Monthly Archives: March 2023

Back in the Swing


Photos courtesy of Toptracer

A new practice facility is making the cut at the former Jones Creek golf course.

There will be a new player in town starting Masters Week. On Monday, April 3, Bond Golf Global will open “The Practice Club at Jones Creek” on the site of the former golf course in Evans.

“The golf course has been closed for five years, and we want to inject some life back into it,” says Andrew Brooks, founder and owner of Aiken-based Bond Golf Global. “We want to create a good community and a family friendly facility that anybody can use. We want to direct people into the game of golf. It’s open to everybody 100 percent.”

Powered by Toptracer, the high-tech facility will feature eight outdoor bays, eight indoor bays, two covered suites, a sitting area to watch sports and a Junior Golf Academy.

Although the clubhouse is not part of the project, The Practice Club will offer food and beverage services as well.

The Practice Club at Jones CreekIn its second phase, the facility will add a putting green, a chipping green and a practice bunker. Brooks says these areas should be open by the end of June.

“Our vision is to bring back the golf course. We’re looking at what’s required,” he adds. However, he says no timetable has been set for these renovations.

Future amenities also will include club fitting and club repair services.

While some practice facilities are geared toward entry-level golfers, Brooks says, “This will be a next-level facility where people can hit real balls onto a range. It’s a pathway onto the golf course. It’s going to be a special place.”

For more information, call (803) 477-6824 or email

Bacon, Lettuce, Pimento Cheese Sandwich

  • Bacon lettuce and Pimento cheese sandwhich1 cup mayonnaise (not light)
  • 1 (4-ounce) jar pimentos, drained (reserve 1/2 tablespoon juice)
  • Pinch of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch of seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 2-3 dashes hot sauce (optional)
  • 5 cups hand-shredded Cheddar cheese (not bagged)
  • 12 slices bacon
  • 12 slices bread
  • Lettuce leaves

Place first 10 ingredients and reserved pimento juice in a large mixing bowl; whisk together until dressing is smooth. Using a spatula, fold in cheese until evenly incorporated. Cover tightly and refrigerate at least 2 hours. To make sandwiches, cook bacon and drain on paper towels. Spread pimento cheese on 6 slices of bread (regular or toasted) and top with bacon and lettuce. Add remaining bread (plain or lightly spread with extra mayo) and serve. Makes 6 sandwic

The Perfect 19th Hole

In The Home
Home Masters Augusta

Photography by Sally Kolar

For these avid golfers, their custom-built River Island home suits them to a “tee.”

From golf and football, art and entertaining, reading and Star Wars, Evans residents Amy and Dan Lawson have a multitude of diverse interests. They also have the perfect place to pursue their passions in their contemporary River Island home, where their décor is as eclectic as their avocations.

“I love a lot of different styles. I like a clean look and not a lot of clutter. I love wood and natural elements,” says Amy.

Variety of Textures

With its gabled metal roof as well as cedar columns and beams on the brick front porch, the exterior of the home has a traditional feel. However, the custom metal front doors with eight glass panes, which reach from top to bottom, give the first hint of what’s inside.

Featuring white walls and contrasting black trim on the windows throughout the interior, the custom-built house has a contemporary vibe. An open staircase in the foyer features horizontal railings, and large picture windows in the living room bring a spacious feel to the free-flowing floor plan.

A variety of textures adds to the appeal of the home, which features European white oak flooring throughout the house. “It’s cut so you can see the knots,” Dan says. “We didn’t stain the floor — we topped it with a clear finish.”

In the living room, the Lawsons, who moved into the house with their three children in September 2021, showcase some of their interests and creativity. For instance, a golf ball-filled vase of gladiolas sits on the coffee table, and an abstract pallet knife acrylic painting by Savannah artist Vincent Golshani rests atop white oak built-in cabinets.

“Most of our paintings are pallet knife,” says Amy.

The custom-made maple coffee table, which Amy calls “indestructible,” features rough edges and a clear-coat polyurethane finish.

A two-tiered round end table is situated by each of two cream-colored couches in the room, and the neutral palette, featuring shades of white and gray, continues throughout the house.

However, Amy also adds greenery in the living room and other spaces to give the décor a pop of color.

While the two-story ceiling includes a windmill ceiling fan, the upstairs catwalk overlooks the living room.

A white oak beam in the wide doorway matches the horizontal rows of white oak beams on the gas fireplace, where the rocks inside change colors.

Although the stucco living room fireplace is finished to resemble concrete, the custom dining room table actually is made of concrete.

An Astroturf runner stretches from end to end on the center of the table, and three large matching serving platters rest on top of it. With three chairs lining each side of the table, it comfortably seats 12 people.

The top of the side table also is made of concrete, and the surface rests on two cedar posts.

“One of the cedar columns for the front porch was split, so we had it cut to use for the table,” Amy says.

An onyx vase anchors each end of the side table, and Amy displays her collection of Native American horsehair pottery on white oak shelves on a brick wall. “I bought a piece a year for the last few years,” says Amy.

The brick wall includes 10 to 12 Augusta pavers, which originally were street pavers. Thick, 3-inch cove molding accents the room.

“All of our woodwork and trim is really quite plain,” Amy says. “I like the softness of cove molding.”

Relaxing Ambiance

One of their favorite spots in the house is the media room, where the diehard football and golf fans like to watch three sporting events at once on the trio of TVs on a gray shiplap wall. The Lawsons watch movies in the room as well.

“Dark walls make movies show up better at night,” Amy says.

The room also features a sliding barn door with glass panes, two propeller ceiling fans, two computer stations, open white oak shelving, two vegan leather couches and a wet bar with wine racks and a mini fridge.

To show their school spirit, the University of Georgia graduates hung a portrait of Uga, the Bulldawgs’ mascot, above the wet bar. Dan’s mother, Marion Ward, painted the acrylic on another wall. “I like for art to have some connection or to mean something to me,” says Amy.

The dark molding complements and contrasts with the two gray shiplap walls and the two light-colored walls.

For a breath of fresh air when they’re watching sports, the Lawsons can retreat to the covered screened-in back porch that is accessed through sliding glass doors from the media room.

“It’s a good, cozy spot,” says Amy. “We watch a lot of football out here.”

The porch includes a TV, stamped concrete flooring, a tongue-and-groove ceiling, a ceiling fan, Edison lights, wicker furniture and a wood-burning raised hearth brick fireplace with a gas starter. A Masters gnome stands on either end of the wood mantel.

By separating the porch’s white columns into pairs, the view of the woods behind the house is unobstructed.

Offering more outdoor living space, a covered deck along the back of the house includes a tongue-and-groove ceiling, recessed lighting and wrought iron railings. A farm table sports a Masters Tournament theme in the spring.

“The table didn’t fit inside the house, so we moved it outside to the deck,” says Amy.

Resting atop each plate is an embroidered napkin featuring an emblem such as a green jacket, pimento cheese sandwich, golf visor, golf bag, golf glove, golf club and ball on a tee, azalea and flag.

For the centerpiece, more green Astroturf serves as a bed for Masters golf balls and two white vases filled with yellow roses, greenery and a small gnome clad in a green cap and white Masters caddie jumpsuit.

The outdoor living spaces, which offer just the right amount of seclusion and openness, are Dan’s favorite spot to relax. “I feel like I’m in the middle of a forest,” he says.

The fragrant gardenias and tea olives add to the ambiance as well.

“When we’re on the back porch, we can’t even see the neighbors,” says Dan. “But in the winter, we can see the Savannah River from the deck.”

A door from the deck also leads to the master bedroom, which features an accent wall, a propeller ceiling fan, white onyx lamps on the bedside tables and a colorful oil pallet knife painting by Leonid Afremov.

“We have really bright art. I enjoy abstract art,” Amy says.

The adjoining master bath features a walk-in shower with 2-inch-by-4-inch porcelain tiles on the walls, porcelain tile floor, glossy quartz countertops, two vanities and a soaking tub.

Places to Congregate

As much as they enjoy quiet time, the Lawsons also like to entertain family and friends on game days and holidays. An indoor dining area, which runs parallel to the deck, offers plenty of space for guests to congregate.

They can gather around the epoxy resin river table in the dining area, which also features a coffee bar with a hammered metal sink, open white oak shelves and an instant hot water faucet for Amy’s hot tea.

The room includes another fireplace with rocks that change color and a white oak mantel, white oak built-in cabinets and plenty of floor space.

A large island with a waterfall quartz countertop, a sink and retractable outlets is the centerpiece of the adjoining kitchen. Four vegan leather stools offer seating, and the island can hold a spread of food for any occasion.

When it isn’t being used for parties, a large charcuterie board on the island serves as a base for a golf ball-shaped vase filled with greenery and yellow roses. A tray holds a stack of more embroidered Masters-themed napkins.

Other kitchen accents include a pot filler, subway tile backsplash and matte quartz countertops on the perimeter counters.

“I wanted the countertops to look like concrete, but concrete is not a good surface in a kitchen,” says Amy.

More party space is available in the basement, where the golf enthusiasts, who play at least once a week, offer their guests a variety of entertainment options. The space includes golf-themed décor, a golf simulator, pool table, game table, dartboard and weight room.

Amy and Dan, along with tennis-playing daughter Lottie, are avid readers, and built-ins, which flank an artificial turf wall, are full of books. Above the artificial turf wall, five framed golf tournament flags are lined up in a row.

The flags are from the 2020 Masters, 2020 PGA Championship, 2018 British Open, Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the 2014 Drive, Chip and Putt contest. Their oldest daughter, Taylor, won one of the qualifiers in that inaugural event, giving special meaning to the Drive, Chip and Putt flag.

The golf simulator gets a lot of use from Dan their son, Xander, and golf memorabilia includes a framed Masters flag and three Masters Tournament irons hanging on a wall.

“My father had those clubs, and he has no idea where he got them,” says Amy, who grew up playing golf with her dad.

A barn door leads to the weight room, and the top of an iron-based table in a corner was made from the same tree as the charcuterie board in the kitchen.

Dan picked out the basement rug, which features a design of Yoda heads in honor of his penchant for Star Wars. In addition, the wall sconces by the front door and on the wall along the basement stairs resemble the light sabers from the movie.

Another bar in the basement features an antique mirror picket fence backsplash that reflects light, icemaker, fridge, microwave, open white oak shelves, cabinets and wine racks.

“It’s an easy house to entertain in,” says Amy. “Everyone can find their space.”

By Sarah James

In Full Bloom

Garden Scene
Garden Festival Augusta Georgia

Photography by Trudy Rass

If it’s April in Augusta, then it must be time the Garden City Festival.
The Garden City Festival at Sacred Heart is a spring celebration with strong roots in the area.

This two-day event will feature a wheelbarrow full of fun for those with or without a green thumb at Sacred Heart Cultural Center Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22. The annual festival also features tours of gardens that normally are not open to the public.

Festival-goers can gaze at landscape and floral exhibits; discover hard-to-find plants, garden accessories and decorative items in the Garden Market; and listen to experts in the fields of plants, garden design and eco-friendly living as part of the speaker series.

In Wandering Workshops, vendors will teach mini-sessions on various topics with pop-up demos. These quick sessions, located in the courtyard across from the speaker stage, will offer “how-tos” and valuable garden information.

On Seedling Saturday, families can garden together in hands-on activities such as planting sprouted seeds, making seed balls and learning different ways to start seeds. (Admission for children 12 and under is free with a ticketed adult.)

Food and beverage vendors will be on hand as well. Breakfast items will be available inside Sacred Heart’s Great Hall from 9 a.m. – noon Friday and Saturday, and lunch will be sold at food trucks outside the venue from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. both days.

Tickets for the festival can be purchased by calling (706) 826-4700, online at or at Sacred Heart and various locations in the area.

For those who want to branch out from the festival itself, other related events will take place at Sacred Heart as well.

A preview party is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, April 20. Tickets are $75 per person, and the event will include shopping, dinner and music. For reservations, call (706) 826-4700.

An evening garden social, featuring a catered barbecue dinner, music by The Mason Jars and dancing, will be held 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Friday, April 21.

Schvitz — Vulfpeck

Listen To This

Known for their VHS-soul vibe-a-licious instrumentation, Vulfpeck’s sixth studio release, appropriately titled Schvitz — a Yiddish word for sweat — pours a tall glass of refreshing, sweet sonic genius for every ear and skippy-yips to every step.

With a topspin of precision and magic, the Michigander retro wonder kids, Vulfpeck, are back with a warm and wide-eyed groove for the year’s back nine.

Vulf’s back catalog has consisted mostly of instrumental jams with occasional soul-vox provided by Theo Katzman and Antwaun Stanley, but Schvitz is a full Katzman-Stanley pairing that matches the energy and fly-vibes throughout the course of the 10-track groove sandwich.

The album’s opener, “Sauna,” a catchy-hook ditty with a sweet mix of tea olive and magnolia, sets the tone for the entire album.

The disco-inferno punch of “New Guru” and “Simple Step” keeps the BPM at a steady RPM while “In Heaven” and “Romanian Drinking Song” bump and run into a stroke of pure awesome.

The talent and creativity naturally pulled from Vulfpeck’s bag of genius are champion-sized, full-tilt celebrations of sonic mastery that properly bring the swing into spring.

– Chris Rucker