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|The Witch Golf Links near Myrtle Beach is set on more than 500 acres of natural and scenic wetlands. (Courtesy of The Witch)|
CONWAY, S.C. - Golfers aren't a complicated bunch, so it's easy to see why The Witch Golf Links has become a perennial favorite Myrtle Beach-area golf course.
Located in Conway, The Witch sits comfortably in the middle class in terms of price and difficulty.
But this isn't your average Myrtle Beach golf course. From an overall golf experience, it overachieves, thanks to getting it right around the details both on the course and with service.
This is reflected in a recent reader's poll by the Myrtle Beach Sun News as the best golf course for the money and a finalist for Myrtle Beach's best golf course.
To win the hearts of golfers, it meant doing all the little things right, like making a point to get a beverage cart around to groups at least twice a nine, and on the back side the routing even takes you past the clubhouse before the 13th hole if you're in need of a quick boost - it's a necessary amenity on a warm day around these parts.
The service level isn't dependent on how filled the tee sheet is either. Expect corporate outing-type service daily here.
"It doesn't matter if there are two people on the course or it's full, we're always fully staffed," said Elwin Miles of Mystical Golf.
Beverage and food prices are very modest - as are prices in the pro shop. Another plus, course officials make it a point to keep starters and rangers out of your way. Anyone who has played enough resort golf is all too aware of the overbearing starter who unloads 10 minutes of useless rules and tips before letting you tee off. As if you needed even more swing thoughts.
At the Witch, they make it a point to keep information to the necessities.
Like each of Mystical Golf Group's three courses, the Witch is a Dan Maples design, but it's hardly the same type of course as the Wizard and Man 'O War. In fact, the witch is one of Myrtle Beach's more distinct, set on over 500 acres of natural wetlands. There are practically no parallel holes and in most spots you're in another world with nothing but wildlife gurgling in nearby swamps and forests.
Fairways are wider than average, but that doesn't mean driver is always the play. The course isn't especially long at just under 6,800 yards from the championship tees. Many holes feature sharp doglegs, putting a premium on placement off the tee.
This is the case on holes like the short, par-4 ninth, which is a sharp dogleg left over marsh. The fairway is misleadingly wide, because if your tee shot finds the left side, you may be in jail, blocked out by trees between you and the shallow green.
The 15th, another dogleg left, makes its case for the best hole on the golf course. It's a long, dogleg left that plays downhill to a green. It's the kind of elevation change that's few and far between along the Grand Strand.
The Witch stands out from the crowded group of mid-priced golf courses on the Grand Strand in a variety of ways.
Its scenery is unique to the area, weaving through dense wetlands, and is on enough acreage that you never feel on top of another hole. The back nine especially has some generous, natural roll to the land, creating some great shot variety and uneven lies.
The overall, laid back atmosphere is also a bonus. The reasonable prices in the clubhouse and grill are a welcomed change to some of the pricier clubs in the area, and the service is noticeably good here.
Green fees are $103 peak season, though as with most Myrtle Beach area golf courses, vary greatly depending on time of year and can be had cheaper when booked through a golf packager.
July 18, 2008
Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Advisor. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker.
Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.
Referred to by its hosts as a "hidden gem," the greens alone at Sterling Hills Golf Club in Camarillo, Calif. make this a stone worth turning over. Located an hour northwest of L.A., it's a pleasing, quiet and generally engaging round that will appease players of all levels.
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