As far as golf destinations go, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has been one of the most well known places to go in the United States for decades. This beach community on the east coast has evolved over the years to become a top notch location for golf fanatics and family vacations. While someone looking for a high-end experience can certainly find everything they want, I think Myrtle Beach’s sweet-spot lies somewhere between the mid range guys trip to low cost family vacation. My focus here is on the mid-range golf getaway, and nobody does it better in Myrtle Beach than Mystical Golf.
Myrtle Beach Golf – The Mystical Way
Claude Pardue, President and CEO of Mystical Golf has given golfers three very unique and totally different golf courses to choose from, and combined with accommodations at the Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort, they have created maybe the best Myrtle Beach golf package available. More on that later. I took a trip recently to play the courses and see what the Myrtle Beach golf experience was all about. It was my first trip to the area, but I know it won’t be my last.
The Witch Golf Club was our first stop, and it made an immediate impression. The interesting thing about the three courses of Mystical Golf is that each one has its own theme that set it apart from every other golf experience in Myrtle Beach. Designed by Dan Maples, The Witch golf course is set in a swamp, and the holes are spread out over 500 acres with 4000 feet of bridges connecting the holes together. Playing this tricky and visually overwhelming course takes you through deep cypress swamps and dense forests, and you are likely to see plenty of wildlife along the way, including alligators, snakes, deer, black bears and even a bald eagle if you are lucky. The clubhouse looks like a creaky old haunted house, and sits at the high point of the property, right where you would expect a witch to reside. TIP: Buy a yardage book and play the course twice. This course is easier to negotiate once you have seen it once due to some of the doglegs and semi-blind shots you’ll face.
The second Mystical Golf offering is The Wizard. Another Dan Maples design, (Maples designed all three courses) The Wizard transports you to Ireland with a links style course with pot bunkers, huge mounds and gently rolling terrain. The clubhouse resembles a castle ruin and helps set the mood as soon as you walk in the huge, heavy wooden front doors. The wizard’s castle clubhouse is the kind of structure I would have expected to see at Disneyworld, not in South Carolina, but the idea is brilliant and fun. The Wizard greets you with wide fairways and large bent grass greens that roll fast and true. Every hole presents you with a distinct line of play, and if you deviate from that line you are very likely to encounter deep rough, deep bunkers and huge grassy mounds that make your task much harder. This wide open links course doesn’t offer much shelter if the wind blows, and it often does. This course was a blast to play and turned out to be my favorite of the three. TIP: Stay out of the sand on this course and you’ll have a good day. Check the weather forecast and try to visit The Wizard on a calm day, as the wind can turn this track into a beast.
The Man -O-War
Continuing with the themes for each course, the Man-O-War course uses a nautical theme, with the clubhouse set on stilts over the lake like a wooden boat house. Even the tee markers are metal tie down cleats like you would find on the docks. Located across the 100 acre lake from The Wizard, the Man-O-War course is pretty flat, with large bent grass greens. Having a nautical theme of course means that you’ll find water on every hole, as the 100 acre lake winds in and out and between holes. Mercifully the water isn’t in play on many of the holes unless you hit a shot way off line, but on certain holes (like #9 and #18) you can’t bail out because the water is everywhere. With a slope rating of 141 from the back tees, there is nowhere to hide. Fortunately, Dan Maples gave you some chances for birdies with short par fours and a few reachable par fives. The Man-O-War was the perfect course to finish my trip on. TIP: Play conservative, keep it dry and you’ll have a good day. Most golfers play their best later in a trip, so if that is the case for you, play this course last as it is the most challenging of the three.
Pro Play II Package
So, how much will it cost you to visit these courses for yourself? Much less than you might imagine. Called the Pro Play II package, rates start at only $264/person for three nights and three rounds of golf. That’s not a typo! You can play all three courses and stay three nights at the Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort from $264 up to $416 per person, double occupancy, depending on the time of year you go. I challenge you to find a better deal anywhere on the stretch of coastline the locals like to call the “Grand Strand”
Available through June 1, 2014, the package includes three nights’ accommodations at the Sea Mist as well as:
• Welcome cocktail at the Sea Mist Tavern
• Traditional Low-country Oyster Roast (Wednesday only)
• $10 dinner voucher at Sea Mist’s Grille and Tavern
• Daily breakfast at the Sea Mist’s famous buffet
• Sea Mist golf hat
• Complimentary lunch, range balls and two beers at the course each day
• $15 gift card toward a golf shirt at any Mystical Golf clubhouse
• Instant replay round for cart fee only
Sitting on 15 acres of seaside property with easy access from Myrtle Beach International Airport, the Sea Mist features oceanfront and ocean view efficiency condos, hotel rooms, suites, bungalows and cottages. Highlight amenities are nine pools (one indoor), two huge outdoor Jacuzzis, two indoor Jacuzzis, a movie theatre, superb dining and more.
Why it Works
The great thing about this trio of courses from Mystical Golf is that it is a pure golf experience, and golf is the only focus. There are no banquet hall, meeting facilities, hotels, condos or homes on any of the golf courses. There are no PGA pros giving lessons and holding clinics even. The spartan clubhouses for each course go along with the theme of the course and have an intimate and purpose-built feel. Each clubhouse has a pro shop with plenty of logo golf apparel, snack bar, eating area and locker rooms. That’s it. You can eat anything you want at the snack bar, as long as it’s a hot dog, cheeseburger or sandwich. If you want grilled salmon or lobster tail, there are plenty of restaurants around town. This philosophy ensures that the focus remains on a great golf experience and keeps costs down by not offering those extra services that people really don’t want.
Mystical Golf got it right with their three unique golf courses. They are lots of fun to play and give you more variety from course to course than just about any place in the USA. people coming to Myrtle Beach to play golf can look at these courses as the model for a pure golf trip.No fluff, just good golf.
If you are looking for a cheap golf trip that doesn’t sacrifice on quality, the Pro Play II package is hard to beat. For more information about Mystical Golf and these three fantastic Myrtle Beach golf courses, visit www.mysticalgolf.com and for more info on the Pro Play II Golf Package, visit the Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort website.