A first-time experience at The RSM Classic impresses
Jamie Lee Fontaine , office manager - RSM US LLP
The night I received the call that I had won a trip to The RSM Classic, I wasn’t in a position to celebrate. I was at the gym, sweating it out on the Elliptical, and I might have sounded a bit annoyed when Bailey (one of RSM’s Birdies Fore Love co-leaders) called to give me the good news. As soon as I realized what the purpose of the call was, I couldn’t wait to get to Sea Island to see what all the talk was about! I didn’t grow up going to private clubs, and I’m not sure I’d ever been to one until I stepped foot on Sea Island, but I can say that it did not disappoint.
We were lucky enough to be on the same flight and shuttle as Art Yonowitz, lead tax partner in RSM’s Baltimore office. It didn’t take much convincing for him to persuade the shuttle driver to make a stop at Southern Soul BBQ on the way to the resort. Our introduction to Sea Island couldn’t have been more delicious. My friend and guest Jessica, enjoyed a brisket sandwich with collards, and I chose the pork. We were then on our way to The Cloister.
When Jessica and I arrived, we immediately made a trip to The Spa so we could change out of our travel clothes and make our way to the course. Neither of us had been to a golf tournament, and we were excited to meet some new people, see some new sights and learn more about the event and the resort. The scenery was gorgeous – like something out of a magazine – and we began taking pictures right away. We met up with Terri Andrews and Kim Bartok from our national PR team, who gave us a guided tour of the course grounds. We couldn’t wait to visit the RSM 18th green chalet and try some of the food while watching the tournament.
When we got back to the hotel, we were delighted to find out that we would be staying in the Beach House Suites. We felt like princesses! And the staff were friendly and professional. The décor was beautifully historic, whisking us away in a sense of Spanish royalty. This feeling was compounded when we joined the RSM crew in the Colonial Lounge for dinner and Holly Williams’ performance. Not only was the food delicious, but Ms. Williams’ performance was incredible, intimate, and worthy of her predecessors’ talent.
After a restful night’s sleep, we started Thursday with a delicious breakfast. We explored The Cloister a little more by visiting the gym, and we were not disappointed! I’ve never seen such a high quality gym in a hotel space, and, Jessica and I felt like we got our day started off right! Once we burned off our morning meal, we visited the sauna and steam room before heading back to the course. We met up with Bailey at the RSM hospitality chalet, and helped ourselves to the lunch spread while watching talented athletes tackle the 18th hole. It was interesting and fun to rub elbows with families of the players while dining and waiting for shuttles. It gave the impression of “one big happy golf family”. We always felt welcome and part of team.
Much to our delight, we ran into Marty Brunk (office managing partner from RSM’s Baltimore office) and Jason Alexander (one of the firm’s Eminence program participants, whose face was prominently displayed on the wall in the chalet, by the way). Not too long after, Art invited us to the shooting school to shoot some clay pigeons. The experience was one-of-a-kind, and as it turns out, Jessica and I are pretty good shots (although our sore shoulders might tell us otherwise)!
We ended our Thursday by visiting the Black Banks Terrace and enjoying an evening banquet where, as usual, the food was amazing, conversation was easy, and we were both pretty sure we never wanted to go back to Baltimore!
We can’t thank RSM and Sea Island enough for such a unique and intimate experience.