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The Cat Island Rebrand

Jul 15, 2022 | News

Dear Cat Island Friends,

When opening a new club, or for that matter any new business, branding is a critical element of success. One of the most crucial elements of a club is the logo. Everyone reading this note can certainly identify many of the iconic logos from around the country. Some of these logos are as simple as a tree or a map with a flagstick that identifies the location; that said, I am sure very few of us can tell the story of the logo and why it has become synonymous with a particular club. I’m also certain that most, if not all of the members, are unaware of what goes into creating and choosing the right logo to truly ‘fit’ the club. Sadly, some clubs do not put much effort into it at all.

You know the feeling that you get in your soul when something hits you that is “SO RIGHT” that you know in an instant that “this is the one!” You might have felt that way when you met the love of your life, bought the perfect forever home or something as simple as choosing the color to paint your bedroom. When something becomes so perfectly timed, so balanced, so obvious, that it not only speaks to you, but it yells from the rooftop—that is exactly how we felt when we first read the following story for the logo of Cat Island Club. We must give complete credit to our marketing team, Cat Island’s own, Ginger Wareham who is the President of Pickle Juice Marketing. Among so many other things that she has assisted in, the story of the logo of Cat Island Club will go down as one of the all-time best stories for a logo that I have encountered in my entire career. The following piece was written by Ginger and her team, and it SCREAMS Cat Island in a Lowcountry whisper:

Cat Island Club Resurrection Fern: An Emblem of Resilience

Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but a small miracle happens when it rains on the Sea Islands. As many miracles do, this one happens quietly and without fanfare. It appears in the form of an ancient native plant attached to Live Oak trees surrounding Cat Island Clubhouse and golf course.

This unassuming epiphyte teaches us a valuable and enduring lesson about resilience.  In a low-water environment, it can lose up to 97% of its moisture – making it look dead – without actually dying. When the rain comes, so too does the miracle of the resurrection fern (scientific name: Pleopeltis polypodioides – a spectacle of alliteration that is a miracle in and of itself). Before you know it the fern springs back to life, thus the name resurrection fern.

Appearances can be deceiving. To the untrained eye, the brown curled leaves during a drought would lead one to believe the fern is dead. The golf course on Cat Island has been in a state of drought for many years and to the unknowing eye, one might think it’s beyond hope. This course and community however are extremely resilient – much like the resurrection fern. While the adaptable plant can survive an entire century without water, Cat Island does not have to wait that long. The drought is over.

This little fern reminds us that resilience is key in the game of golf and everyday life.

The remarkable secrets of the resurrection fern offer many lessons. Because it’s an epiphyte – or air plant – the fern does not harm the tree it lives on. It harmlessly grows on its host, not as a parasite like Kudzu, but as an environmental companion. It’s an integral part of our Lowcountry habitat that provides food and shelter for birds, lizards, insects, and mammals alike. This is a trait we could all learn from and one we plan to embody at Cat Island Club: to live with one another in mutual friendship and respect, and not impose upon the other to conquer and control.

Golf is unique. No other game is so dependent on the elements of the landscape to be its playing field, to be its obstacles and rewards. Whether it’s a salty breeze as you line up your next shot or the alligators protecting the 18th green, the character of the Cat Island Club is formed by the natural state of the island. Acknowledging and respecting this connection through environmentally-friendly design principles enhances the golfing experience and helps to protect our Sea Island Sanctuary.

The next time you are out and about, admire the Live Oaks around you. See if you can spot the resurrection fern and notice what state it is in. Take a moment to remember that resilience is key in the game of golf and everyday life here on Cat Island.

Now, on to the challenge of resurrecting your game.

So, there you have it, the story of the Resurrection Fern that will be the symbolic brand of our club. You’ll see the simple leaf on golf shirts and caps and all around the club in a few variations. The recent rains have served as a daily reminder that we are indeed onto something incredibly special on our island. Just take a look at those magnificent Live Oaks that protect our clubhouse. Who knew that would become the brand of Cat Island Club and it was here all along? Just add some rainwater and watch the transformation.

Speaking of adding some rainwater, we have been fortunate to have more than adequate water on the golf course provided by the daily afternoon showers. While this is great for the Ferns, it does slow down the process of golf course construction. However, this past week saw more water coming from the irrigation system as well. Our irrigation team continues to make strides to ensure that when we begin the process of sprigging the greens, that we will have sufficient water pressure to keep the sprigs hydrated. This is the most critical step in the process of restoring our golf course. Our plan is to have the sprigs in place by the middle of August, which should keep us on our stated path of playing golf this Fall. Always remember, there are so many elements that go into this project, with weather being one of the most critical. We don’t plan on lighting up any victory cigars until the first putts are holed.

This week on the golf course our construction team, also began shaping the contours and setting the elevations of the putting surfaces. John LaFoy laid out the plans for the intricate topography of the putting surfaces back in the early 80’s and today our teams are recreating those elevations in order to restore the putting surfaces to the intended plan from our architect. For those of you who live on the golf course and can watch the process from your patio, it is reminiscent of an artist creating a masterpiece. Sometimes we don’t see the details until it all comes together in the end. Our golf course construction team is indeed an artist when it comes to bringing our collective vision to reality.

Remember, next Wednesday, you will have a chance to meet and listen to John LaFoy in our first Member Mixer social under the pool cabana. We have nearly 70 members and guests signed up already, and you will not want to miss this event. Mr. LaFoy will share the stories of his life in golf course architecture as well as the story of the place where we call home. I’m confident this night will be highly informative and entertaining and there is still time to reserve your spot. Please RSVP by emailing me directly at Space is limited, so don’t delay. We will be under the Cabana so rain or shine from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM and there is no charge for this event. The Bar will remain open (member charge) throughout the evening, and we’ll be serving complimentary light hors d’oeuvres.

Enjoy your weekend friends. It’s sure to be a bit warm and humid, so join us at the pool bar and restaurant prior to the planned afternoon showers. It may not be great weather for curly hair or picnics on the beach, but it gives life to the Resurrection Ferns and that warms our hearts as we will wear that logo with immense pride one day soon. Have a great and safe weekend and I hope to see you all on Wednesday the 20th at 6:00 PM.

With warmest regards,
Tim Mervosh
General Manager

About Cat Island Club

Cat Island Club is a premier private Country Club nestled in the heart Beaufort, South Carolina’s Sea Islands. A place simply too rare and too beautiful to treat with anything but the greatest care and respect.

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