Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What Makes Myrtle Beach Such a Great Golf Destination?

If you're interest in golf, it goes without saying you're somewhat familiar with Myrtle Beach.  But, with so many great golf destinations in North America, what is it that separates Myrtle Beach from the others?  Two weeks ago I found myself on an airplane with a goal of answering that exact question.  As we made our way down, giddy as school children, I couldn't wait to experience the 4 day 3 night adventure that lay ahead.  

In order to cram in 4 rounds of golf during our visit, we had no time to waist upon our arrival, got our rental car and headed straight to the course.  With an endless number of courses in the area, we'd be spending out time chasing birdies at Mystical Golf, owner/operator of acclaimed Man-O-War, The Witch and The Wizard golf courses.  All three of the Mystical courses were designed by celebrated architect Dan Maples, and each offer very distinct personalities.  Combined they compliment each other wonderfully, providing a variety of challenges that will keep you engaged throughout your round.   Playing these three courses would truly give us a look at some of the best golf holes in Myrtle Beach.  Here's a closer look at each of the three courses...

The Witch: Awarded 4-1/2 stars by Golf Digest, The Witch has got a lot of character, which makes for a breathtaking golf course that will challenge your skill set. The narrow layout sits regally on 500 acres of tranquil cypress groves and wetlands teeming with flora and fauna. We were told ahead of time that well-placed tee shots to manicured fairways and razor-sharp iron approaches would be rewarded.  I guess my irons weren't sharp enough, cause I feel victim to the Witch on more than one occasion.  

With over 4,000 feet of bridges snaking through a magnificent swamp and wetlands, it made for a 'Mystical' journey around the course where we were also told to be on the lookout for wildlife.  Although we didn't spot any cranes, bald eagles or black bears we did happen upon a half dozen alligators who kept a watchful eye one us. I would say the Witch is a must play while in Myrtle Beach.

The Wizard:  You'll be astonished from the moment you arrive at The Wizard.  The Majestic castle style clubhouse has to be the coolest golf course clubhouse that I've ever seen.  The unique medieval architecture of the clubhouse alone is worth the visit.  But now that you're here, you might as well play a round...

The Wizard is a golf treat. Much more forgiving than the Witch, there are still plenty of challenges including the ever present deep bunkers, mound-framed fairways, and dry gullies throughout.   Golfers’ journeys crescendo with a one-two punch. No. 17 – a classic par-3 ­– requires a well-struck iron onto a Royal Dornoch-style green perilously flanked by water on all sides. The robust par-4 18th is a land unto itself with an island tee, island fairway and peninsula green testing your nerve and skill. Par these two stalwarts and you’ll moonwalk to the 19th hole in the old-world, castle-style clubhouse.

Man-O-War:  This was possibly my favorite of the three courses.  I found Man-O-War to be a happy medium between the two other courses.  But don't get me wrong, Man-O-War is no pushover; featuring water on every hole it is the only course in Myrtle Beach that also boasts a 100-acre lake.

You’ll also find rare back-to-back island greens as well as the stout par-4 ninth completely surrounded by unforgiving H2O. Its commanding 141 slope rating is offset by massive, bent-grass greens – making putting a joy – and tantalizing par 5s begging golfers to go for glory. With no holes playing or even looking the same, the grand illusions and magic of Man-O-War make it a Myrtle Beach must play.

And now back to my initial question, what makes Myrtle beach such a great golf destination?  Clearly there's some great golf to be had, but the full beauty of Myrtle Beach goes beyond the golf course.  The golf was indeed top notch, but to my surprise, there's more to Myrtle Beach than golf alone.  The beach itself provides a great opportunity to kick back, relax, and reminisce on the days round of golf.   The nightlife also looked to be quite active, with several great restaurants and entertainment venues such as the Alabama Theatre (where we saw a great variety act call 'One The Show').  

So all in all, take it from us at Eat Sleep Golf... If you're looking for great golf, awesome food and breathtaking oceanfront accommodations, you won't be disappointing by what Myrtle Beach has to offer.  In fact, have a look at these great stay and play packages (3 nights/3 rounds) for as low as $243/person.