jumbo shrimp and all types of fried seafood—sure to please any palate. Tybee Island offers quite a few impressive attractions for being such a quaint city. Make a day of it and explore the pier and pavilion or take a walk around Fort Screven or the still-functioning Tybee Island Light Station.

Looking for more adventure? Here’s a taste of life at and beyond The Ford.

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View Fall’s Rainbow at The Ford—Autumn’s Visual Palette Spans the Color Spectrum

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As for the less-lively (but no less fascinating) parts of nature—most of the leaves retain their bright, dominant green, but if you take a closer look, there are pops of rainbow colors all around. We encourage you to take the naturalist challenge with us in the next few weeks of prime time: when outdoors, see how many of these fall colors you can spot!

As for the less-lively (but no less fascinating) parts of nature—most of the leaves retain their bright, dominant green, but if you take a closer look, there are pops of rainbow colors all around. We encourage you to take the naturalist challenge with us in the next few weeks of prime time: when outdoors, see how many of these fall colors you can spot!

Red

Observe plants hosting colorful berries, ripe and ready for migrating birds and other animals to feast upon.  The Yaupon Holly is one of our most distinctive plants along the dike trail when the red berries begin to ripen. Yaupon is dioecious, which means that male and female flowers are born on separate plants; male yaupon hollies do not produce berries. The berries can be red, orange, or even yellow, and birds and other wildlife will feed on them through the winter months. Its scientific name, Ilex vomitoria, is given for these toxic berries, which Indigineous People would ingest to induce hallucinations and vomiting during religious ceremonies.

Orange

Look for chanterelle mushrooms! These edible orange mushrooms grow along the wetlands and embankments of our dike trail from time to time. Warning; never eat a mushroom if you are not certain of its identity—false chanterelle mushrooms, orange peel mushrooms, and jack-o’-lantern mushrooms are also common here. They have a similar color but can be toxic.

Yellow

Fun for this exercise but not great for the local ecosystem is the Chinaberry tree—commonly spotted at The Ford. Chinaberry is an invasive species with yellow berry-like structures. These make them easy to identify, along with their speckled bark.

Green

When you think of an acorn, do you automatically think brown? Ripe acorns are brown, but there are many bright green and yellow acorns falling from the many species of oak trees right now, particularly along the dike trails. Seeing this variety of acorn color means the oak trees are dropping the seeds prematurely and are under stress. This may be due to a very hot summer, heavy rains, poor pollination, or disease. Recent and frequent heavy rains in this region could be the reason there are so many of these beautiful acorns on the ground.

Blue

The great blue heron is often spotted along our dike trails, particularly the Lake Clara Dike Trail. White ibis, green herons, little blue herons, black night crowned herons, yellow night crowned herons, wood storks, snowy egrets, cattle egrets, and great egrets all call The Ford home during roosting season in the spring. Most of these still hang out in the area during the fall for its excellent fishing grounds. These birds can make up their own natural rainbow with the many colors they have! Even the rare roseate spoonbill, North America’s only native pink bird, was recently spotted at The Ford.

Purple

Did someone spill their bag of grapes on the trail? No, these grapes are Georgia’s native muscadines. The vines grow along the ground and on trees and shrubs. The higher the vines reach, the more sunlight they get and the more fruit they produce. In October, muscadines are at the end of their growing season, so you may see some trampled on the trail. It is best to pick them in the summertime, but many animals will eat these throughout the growing season.

Make time to walk outside today to find your own rainbow of colors, like the ones cited or others that catch your eye! There are many colors to feast your eyes upon right now! If you would like to take a guided nature walk with The Ford’s own Naturalist Brittany Dodge, please contact her at [email protected].

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Top 5 Savannah Restaurants To Visit For A Night Out This Fall

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It’s no secret that Savannah is consistently rated one of the top cities in America for its vibrant culinary landscape, serving up everything from classic Southern comfort food to gourmet farm-to-table eats. And while our residents are known to frequent the city’s authentic staples, like Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room and Sisters of the New South, we’re no stranger to Savannah’s ever-evolving restaurant scene. Below, read up on the top five joints to visit for an exciting night out this fall—all just minutes from The Ford’s gates. 

The Olde Pink House

Imagine traditional lowcountry cuisine with an elegant twist, all dished out in an extravagant Colonial mansion painted, yes, pink. One of Savannah’s top-rated restaurants, The Olde Pink House is renowned for its memorable dining experience featuring fresh-caught seafood, prime aged beef and classic Southern fare like the popular jumbo lump crab cake with fried green tomatoes and a remoulade sauce. If you haven’t been yet, consider this the season to do it. 

Photo Courtesy of The Planters Inn

The Grey

Who wouldn’t want to eat dinner in a 1938 Art Deco Greyhound bus terminal that’s been masterfully restored to its original luster? Not only that, The Grey is serving up some of the best modern Southern eats with a deep, layered and soulful approach thanks to acclaimed Chef Mashama Bailey. The menu is structured around the seasonality of Savannah and differs each evening, but one thing is for sure — it’ll be a meal you won’t forget. 

Photo Courtesy of OpenTable

Husk

Set within the heart of Savannah’s Landmark Historic District, Husk is completely redefining Southern cuisine. Occupying a landmark mansion with charming porch seating, the popular restaurant features an ingredient-driven menu that accentuates the bounty of the surrounding area, resulting in a truly novel lowcountry dining experience. From the shrimp and grits to pimento cheese profiteroles, you can’t go wrong with anything on their ever-changing menu.

Photo Courtesy of Husk

The Emporium

A modern Savannah hotspot, The Emporium features a stylish, eclectic ambiance that perfectly complements its locally sourced, seasonal menu. Located on Perry Street, the energetic destination features a highly curated wine market and kitchen where you’ll find everything from fresh-caught fish to wood-grilled filet to wild mushroom toast. Simply put, it’s a not-to-be-missed fall dining experience.

Photo Courtesy of Perry Lane Hotel

The Collins Quarter

By day, The Collins Quarter is a bustling, vibrant café. By evening, it transforms into a candle-lit restaurant that’s perfect for your next date night. Featuring a delectable menu that reflects both authentic Southern flavors and the rich culinary diversity of Australia, The Collins Quarter offers a unique twist on Savannah cooking with just-picked produce, interesting meats and, of course, fresh seafood. Just be sure to order the pan-roasted scallops with corn and chorizo as a starter.

Photo Courtesy of The Collins Quarter

Click here to explore all that awaits in your backyard here at The Ford. 

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Top Fall Events Near The Ford

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Temperatures are starting to cool down, leaves are changing colors, savory and spicy scents are filling the air—fall is finally here. While it may not be time to bust out your sweaters, boots and scarves just yet, it’s definitely time to embrace the spirit of the season. See what’s happening near The Ford this autumn and get a glimpse of how our members will be spending the next few months.

The Savannah Jazz Festival

September 23–26, 2021 | Coastal Jazz Association, Inc. | Savannah, GA

The annual Savannah Jazz Festival is free to attend with tent tickets available for purchase for various concerts. Featuring internationally renowned performers and regional favorites, the event is a huge hit among locals and visitors alike. In addition to enjoying food, drinks and live music, we recommend a visit to the newly opened Savannah Jazz History and Hall of Fame Exhibit at the Savannah History Museum. The festival will also be streamed live for jazz lovers around the world to enjoy.

Image Credit: Savannah Jazz Festival

Phil the Park

October 9, 2021 | 5 p.m. | Forsyth Park | Savannah, GA

A local tradition, Phil the Park is an outdoor concert put on by the Savannah Philharmonic as they begin their 2021–2022 season. This year’s theme is “Soundtrack of Savannah,” which is centered on connection, celebration and local culture. Free to the public, Phil the Park is a family-friendly event. Bring lawn chairs, blankets and a picnic and enjoy feel-good jams, movie soundtrack faves and more.

Image Credit: The Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus

Rock Music, Axe Throwing & Bonaventure

October 9, 2021 | Southbound Brewing Co. | Savannah, GA

Presented by Rocky Road Touring and Shannon Scott, the kickoff for the Halloween season is sure to be a hit. Event-goers will get to enjoy local beer at a favorite brewery and try their hand at axe throwing via Blade & Bull. Ticket holders also get entry into a special concert at Bonaventure Cemetery the following day. Note: This event is 21+ only.

Image Credit: @bladeandbullsavannah on Instagram

Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival

October 15–17, 2021 | J.F. Gregory Park | Richmond Hill, GA

The 22nd annual Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival is a must-see for seafood lovers and, truly, anyone looking for a deliciously unique lowcountry event. The festival—which is one of the largest seafood festivals in the South—features live music, amusement rides, arts and crafts, and all of the seafood you could ask for. 

Image Credit: @goseafoodfestival on Instagram

SCAD Savannah Film Festival

October 23–30, 2021 | Savannah College of Art and Design | Savannah, GA

Hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), this annual film festival celebrates independent and major studio films from around the world. Events throughout the week will include film screenings, announcements of film competition award winners, special exhibitions, panels and workshops, conversations with honorees and more.

Image Credit: SCAD Film Festival

Looking for more to do? Find out what our members will be up to this season by exploring the many activities & events happening at The Ford.

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Savannah Ranked No. 3 in Travel & Leisure’s World’s Best Cities Awards Survey

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It’s official—The Ford Field & River Club’s neighboring city of Savannah is truly more beloved than ever. In a survey for Travel & Leisure’s World’s Best Awards, the “Hostess City of the South” ranked #3—making it the highest ranking Southern city on this year’s list. Readers rated U.S. cities on their sights and landmarks, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping and overall value.

“Southern cities continue to steal the hearts of T+L readers,” notes the article. “Thanks to the wonderful mix of warm hospitality, approachable size, excellent food and striking architecture.” 

“Savannah is the jewel of the South,” one  reader remarked of the highest-ranking Southern city. “Bustling and up-and-coming, full of history and culture,” another said, citing unique attractions like the American Prohibition Museum.

Luckily for members of The Ford, Savannah and all its enchanting attractions are just 20 miles from the community—a short drive away. When The Ford is home, enjoying this top-ranked city—either for a weekday dinner or weekend excursion— is as easy as can be. 

Read the full article here

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Our 4 Favorite Fall Activities in Savannah

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Out with the summer crowds, in with clear skies, warm sunshine and a palpable sense of calm. Simply ask any of our residents at The Ford and you’ll quickly realize there’s no better time of year to explore Savannah than the fall. As the heat and humidity of summer days fade, the city begins gearing up for a host of events to usher in the new season. That’s why we compiled a list of four activities to partake in this fall so you can experience the best of Savannah’s stellar weather, rich history and breathtaking lowcountry.

Spooky Ghost Tour 

Nothing says fall like a haunted, Halloween-inspired ghost tour. If you’re not afraid of a bit of paranormal activity, you should definitely explore Savannah’s spooky side with the experts at Ghost City Tours and Genteel and Bard, or you can even set foot on a walking ghost and cemetery tour with Sixth Sense World. Be prepared to see the city in a whole new, supernatural light. 

Photo Courtesy of Visit Savannah

Historic Carriage Ride

Want to learn the history of Savannah without the fright? Then a carriage tour is perfect for you. Our friends at Savannah Carriage offer both public and private tours on their horse-drawn carriages, bringing you through eight of the city’s beautiful squares in about 50 minutes. Simply sit back, relax and enjoy the historic sights of Savannah.

Photo Courtesy of Lucky Savannah

Riverboat Cruise

More of a water person? Look no further than a riverboat cruise. Through Savannah Riverboat, you can hop aboard the Savannah River Queen or Georgia Queen for an evening of dinner, entertainment and an unforgettable perspective of the city. As soon as the weather starts to cool in Savannah, you’re guaranteed an experience unlike any other.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Savannah

Museum Hopping

Savannah certainly doesn’t fall short on both indoor and outdoor museums, offering up a truly eye-opening experience in what’s considered one of America’s greatest cities for art. When the crowds clear in the fall, it’s the perfect opportunity to visit spots like the 1820s Davenport House, the contemporary Jepson Center for the Arts and the Georgia State Railroad Museum — among so many more. Better yet, plan a museum crawl for a fun fall day activity.

Photo Courtesy of Telfair Museums

While its magical riverfront setting might feel like a world of its own, The Ford is just a hop, skip and jump from Georgia’s most beloved destinations. Explore our neighborhood here

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Watch Bonneau Ansley Share an Up-Close Look at The Ford

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Here at The Ford Field & River Club, team members often forge a lasting connection to our distinctly beautiful, 1,800-acre property on the Ogeechee River and its unique combination of outdoor adventures and relaxed lowcountry living. Among The Ford’s most cherished relationships is with Bonneau Ansley, who began his real estate career representing properties at The Ford back in 1999, right after graduating from University of Georgia. 

After his initial work with The Ford all those years ago, Bonneau went on to become founder and CEO of Ansley Atlanta Real Estate and founder of Ansley Developer Services. 

Today, Bonneau is one of the top selling real estate brokers in Georgia. And, under Bonneau’s guidance, Ansley Atlanta has been named one of the fastest-growing middle-market companies in Georgia.

We are honored to have Bonneau back working with The Ford alongside Dimitri and Nick Cassini, members of The Ford and Managing Partners of the Development Group. In the video above, Bonneau gives an up-close look inside 120 Riceland Way within The Ford’s newly expanded Silk Hope enclave (the home sold not long after its video debut for $1.15M). The neighboring home at 96 Riceland Way is complete and available for sale—click here to learn more. Bonneau also takes viewers to a few of his favorite amenity spaces at The Ford: the private Deepwater Marina and Pete Dye Golf Course

Now is the perfect time to experience The Ford Field & River Club and tour available properties. 

Contact Danielle Hopper at [email protected] or 912.756.5614 to arrange a Discovery Visit.

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The Ford Hosts Georgia Open on Our Pete Dye Championship Golf Course

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For the fifth time in six years, The Ford Field & River Club was honored to host the Georgia Open golf tournament on its 250-acre Pete Dye Championship Golf Course. Featuring a parkland-style front nine and a links-style back nine, The Ford’s award-winning course was described by the late Pete Dye himself as one of his “finest Southern designs.”

This year’s field consisted of 144 players from across the state ranging from club professionals, mini tour players and elite amateurs. Despite some heavy rain—a full four inches over the course of the tournament—the event concluded on August 5 with Matt Nagy winning the title of 2021 Georgia Open Champion with a 72 hole total of 15-under par.

“Members enjoy seeing the best players in the state come to test their skills at our golf course,” says The Ford General Manager Marc D. Ray. “Not only do members come out to watch, they also volunteer for live scoring on the weekend. This event is an opportunity to show players from all over Georgia how truly special our golf course at The Ford is. Despite all the rain during the week, players were in awe of how firm and fast our greens remained, which provided a great championship.”

Throughout the tournament, many pro players were overheard expressing their delight in The Ford’s course, which is shaped by coastline, meadows and freshwater lakes—Matt Nagy was even overheard remarking that The Ford was home to “the best greens I’ve ever putted on.”

“I think the players most enjoyed the lowcountry setting our course sits on as well as our distinct and unique front and back nine,” says The Ford’s resident PGA pro, Ryan Skipton. “The course’s conditioning and our firm and fast greens as well as the ability to stretch over 7,400 yards makes us the perfect venue to host this championship. The feedback I got from the players was they were fascinated with how well our golf course took on the rain all week. We were able to provide championship conditions and it was a very successful event.”

Arrange a Discovery Visit to experience The Ford’s Pete Dye Championship Golf Course as well as our numerous other amenities and tour available properties.  Contact Danielle Hopper at [email protected] or 912.756.5614 today.

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The Ford Debuts All-New Equestrian Video

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Experiencing The Ford on horseback is one of the most rewarding ways to explore our lowcountry oasis—the romantic setting is truly like riding through a movie set. We are excited to unveil an all-new video that captures the essence of our equestrian offerings—from trail rides to dressage, beginner’s lessons and more. In this new video, we hear from Equestrian Director Kate Jones about why horses are such fascinating creatures and what makes riding at The Ford such a special experience. Plus, we’ll explore the state-of-the-art Equestrian Center—complete with 22 stalls, a members lounge, and 22 acres of turnout paddock.

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Top 5 Summer Activities at The Ford

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With summer officially here, activities are heating up at The Ford Field & River Club. Whether you’re looking forward to venturing out each day to embrace the warm weather or you’re more inclined to spend the sunny quiet afternoons strolling under the shady oaks or kicking back on the porch while the kids run free—The Ford is where everyone can have their perfect summer. 

Below, Mike Womble, Director of Outdoor Pursuits at The Ford, shares some of our members’ favorite ways to stay cool (or embrace the heat) and create summer memories that will last a lifetime.

Pool Days

Solo or with family and friends, days at the Lake Dye Pool are not to be missed. “With kids out of school and adults wanting to take a cooling plunge, we have lots of excitement happening in and near the pool,” says Mike. Plus, the adjacent Lake Dye Grill is open for the season—serving fresh burgers, icy cocktails and more to enjoy poolside.

Summer Camps

In the summer months, The Ford’s staff naturalist Brittany Dodge hosts two-week-long Kids Summer Camps. “During each session, 15 to 20 kids enjoy the pool, learn about nature, make nature-themed crafts, try their hand at golf, create (and eat) fun treats with The Ford’s on-site chef, go fishing and just have a blast being a kid,” says Mike. As for parents—they’ll get days to themselves, followed by tired-out (and happy) kids in the evenings.

Evenings by the Campfire

No summer at The Ford is complete without at least a few evenings under the stars. Head to The Main House and watch the sunset by the pool, fire up s’mores at the Oyster House’s outdoor fire pit, or opt to get a table at the Clubhouse and take in the evening—and the golf course greens—alongside a great meal. Wherever you go, keep your eyes peeled for flickering lightning bugs and listen to the crickets sing—this is what summer dreams are made of.

Crabbing

“All summer long, crabbing for Georgia Blue Crabs is in full swing at the flood gates along Lake Clara,” says Mike. “Huge 6- to 9-inch crabs can be caught at these ‘pinch points’ along the Lake Clara Dike Trail. You can throw out a trap and wait, but the most fun is to take crab lines with chicken necks tied to them and lure the crabs to the surface to net them. Expect hours of fun for the kids and the kids-at-heart in your family.”

Horseback Riding

Exploring The Ford from about five feet off the ground is a spectacular way to enjoy both nature and adventure any time of the year—and summer is no exception. The Ford houses more than 10 miles of bridle trails—explore them on your own horse, borrow one of ours or set out on a guided tour. Make sure to cool off in the Equestrian Center’s comfy members’ lounge after a leisurely ride through the lowcountry.

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4 Fish to Angle for this Summer

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“Summer is a great time to be a fisherman here at The Ford Field & River Club,” says Mike Womble, Director of Outdoor Pursuits at The Ford and a trusted resource on all things angling. “Some of the most sought-after game fish show up in large numbers when the water gets warm around here. Whether you are a fly fisherman or use conventional tackle, you won’t be disappointed with what our waterways have to offer.”  Discover four of the fish species you’ll likely hook this season at or near The Ford.

Sea Trout & Redfish

“Just a short boat ride from The Ford is Ossabaw Sound, which offers the angler numerous fishing opportunities,” says Mike. “Spotted sea trout and redfish are schooling around nearly any small creek mouth or oyster shell bar in the sound—and while live shrimp is the go-to bait to catch these scrappy fighters, they will also greedily take shrimp or crab pattern flies.”

 

Triple Tail

As June arrives, so does the Triple Tail. “A fly fishers dream—these fish have the habit of floating on their side and can be sight-casted to by the fly angler,” notes Mike. “They will also take many different artificial and live baits for the conventional angler. The average size of these little monsters is 5-20 pounds. The great thing about Triple Tails is that they are amazing table fare. Let your Ford guide filet your catch and take it up to our chef at the Clubhouse for an amazingly fresh and tasty meal—prepared to your liking.”

 

Tarpon

“Late June brings the king of all game fish to our coastal waters—including the Tarpon. These giants migrate here and stay around till late September,” says Mike. “Usually caught on live bait like mullet or menhaden, these fish range in size from 50-150+ pounds and will test any angler lucky enough to hook one. Once hooked, these fish make incredibly acrobatic jumps—sometimes reaching 10 feet in the air!  They are the holy grail of sport fishing, for sure. We typically take a picture and release them to fight another day.”

 

Largemouth Bass

“If you would like to stay on property, the Ford offers almost 300 acres of freshwater lakes and ponds to delight the Largemouth Bass angler,” says Mike. “Summer is the best time to catch these fish using topwater lures and flies. During early mornings and late evenings, these tough fish will greedily take a frog pattern, lure or a wounded baitfish lure from the surface and show off when hooked with some amazing acrobatic moves. The average size Largemouth Bass caught at The Ford is between 2-6 pounds, with a few bruisers in the 7-10 pound class caught every summer.”

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VIDEO: Explore The Ford’s World-Class Golf Course

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Golf at The Ford Field & River Club is more than just playing a game—it provides players a one-of-a-kind connection with the unique riverfront setting, one another and the native wildlife. This is no accident, of course. Designed by World Golf Hall of Fame legend Pete Dye in 1987 and redesigned by Dye again in 2014, our 250-acre golf course pays homage to and utilizes the natural surroundings of the Georgia Lowcountry throughout its 18 holes. In this video, Ryan Skipton, PGA and Director of Golf at The Ford, touches on the history of golf at The Ford, why it’s a favorite pastime and much, much more.

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Why Horseback Riding is the Best Way to See The Ford

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Choosing how to explore The Ford Field & River Club’s picturesque expanse of riverfront and lush marshland is like navigating an entrancing fairy tale. With acres of carefully preserved waterfront, tree-shaded fields and well-kept trails, there’s certainly no wrong way to see the property. Yet, there’s one method of motion we can’t recommend highly enough—horseback riding.

“Horseback is simply the best way to see The Ford,” says Equestrian Director, Kate Jones. Whether you’re tacking up your own horse conveniently boarded at our 22-stall Equestrian Center or taking one of The Ford’s club horses for a ride, there’s something special about experiencing this one-of-a-kind lowcountry setting while connecting with a magnificent, gentle creature.

Horseback riding is innately about trust between you and your horse. It’s a way to slow down, to literally experience a new perspective (after all—you’re sitting 5–6 feet above the ground), and to appreciate the beauty and strength of another being. If that doesn’t sound lovely enough on its own, consider your surroundings. “The slow, leisurely pace is like riding in a movie set,” says Kate. “The property is so romantic, with live oaks dating back to the 1700s.”

When you take a one-to-three-hour ride (timing is based on your preference), you’ll get to experience all the beauty that is The Ford. “Our scenic rides meander through 1,800 acres of stunning property,” says Kate. “We have 12 miles of integrated trails throughout our community, all of which offer glorious views capturing the best of what the Georgia Lowcountry has to offer.” As for what those glorious views might include? “Peaceful live oaks draped with Spanish moss grace our riding trails. We also enjoy spectacular water views along three miles of embankments, where we often catch glimpses of shore birds and leaping fish.”

We asked Kate to choose a favorite riding trail at The Ford—a nearly impossible feat, in her eyes, “because they are all so spectacular!” While not to discount the other great trails, she highly recommends two in particular: The McAllister Dike Trail (1.5 miles long) and the Lake Clara Dike Trail (1.8 miles long). Each she says “offer particularly interesting flora, fauna and wildlife, as they are right on the Ogeechee River.”

Hungry for more? Once you’re ready to venture beyond The Ford, notes Kate, “we also organize off-property trail rides and beach rides for our members throughout the year.”

To learn more about all that The Ford has to offer, contact Danielle Hopper at 912.756.5614  or [email protected].

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Neighborhood Spotlight: Savannah

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A quick 20 miles from The Ford Field & River Club, you’ll find quintessential Southern charm in the form of Georgia’s oldest city, Savannah. Rich history, intricate architecture, decadent food, friendly people, picturesque scenery—it’s no wonder Savannah has been ranked among Travel + Leisure’s “11 Perfect Weekend Getaways in the U.S. and Around the World.”

Located just across the river from the South Carolina border, this historic coastal city boasts 22 park squares shaded by towering Southern live oaks draped in Spanish moss. Picturesque and quaint while still being bustling and vibrant, Savannah is the perfect daytime excursion or weekend “staycation.”

For those new to Savannah or those wanting a fresh perspective on the Hostess City of the South, here’s a guide to help you plan your next adventure.

Food & Drink

Leopold’s Ice Cream

For over a century, this old-school ice cream parlor has been satiating the sweet tooths of locals and tourists with their world-famous ice cream and sherbet. Leopold’s menu contains unchanged recipes from 1919, evergreen flavors, and a monthly rotation of seasonal flavors—including vegan offerings.

The Olde Pink House

Recognized by Condé Nast Traveler, Southern Living, Food Network and more, this charming pink house-turned-restaurant is a must visit. Served by candlelight, the dinner menu includes Southern favorites with flair. Rumor has it, the building is haunted by (friendly) ghosts—which is not uncommon for the historic city.

Crystal Beer Parlor

Holding the title of Savannah’s oldest restaurant, Crystal Beer Parlor opened up in 1933 during the Great Depression and has remained a favorite for nearly a century. Grab a burger and choose from an impressive list of beers on tap and savor a little taste of history.

Two Tides Brewing Company

Dabbling in varieties from sours to stouts, Two Tides is always brewing up something to suit your palate. Stop in to purchase a pack of cans or get a growler filled—or bring your friends, your dog, or your friends’ dogs and sip on a beer flight in their tasting room.

Art & History 

Kobo Gallery

Partially a result of the local Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Savannah has a thriving art community—showcased in museums, galleries, and pop-ups around town. The co-op Kobo Gallery is a wonderful place to discover local artists, from painters and jewelers to photographers and ceramicists.

Jepson Center

Spotlighting a rotating feature of exhibits as well as more permanent collections, the Jepson Center can be enjoyed at your own pace or on a guided tour. In addition to art, the Jepson Center houses an interactive children’s space called ArtZeum as well as an interactive gallery for technology-based art called TechSpace.

Fort Pulaski National Monument

Surprisingly well intact for a 19th-century fort, fallen during the Civil War, Fort Pulaski is a sight to see for anyone with a passion for history. The water-adjacent fort features moats, drawbridges and mysterious tunnels. The site also happens to be a great place to spot protected animal species, including bald eagles and manatees. (Technically, the fort is located on Tybee Island—more on that below.)

Activities & Adventure

Savannah Historic District

Savannah’s Historic District is the perfect place to choose your own adventure. Start with a stroll along the Savannah River, then venture into shops, join a moonlit walking ghost tour or take a ferry ride along the water.

Forsyth Park

Occupying more than 30 acres, the 1840s-era park is the oldest and largest public park in Savannah. Visit the iconic fountain (installed in 1858) for a photo opp, set up a picnic under a towering oak tree or grab a cup of coffee from a local shop and walk along the shaded paths.

Tybee Island

Just minutes from Savannah lies 5 miles of stunning beachside bliss. Relax in the sand, kayak on the sea, explore Georgia’s oldest and tallest lighthouse (built in 1736), grab a seat at an oceanfront restaurant—the day will be what you make of it. Be sure to keep an eye out for bottlenose dolphins, often spotted frolicking just offshore.

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4 Refreshing Springtime Cocktails

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Springtime is a delight here at The Ford Field & River Club. The weather is perfectly balanced: not too hot, nor too cool; not too humid, nor too dry. From the blooming magnolias to the symphony of birdsong that resounds throughout the grounds—every corner of our riverfront community is teeming with vibrant energy.

What better way to complement springtime’s good spirits than by sipping on—well, some good spirits! Join us at the Clubhouse for craft cocktails or take a little inspiration from our expert cocktail mixers and shake up one of our signature drinks on your own. Using fresh ingredients and served chilled, these four cocktails are the epitome of springtime refreshment. For maximum enjoyment, pair each with good food and even better company.

Pomegranate Margarita

One of The Ford’s most beloved springtime cocktails is our Pomegranate Margarita. This light, refreshing drink is a hit at any party and looks stunning in any stemware. Plus, it’s super easy to make ahead of time or on the fly. It’s quick to mix—no shaking or blending required—and has a sweet, fruity taste that everyone is sure to love. The recipe is beautiful in its simplicity, calling for just four easy-to-find ingredients—which allows you to splurge on a high-quality tequila.

Ingredients
• 1 1/2 Ounces White Tequila
• 1/2 Ounce Orange Liqueur
• 3–5 Ounces Pomegranate Juice, to Taste
• 1 Splash Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice

Directions
Pour ingredients into a glass with ice, stir, and serve.

Jalapeño Margarita

When you’re in the mood for something fresh and spicy, our Jalapeño Margarita is the way to go. This cocktail is perfect year-round, and you can control the spiciness by adjusting the amount of jalapeño.

Ingredients
• Jalapeño
• Lime
• Simple Syrup (50/50 half sugar, half hot water—mix until the sugar is dissolved)
• Tequila
• Cointreau

Directions
Cut jalapeño (with gloves on) and add to a shaker glass. If you prefer your Jalapeño Margarita less spicy, cut the seeds out.
Muddle the jalapeño to break it up and get the juices going.
Cut a lime in half and use a hand juice squeezer to add the juice to the glass.
Add simple syrup (to taste).
Add tequila.
Add Cointreau.
Add ice.
Shake, strain, and pour over a glass of ice.
Add sliced jalapeño and serve.

Bloody Mary

A Bloody Mary is just the thing to compliment brunch on The Ford’s Clubhouse porch, overlooking the rolling greens of the golf course. Made with Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix, our secret ingredient and decadent garnish, this is one delicious daytime drink.

Ingredients
• Worcestershire Sauce
• Tabasco
• Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix
• Savannah Vodka
• Secret Ingredient (see below)

Directions
Fill a shaker with ice and pour in vodka.
Add Bloody Mary mix.
Add Tabasco and Worcestershire Sauce to taste.
Shake it up.
Pour over glass with ice and strain into a glass filled with ice.
Secret ingredient: Pour Guinness Beer on top. This adds a little extra texture and flavor.
Garnish with picked okra and bacon.

Mojito

When you need something to get your mojo back, our Mojito will do the trick. This simple but delicious drink is perfect to enjoy on sweet spring evenings. Adding fresh berries or fruit purée is a great way to spruce up this classic cocktail.

Ingredients
• Fresh Mint
• Lime
• Raspberries
• Simple Syrup
• Rum
• Soda Water

Directions
Fill a shaker with ice and pour in rum.
Add simple syrup (to taste).
Add mint leaves.
Cut a lime in half and use a hand juice squeezer to add the juice to the glass.
Shake it up.
Shake, strain, and pour over a glass of ice.
Top it off with soda water, mint and raspberries.

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Real Estate

A Look Inside (and Out): 120 Riceland Way in
Silk Hope

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Overlooking the lush neighboring wildlife preserve with scenic marsh and meadow views, 120 Riceland Way is one of two built homes in the newly evolved and expanded Silk Hope enclave at The Ford Field & River Club. 120 Riceland Way is a short golf cart ride from The Ford’s extensive amenities and within walking distance of the community’s Great Lawn (under development) and the historical Oak Allée, lined with towering trees draped in Spanish moss.

Conceptualized by renowned architect Bobby McAlpine in collaboration with Tippett Sease Baker Architecture of Atlanta, Silk Hope’s home designs are a fresh, inviting lowcountry take on the quaint cottages found in the country villages of rural France and England.

120 Riceland Way offers ample private outdoor space and a sunlit, open floor plan designed for seamless indoor-outdoor living—ideal for enjoying the mild year-round weather here in the Georgia Lowcountry. Each Silk Hope home is crafted with durable materials such as brick, stone, slate roofs, board and batten and timber, all of which require minimal maintenance and improve over time. Whether a home for a season or for always, 120 Riceland Way is the perfect, hassle-free, lock-and-leave family retreat.

Totaling 3,405 square feet—including the patio and heated garage—this home is set over two levels and features three bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms. It is brimming with coveted amenities, including high tech smart home security, a versatile second-level office, large bedrooms and living spaces plus an outdoor patio, private walled garden and a heated and cooled garage with golf cart storage. Take a closer look below…

Central Community Location

120 Riceland Way is moments from Silk Hope’s many thoughtful community elements, including a community fire pit that overlooks the wildlife sanctuary (perfect for roasting s’mores by starlight) and a pristinely maintained water fountain with surrounding garden—a lovely stopping point during a morning walk or evening stroll.

Spacious Living Room with Fireplace

Filled with natural light, this home’s main living room opens to the kitchen and features a wood-burning fireplace, high beamed ceilings, recessed lighting and hardwood floors.

Sleek, Open-Plan Kitchen

The hosting-ready, open-plan kitchen is outfitted with stainless steel Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances, stone countertops and custom white wood cabinetry. An oversized island seats three and is illuminated by eye-catching modern rustic pendant lights.

Sun-Filled Dining Room

Located by the front entry, the dining room area receives ample natural sunlight through floor-to-ceiling windows—plus soothing views of Silk Hope’s acres of surrounding greenery.

Naturally Bright Bedrooms

Every bedroom—including this inviting main floor primary suite—is replete with natural light and airy, high ceilings.

Grand Primary Suite Bath

The main level primary suite connects to a spa-like bath that boasts a standalone soaking tub, stone floors, dual vanities, custom cabinetry and a large steam shower.

Versatile Upper Level Loft

120 Riceland Way offers a second-level loft area, ideal for a home office, den or study area.

Generous Outdoor Space

Out back, find a private walled garden and a large covered porch complete with fan and lighting. This multi-functional outdoor room can host family, friends and guests in all seasons—thanks to the mild lowcountry climate.

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A Day in the Life of a Kid at The Ford

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Families have been vacationing or living full-time at The Ford Field & River Club for decades. With 1,800 acres of natural splendor filled with endless opportunities for fun and adventure, it’s the kind of place where new traditions come easily.

The Ford’s magical setting delights adults and kids alike—young ones will love making friendships that will last a lifetime. Here are some of the unforgettable memories your kids will make—both with and without you—while at The Ford.

Interactive Lessons at the Naturalist Center & Oyster House

On-site naturalist Brittany Dodge makes learning about wildlife and the environment fun for all ages. Kids can learn how to live harmoniously with nature through habitat preservation activities, up-close encounters with wildlife creatures and explorations around the lowcountry grounds.

Cooling Off With an Epic Swim

The Ford has two swimming pools, one at The Main House and one at the Lake Dye Complex. While The Main House pool is best for leisurely days of sun and relaxation, the Lake Dye Pool is designed to be family-friendly, with a kiddie pool, hot tub and adjacent grill and Sports Barn.

Fishing on the Ogeechee River

The Ford enjoys four miles of Ogeechee River frontage, perfect for fishing. The river supports a healthy ecosystem of freshwater fish, including largemouth bass (most abundant during the springtime), catfish, crappie and redbreast sunfish.

Horseback Riding Lessons

Kids of all skill levels are invited to take lessons and saddle up for trail rides at the on-site Equestrian Center. Members can board their own horses or borrow one of The Ford’s for a day of lessons or leisurely rides through the property’s 10 miles of trails.

Golf on the Pete Dye-Designed Course

This scenic, award-winning course is open to golfers of every skill level. The no-tee-times course is challenging enough for pros, while still offering fun for the whole family. Kids can enjoy playing the course with their family or friends year-round, and every week, we offer a clinic for junior golfers to learn etiquette and rules and improve their game.

Enjoy a Little Healthy Competition

In and adjacent to the Sports Barn, find pickleball, tennis and squash courts; a dock for canoeing and kayaking and cycling trails. Adventure is calling, and here at The Ford, kids will have a blast answering on their terms.

Learn to Shoot Like Katniss with Archery Lessons

The Ford’s on-property archery range gives new shooters an opportunity to learn more about the sport and provides a setting for the seasoned archer to practice prior to an actual hunt. A wide variety of 3D targets, including deer and wild hog, replicates real hunting situations. As an added bonus, we also have a BB and pellet gun range for junior shooters. Members of the Outdoor Pursuits team assist in instructing all junior participants. Private archery lessons with the Atlas Target Thrower or at the 3D archery range are also available.

Kids Crabbing and Shrimping

Kids will learn how to catch and clean crabs and use a cast net to catch shrimp from Lake Clara. This seasonal activity is an excellent way to expose children to some of the wonderful bounty of the Lowcountry.

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Nearby Attractions: Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge

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There’s nothing quite like springtime in the South. Birdwatchers, wildlife enthusiasts, photographers—you all know how special the country is when the days get a little brighter and the weather a little warmer. With its 1,800 acres to explore, The Ford Field & River Club is a springtime paradise, and is the perfect starting point for so many excursions into prime, untouched lowcountry land.

On April 16, members of The Ford and guests are invited to join our naturalist Brittany Dodge at the Deepwater Marina to set out for a springtime paddle of Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge—just two hours from home. Participants will meet at the Deepwater Marina, drive to the refuge then set out for some scenic adventures by kayak and canoe.

Established as a refuge and breeding ground in 1937, the Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge comprises 353,981 acres of National Wilderness Area. It’s also considered a Wetland of International Importance as one of the world’s largest intact freshwater ecosystems. The Suwannee and St Marys Rivers both come to a head within the refuge. Visitors can explore the vast wilderness by hiking, canoeing, or kayaking, or on a guided boat tour.

Because of its protected status, the refuge supports a thriving ecosystem of extraordinary wildlife—from more than 600 species of plants to rare swamp animals, birds and more. Spring is the perfect time to visit, with water lilies in bloom and wildflowers coming to life on the canals of the swamp. Below, get a glimpse of what you might encounter on this day trip. Just remember: it’s infinitely better in person.

5 Wildlife Species You Might Encounter at Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge:

1. American Alligator

With life spans of up to 50 years in the wild, the American alligator is one of the few native species without a natural predator (except for humans and the occasional adversarial alligator). Female a

lligators typically reach lengths of 8.2 feet, while males average around 11.2 feet. They’re found in freshwater—including rivers, swamps, and marshes—from North Carolina to Texas.

2. American Black Bear

Once at risk of endangerment, the black bear has made a successful comeback—thanks to wildlife management and conservation efforts. Spring sightings of black bears are now fairly common within the South, especially if venturing into dense wooded or swamp regions. These solitary animals range in weight from 200 to 600 pounds, making them the smallest bear species in North America.

3. Red-cockaded Woodpecker

Taking up residence among the Longleaf Pine, these small woodpeckers are likely to be heard before they’re spotted. Keep your ears tuned to the sounds of nature and look out for a black-and-white striped back and white cheek. Though it’s unlikely to be seen without binoculars or a camera, the bird has one standout feature: a tiny red streak (“cockade”) at the top of its cheeks.

Image courtesy of internationalsportsman.com

4. Gopher Tortoise

Protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), gopher tortoises are much smaller than you might imagine. Reaching weights of eight to fifteen pounds, these long-living reptiles (up to 100 years) are primarily herbivores. They provide invaluable services to the local ecosystem: their burrows offer shelter for smaller species, and their droppings spread seeds from many plants.

5. Sandhill Crane

Along the waters of the Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge, you’ll spot many wading birds. The most distinctive is arguably the sandhill crane—a tall, gray bird with a red “crown” at the top of its head. Keep your eyes peeled among tall grasses and shrubs, as you may spot a pair of these beauties nesting together.

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5 Birds to Watch for at The Ford this Spring

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Spring has arrived in the lowcountry, and The Ford’s 1,800 acres of oak groves, meadows and riverfront are buzzing with an array of winged friends—making now the perfect time to take up birding. Accessible to all ages, birding can be done in any part of the world, and it’s now the fastest-growing outdoor activity in America. According to a survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 51.3 million Americans report that they watch birds. And more are taking up the hobby all the time.

Come Sunday, March 28, members of The Ford and guests will be able to partake in the season’s Birding Bonanza, led by naturalist Brittany Dodge in partnership with the Ogeechee Audubon Society. During the two-hour event, members will receive a laminated photo field guide, The Ford bird checklist and a Bird Bingo game perfect for practicing one’s skills.

“Backyard birding really kicks up a notch in spring time, since many birds we learn to recognize at our feeders over the winter are now getting ready for nesting season and looking for prime nesting sites,” says Brittany, who recommends the McAllister Dike trail and the Woodpecker Walking Trail as great (and somewhat secret) areas for birding at The Ford.

“The coolest birds to me are the raptor-like songbirds, like the loggerheaded shrike or the mini-raptor, the kestrel,” says Brittany. “Though we rarely see these birds here at The Ford, there is one loggerheaded shrike that resides right in front of Lake Sterling, and I always get excited when I see him. I also love seeing the belted kingfishers when they show up during spring and summer, as well as ‘butterbutts’—or yellow rumped warblers. These warblers are true songbirds and pretty easy to spot here at The Ford.”

Brittany’s top tips for new birders? “Get a good set of binoculars and don’t get overwhelmed,” she says. “Learn a few basic birds that are easy to recognize and learn them well. You will eventually be able to distinguish the tougher birds. Going by color is a good start, but learning the silhouettes of birds are the most important!”

Below, we highlight five birds to watch—and listen—for this spring at The Ford.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

This petite, long-tailed forest-dwelling bird is known for its near-constant motion and high-pitched, rather rambling and squeaky calls—birders often hear a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher before they see it.

Carolina Chickadee

Found in wooded areas, this jaunty chickadee sports a black cap and bib separated by stark white cheeks. Its call echoes its name: “chick-a-deee-deee-deee.” This is a great bird for first-timers to get acquainted with, as warblers and other migrating songbirds often associate with them—spot a chickadee and one will likely find many more species.

Eastern Bluebird

A ground forager that lives in grasslands, both male and female Eastern Bluebirds boast the striking royal blue hue on their body, head and tail feathers. Their short, wavering call sounds like “tu-a-wee.”

Tufted Titmouse

This stocky, soft grey and white songbird has a splash of peach under each wing and whistles out a call that sounds like “Peter-Peter-Peter.” It can be seen flitting through forest canopies, hanging from twig-ends and dropping into bird feeders.

Carolina Wren

While the cinnamon-hued Carolina Wren is shy and usually tricky to spot, there is no mistaking its call—one of its startlingly loud exclamations sounds like “teakettle-teakettle!” This wren resides in brushy thickets, lowland swamps, bottomland woods and ravines.

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Savannah Ranked No. 1 in the Nation for New Industry and Development

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Living tucked away in The Ford’s magical riverfront setting can make it easy to forget that just 20 miles away is Savannah, our region’s beloved “Hostess City of the South.” Now, this vibrant historic city has a fresh new accolade—the publication Site Selection recently ranked Savannah as the nation’s number one city for new industry and job creating developments.

Rising to the top spot from number 12 in last year’s rankings, Savannah is a burgeoning economic powerhouse. Site Selection highlighted the growth of the Port of Savannah, Gulfstream Aerospace and local e-commerce retailers in their ranking decisions.

Savannah’s continued growth expands the opportunities for cosmopolitan adventures for members of The Ford, many of whom already enjoy revelling in the charm of Savannah’s cobblestone streets and oak-shaded parks, and exploring its captivating selection of independent boutiques, award-winning restaurants, buzzing bars and breweries, historic buildings and contemporary museums.

Enjoying a day or a whole weekend in Savannah may entail everything from embarking on horse-drawn carriage rides to catching live music performances. There’s already ample charm to city outings, but with this historic surge in Savannah’s development, we can expect to see even more exciting possibilities in months and years ahead.

Read the full article here.

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Uncommon Living Redefined

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What is Uncommon Living?

Life at The Ford Field & River Club is far from ordinary. It is not only the world-class staff, exceptional beauty of the Georgia Lowcountry, top-rated golf course, immaculate real estate, and unrivaled quality of amenities that make our community so special – but the familiar faces and places of The Ford Field & River Club that make life here so unique.

Our majestic waterfront location once captivated automobile magnate Henry Ford’s imagination, so much so that he built a historic winter retreat on this lush property in the 1930s. Today, the property is one of the nation’s leading luxury communities and private sporting clubs, featuring 400 home sites nestled on 1,800 breathtaking acres. In fact, Town & Country magazine has named The Ford Field & River Club one of the top seven safe havens in the country, recognizing enclaves that offer an outstanding quality of life and exceptional amenities.

Uncommon Amenities

Speaking of amenities, this private sporting community features a challenging Pete Dye golf course, on-site day spa, deepwater marina, world-class equestrian center, state-of-the-art fitness center, shooting preserve, swimming pools, and more than 10 miles of scenic horse, biking, and hiking trails.

The property’s one-of-a-kind homes range from cozy two-bedroom cottages to five-bedroom estate homes, many of which were designed by renowned architects. Each lot and home is unique and convenient to club amenities – many within walking or biking distance for a relaxing lifestyle in the temperate Southern climate.

Uncommon Lowcountry Lifestyle

The Ford Field & River Club’s intimate setting in Georgia’s lush Lowcountry provides the kind of coastal living most people only dream of. This breathtaking community is a sportsman’s paradise and outdoor enthusiast’s dream, where memories are made on land, at sea, and right in your backyard. As much a premier sporting club as it is a private residential community, The Ford Field & River Club is located on the Ogeechee River banks, with the Atlantic Ocean a mere 20 miles away.

A private marina affords members convenient access to inshore and offshore fishing opportunities. Guided fishing trips can be easily arranged through the staff guides at Ogeechee Outfitters, the on-property source for fishing boating supplies, as well as a number of popular outdoor apparel brands.

Our diverse calendar of events immerses members in the laid-back Southern lifestyle for the social butterfly that makes our community so unique – creating a sense of community where neighbors are friends and friends are family.

Uncommon Accolades

At The Ford Field & River Club, we’re no stranger to accolades. The Platinum Clubs of America award ranks The Ford Field & River Club among the top five percent of all clubs in the United States and the top 150 clubs. The Distinguished Club Elite award, another feather in The Ford Field & River Club’s cap, is the only merit-based award program that recognizes private clubs and their management for outstanding delivery of exceptional member experience. Both awards recognize the world-class experience members enjoy every day.

Creating the Platinum Clubs of America experience goes far beyond excellence in amenities and the property’s beauty. Achieving this milestone is the result of an intensive planning process and the execution of a long-range strategy by The Ford Field & River Club management staff and board of directors to recruit world-class talent, invest in infrastructure, increase conservation efforts, adapt to changing times, and take the steps necessary to ensure the legacy of the property for future members.

As defined by Distinguished Clubs, “member experience” is that special combination of qualities that a private club provides its members. It is not just the quality of service, the facilities, or the product provided; it is also the staff’s quality and the management and the overall club governance they deliver.

“These awards reinforce what we already know: Ford enriches the lives of members and their families by fostering enduring friendships and providing a competitively superior variety of first-class amenities,” said Club Board President Jeff Fusile. “These awards are a wonderful validation and much-deserved recognition of everyone’s efforts.”

Uncommon Golf

Included in The Ford Field & River Club‘s member experience is Pete Dye’s signature golf course, which he proclaimed to be his “finest Southern links.” In 2014, The Ford Field & River Club Golf Course underwent a $7.5 million renovation with Pete Dye’s direct involvement and had since received numerous accolades and continuous high praise from renowned golf publications, including Golf Digest “Best Golf Courses in Georgia,” Golfweek’s “Top 100 Best Residential Courses,” and Host for the Georgia PGA Open.

This year, Ford was named one of GOLF Magazine’s top courses in Georgia in its 2020 – 2021 rankings. Of 416 courses in Georgia, The Ford Field & River Club was ranked the 15th best course in the state, alongside such prestigious company as the world-famous Augusta National. In 2016, The Ford Field & River Club received certification in Environmental Planning from the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses (ACSP).

Our version of laid-back luxury living celebrates all the great outdoors has to offer, traditions steeped in Southern charm, and a sense of community you won’t find anywhere else. This is Uncommon Living at The Ford Field & River Club.

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Plant Riverside District

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Nestled on the waterfront of Savannah’s historic River Street, Plant Riverside District is a sprawling fusion of luxury and lights. From walls composed of sparkling geodes to hotel rooms laced in European elegance, it is safe to say there is something for everyone here—almost too much for a single day trip.

The music strumming from bars, the slew of visitors, the glass storefronts that look like terrariums filled with delightful wares—it’s overwhelming at first, especially if you had grown accustomed to what was once the sleepier end of River Street.

“What is this place?” a man asks in wonder as he stands beneath the colossal, 137-foot, chrome-dipped dinosaur skeleton that hangs from the ceiling of the JW Marriott lobby.

Plant Riverside is many things, but conventional is not one of them. It houses a collection of shops and galleries, an intimate outdoor performance venue, and more than a dozen restaurants, including three rooftop bars with stunning views of Savannah and South Carolina. Then there’s the hotel itself, so imperceptibly woven into the fabric of the district’s sights, that it takes you by surprise when you suddenly discover you’re standing in the lobby.

Like the hotel lobby, it feels as if the district’s many amenities are without borders—you find yourself entering, exploring and exiting spaces without even realizing it. Around each turn are visual delights like suspended models of an ancient species of bird with expansive wings and the entryway to the base of one of two iconic smokestacks around which Plant Riverside District was built, revealing the sky hundreds of feet above.

The overall design is a study in opposites—where high-tech and old-world, sleek and textured, old and new seamlessly blend together. In this way, Plant Riverside is a successful renovation, bringing modern experiences to the Hostess City while remaining respectful of its rich history.

The history of Plant Riverside really begins with the two towering smokestacks that crown the former power plant, climbing high into the firmament. At the turn of the century, the site housed the Savannah Power Company Riverside Station, which helped to power the city’s infrastructure during the transition from gas to electric. With WWII raging in Europe, the Port of Savannah was converted into a predominantly military cargo port. When the war ended, the riverfront became dilapidated and undesirable and fell into decay for the next several decades.

The power plant, however, endured. Smoke poured heartily from the stacks until the plant closed in the late ’80s. It remained vacant for decades in spite of the fact that tourism along the opposite end of River Street had been flowing steadily for almost 50 years.

“The Savannah Power Company Riverside Station was the largest and most prominent industrial building near downtown, making it a desirable adaptive reuse project,” says Robin Williams, chair of architectural history at Savannah College of Art and Design. He explains that due to its location at the west end of the waterfront, it made perfect sense to place a hotel where the vast majority of visitors would come to explore Savannah’s distant past.

Richard Kessler, a Savannah native and renowned hotel developer, happened to be the man with the ingenuity and the means of acquiring such a rare piece of real estate. Hidden away within the rusty rafters of the high-vaulted skylights and the charmingly crooked alleyway underpasses, Kessler saw the glint of a gold mine. He and his team of designers, including architect Christian Sottile, an international, award-winning urban designer and dean of SCAD School of Building Arts, set out to imbue every brick with energy.

Each moment spent roaming among the boutiques and exotic restaurants brings a range of fresh, exciting and dazzling sensations back to River Street. This experience is only enhanced when you notice it’s framed by a building that has watched Savannah grow for more than a century.

“The goal of preservation is to preserve historic architectural fabric,” Williams explains. “Unlike other forms of cultural expression, architecture must answer to practical realities of being useful.” With renewed purpose—to attract tourists and locals alike with enchanting one-of-a-kind experiences—the once-forgotten Power Plant has remained true to its roots by bringing new energy to Savannah’s waterfront.

PlantRiverside.com

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Annie, Get Your Gun

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Most people know the story of Annie Oakley, the famous sharpshooter who traveled across the country with her husband and her rifle, showing how she could not only compete with but also outshoot most of the marksmen who dared to challenge her. Oakley was ahead of her time in the early 1900s, breaking into a male-dominated sport and paving the way for the growing number of markswomen to take aim at shooting.

Drawing on the historic figure’s efforts to advance women, the Annie Oakley Shooters formed to encourage and empower more women to participate in clay shooting sports. “The Annies,” as they like to refer to themselves, formed in the early 2000s in Atlanta when a group of women wanted to join in shooting events even though only a few had ever even handled a gun. That’s not to say they couldn’t learn, of course. For everyone, there is always a first—the first golf swing, horseback ride, swim stroke or pitch. These women wanted to take their first shot, and when they did, they fell in love with it. Then they wanted other women to join them—to form a community of markswomen.

When the group of shooting friends decided to host a women’s clay shooting competition, the first Annie Oakley Tournament was launched in 2004 and has since become an annual event. Today, the Annies are one of the fastest growing women’s shooting clubs in the country, with groups assembling in central and southeastern Florida, northern and southeastern Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina.

The Lowcountry Annie Oakleys, the Savannah chapter, operates out of Forest City Gun Club, the oldest continually running gun club in the country. Each month, 30-40 markswomen gather at Forest City for an afternoon of clay sports shooting and good company. The ladies spend two hours honing their skills as sharpshooters by taking lessons or firing off a hundred rounds. After they pull, aim, fire and repeat, the women often convene at local haunts in the nearby Sandfly district to refuel with lunch before returning to their work, be it at home or in the office.

“I’ve been with the Annies for about five years now,” explains Peggy Gillenwater, a resident at The Ford Field & River Club and member of Forest City. “We are a really inclusive group that lets in women from all across the spectrum of shooting experience.” This includes novices, experts, and everything in between. “But we all come to have fun,” adds Gillenwater, which is how she has managed to convince another Ford resident to participate even though she’s never held a gun.

There are about eight Ford residents who belong to the Annies, and when they’re not at Forest City, the women can practice in their own backyard, relatively speaking. “We have two certified shooting instructors at Ford, Mike and Danny,” says Gillenwater. “They teach at the nearby Dorchester Shooting Preserve, which is actually perfect for us because as residents of Ford we are also members at Dorchester.” The 5,000-acre hunting preserve offers a world-class sporting clays course with 15 fully automatic stations for shooters of all levels.

The group’s current membership is primarily women 50 and older, which the women particularly enjoy. “The older generation is mature and there’s less drama,” says Carrie Bazemore, a Savannah resident and member of the Lowcountry Annies for the past three years. “This is important because it takes a lot of focus to learn the sport and gain good technique.” Though Bazemore also adds that the group is very welcoming of youngblood. “We certainly don’t want to prevent the younger generation from joining in,” she says.

Alongside the fun of shotguns and sporting clays, the Annies use their good aim to fund good causes. “Shooting is such a great outlet for me,” expresses Bazemore, “but I also participate to help out with the charities.” Since the club’s inception, it has brought enormous sums of money to local charities, reaching their goal of raising one million dollars in the span of just five years.

“I’ve been to a lot of gun club charity events in the area and I have to say the Annies do an amazing job,” notes Gillenwater. Some recipients of these funds include Dwaine and Cynthia Willett Children’s Hospital, Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia, and Jasper County Boys and Girls Club. The Annies have also generously awarded $108,000 to CURE Childhood Cancer, another $108,000 to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire and $54,000 to the United Way of the Coastal Empire.

“We want to see around 40 teams sign up for these charity events,” Gillenwater explains. She says that teams of four people usually pay an entry fee around $1,000 to $1,250, which goes toward the chosen charity and helps cover the cost of hosting the event. “Of course, the alcohol helps enliven things,” Gillenwater says, laughing. “Auctions always work better when there’s a little bit of wine going around.”

Bazemore shares a quote from Annie Oakley herself, saying, “God intended women to be outside as well as men, and they do not know what they are missing when they stay cooped up in the house.” But getting women outside is only part of the equation. “I feel like the group empowers me,” Bazemore exclaims. “Shooting a gun empowers me.” Add this all together and it’s clear that building a supportive group of women who care as much about growing their sport as they do about lifting up their community is what the Lowcountry Annies is all about.

AnnieOakleyShooters.com

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Tale of Two Spaces

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Savannah is known for seamlessly honoring the past while updating for the future, making it the most well-preserved city in America. Every building has a story to tell. Some of these stories are told by the people who remember, and some are told by the buildings themselves.

The Vault Kitchen + Market opened in 2017 and quickly became the Hostess City’s dining locale de jour that had everyone talking. Three years and a pandemic later, they’re still talking about this chic Asian-fusion restaurant tucked into Savannah’s emerging Starland District, which is why you’ll still find more locals gathering there than tourists. Owners Sean and Ele Tran took the former Bank of America location that served the community for more than 50 years and transformed it into a sleek restaurant with a funky industrial vibe.

From the artful lockbox sculpture of a bull decorating one wall (a nod to Wall Street, one would imagine), to an intimate dining space inside an actual bank vault, The Vault’s atmosphere is a treasury created by clever deposits of whimsy. Stacks of safety deposit boxes adorn the bar and even the restrooms are paved with nickels. Despite its conservative and clerkish origins, the modernized space is open and airy with high, beam-exposed ceilings and an open-view kitchen—that is, if you get there before the crowds.

While the interior space is intimate, the outdoor dining option is an excellent option. The covered space is expansive to accommodate large groups and social distancing.

Locals are a discerning lot when it comes to dining, but they’ve long been won over by the success of The Vault’s owners who have a collective of 11 stellar restaurants throughout Savannah. With each new opening, Savannahians may fear that the culinary couple may be spreading themselves too thin, but we quickly eat our words—with a heap of steaming pork and duck dumplings, and thick slices of fresh sushi aptly named The Bank Roll.

The dishes at all of Sean and Ele’s restaurants are fresh, thoughtful and delicious. At The Vault, you can bet on the Spicy Tuna Tartare from the appetizer menu and the flavorful Miso Salmon as a main dish, and with menu prices running between $4.95 and $16.95, you won’t break the bank.

TheVaultKitchen.com, 912.201.1950

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Good Bones

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Often referred to as “the boneyard,” Driftwood Beach is a relatively small stretch of Jekyll Island’s 10 miles of unspoiled shoreline, but it’s easily the most picturesque. Located on the island’s north end, it’s so protected by trees that it’s not visible from the roadway. But park and venture down winding trails and in just a few yards you’ll emerge onto a beach scattered with ancient driftwood monuments bleached by the sun and preserved by the salty air.

Looking out across the length of the beach, it’s as if the ocean had washed the bones of prehistoric animals onto the shore, where they bleached over time. The limbs are gnarled and knotted, reaching out in various directions before being fixed in time and space. It’s both eerie and beautiful—a tension reminiscent of the Southern Gothic tradition; like Flannery O’Connor herself had crafted this scene.

I have lived in Savannah for two decades, and yet I only just recently discovered Driftwood Beach when a friend took me there on a day trip this past summer. I had been to Jekyll Island a number of times over the years for tennis tournaments, conventions and retreats—once I even rode my bicycle around the island’s perimeter as the first 10 miles of a century ride, but I had completely missed this gem of a site.

What made the view even more breathtaking was the giant belly of the capsized cargo ship “Golden Ray” in the distance. Lying on its side, all that was visible was its red ballast, dwarfing the St. Simons’ coastline beyond it. While the ship will eventually be dismantled and removed, its menacing presence adds another layer of enchantment to the experience, the industrial metal form lying in stark contrast to the organic shapes around it.

We visited midweek as to avoid the onslaught of tourists that seem to know more than I, filling the beach at steady rates. But it was also six months into the pandemic, so we were able to spread out, snap photos as we negotiated around the driftwood, and cool off in the surf, running our toes along the ocean floor to find sand dollars and spiral shells as big as our hands.

Driftwood Beach alone is worth the drive, but the barrier island has even more to offer—most notably a fascinating history dating back 3,500 years. While the earliest inhabitants of the southernmost island of the Golden Isles were Native Americans who traveled there to hunt and fish, the first settlers were British colonists, claiming the land for England. General James Oglethorpe founded the colony of Georgia in 1733, and along with it, Jekyll Island. It was then purchased in 1886 as a private winter retreat for some of the wealthiest families in America, including the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts and Pulitzers.

What’s referred to as the “Club Era” marked the opening of the prestigious Jekyll Island Club and the construction of spacious vacation homes and outbuildings to serve elite families. Now part of the National Historic Landmark District, visitors can tour these historic sites and stop in at the Mosaic Jekyll Island Museum.

The Great Depression and WWII brought the Club Era to a close and Jekyll Island was purchased by the state of Georgia in 1947 and opened to the public as a State Park a year later. To preserve its history and natural beauty, only 35 percent of the island has been developed, offering lodging, shopping, dining, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, and a variety of ways to enjoy the outdoors with trails, bike paths, tennis courts, golf courses and even a water park. The remaining 65 percent has been left in its natural state. This includes five unique, family friendly beaches of which Driftwood is only one—though make it the first on your list.

Visiting Jekyll Island
All vehicles entering the island must purchase a parking pass at the main gate. Single- and multi-day passes are $8, an annual pass is $55. Walkers and bicyclists do not need to pay a fee to visit the island.

Jekyllisland.com

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Meet Executive Chef Frank Chiasera

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The Southeast has a magical way of pulling you back if you stray too far for too long. Maybe it’s the languishing live oaks, the winding waterways, or the way the sun’s rays dance off the swaying marsh grasses, giving them a golden hue. Or maybe it’s all of this plus more, nestled in a small, unique and oft-overlooked part of the country.

It is for Frank Chiasera.

Chiasera grew up in Niagara Falls, New York—a fact that his drawn-out vowels belie before he even has the chance to tell you. At 16, he recalls walking down to the corner Italian restaurant and getting his very first job as a dishwasher. He has been in kitchens ever since.

Chiasera remained in New York to study at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, and upon graduation, he worked in a couple of popular restaurants before entering the world of member clubs. “I really love the member experience,” he says. “I get to know the membership; I get to know what they like and dislike, but I also understand their dietary needs and preferences and my menus reflect that.”

He first ventured to Mississippi in his mid-20s, cutting his teeth as a line cook before being offered a sous chef position at the Harbour Club, Charleston’s premier private business and social club. As is characteristic of the industry, Chiasera later pinballed around the eastern seaboard, with stints at the Citrus Club in Orlando and Colleton River Plantation in Bluffton, South Carolina, where he committed to buying a home. Nonetheless, a position at the Peninsula Club in Charlotte lured him northward, but he kept the house on Hilton Head, knowing that he’d eventually return to the place that captured his heart.

“When I was first at Colleton, I don’t think I really appreciated the beauty until I moved to Charlotte and there’s no ocean,” Chiasera admits. Eventually, he and his wife, along with their three teenage daughters, returned to their home in South Carolina for the long term, and that’s when he joined the Ford family as Executive Chef. “Now, I have made it a point to not take for granted how beautiful my surroundings are,” he says. Since returning, he and his wife have committed to getting outdoors more, which includes adding a couple of kayaks to the mix. “I really want to take advantage of the gorgeous surroundings,” he says.

Chiasera is right at home at Ford, appreciating not only the surroundings, but also the flexibility, creativity and challenges that the position affords him. “The great thing about a member club is that our menus change weekly, so our challenge is to keep it fresh and different, yet consistent,” he says.

As an example, Chiasera notes how the kitchen currently has Grilled Octopus and Burrata Cheese & Sliced Tomato Salad as appetizers and that they’ll also throw in a classic like Chicken Piccata. “We’re all over the board,” he says. “Everything from Mexican to curries—you name it. We try to push the envelope.”

One of the things he loves best about Ford is that he has the freedom to experiment with the menu. “I base my menus around what the membership likes,” he says. “So, if I run a new item and it doesn’t sell, it comes off the next week. If they love it, we’ll run it an extra week and put it in the rotation for down the road.” As such, the membership really helps shape the menu.

So do the seasons. A garden on property supplies a good deal of herbs, seasonal fruits and vegetables which Chiasera then incorporates in the menu. Throughout the year, the garden yields beets, radishes, asparagus, figs, grapes, squash, heirloom tomatoes, strawberries and blueberries. There’s even a small pecan orchard on property. “We’ve just started some hydroponic growing trees, so we’ll see how those come out,” he says. “The garden has been a lot of fun and the membership loves it when we put those items on the menus.”

The property also boasts a number of citrus trees. “We have kumquat, lime, grapefruit, tangelo, tangerine and orange trees,” Chiasera says. But the garden and orchards are new territory for the chef. “I’m still learning. In the future we’re going to focus on fewer items but more yield so we can run the items longer,” he says.

In spite of his New York upbringing and working in a fast and furious industry, Chiasera remains personable and unhurried. In fact, dare I say, laidback? Maybe the South has made him its own. This influence is certainly evident in his penchant for comfort food when it comes to cooking for his family. “I love doing one-pot meals, especially in the wintertime,” he says. “Whether it’s a jambalaya or a chicken stew—I enjoy hearty meals.”

Chiasera, along with his wife and daughters, makes a point to go back to New York at least once a year to visit his family and hometown. He goes, but he doesn’t stay. Instead, he returns to the roots he’s happy to have set here in the Southeast.

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