Golf Vacations - - Front Page - By Tim Cotro­neo

Born into a golf ar­chi­tec­ture legacy dat­ing back to the late 1800s, Dan Maples has de­signed and seen his share of spec­tac­u­lar golf holes. That’s why it’s fas­ci­nat­ing to note the golf photo that greets vis­i­tors on Maples’ cap­ti­vat­ing web­site.

The ini­tial www.maples­de­sign photo jump­ing off your com­puter screen is the par 3, 173-yard, 15th hole at Man O’ War Golf Course in Myr­tle Beach, SC. Read­ers learn that Man O’ War is part of a trio of Maples’ de­signed 18-hole lay­outs known as Mys­ti­cal Golf.

Join­ing Man O’ War in this su­perb South Carolina golf tri­fecta are The Witch and The Wizard. Like the names im­ply, these are one-ofa-kind golf ex­pe­ri­ences. With Man O’ War and The Wizard lo­cated side-by-side, and The Witch just a 20-minute drive, this three­some of Maples master­pieces are per­fect for first-time va­ca­tion­ers look­ing to per­son­ally dis­cover why over 3-mil­lion golfers travel an­nu­ally to Myr­tle Beach.

Man O’ War Golf Course When you play Man O’ War for the first time, it’s hard to be­lieve that be­fore the mid-90s, this pris­tine 400-acre site didn’t fea­ture a sin­gle drop of wa­ter. Keep in mind that to­day, no less than 14 of Man O’ War’s 18 golf holes pay homage to a 100-acre man-made lake. The lake is a tes­ta­ment to the imag­i­na­tion of owner Claude Par­due and the artis­tic touch of Maples.

Be­fore you flinch at the idea of con­tend­ing with that many wa­ter holes, keep this thought in mind: Ev­ery Maples golf course de­sign places a pre­mium on playa­bil­ity. Re­lief is thor­oughly ac­com­plished when you re­al­ize that this 6900-yard golf course fea­tures some of the widest fair­ways found any­where in South Carolina. By the way, the con­di­tion of Man O’ War’s fair­ways are flawless.

The images on the www.mys­ti­cal­ and Dan Maples web­sites re­in­force that Man O’ War is a great golf course for shoot­ing a keep­sake photo or two. The re­flec­tions look­ing back at you from the cen­ter­piece man-made lake are post­card wor­thy. You’ll fin­ish your Man O’ War round in­stilled with the sensation of hav­ing played “mys­ti­cal golf.”

The Wizard Golf Course The club­house is the first thing to grab the at­ten­tion of golfers ar­riv­ing at The Wizard Golf Course en­trance. The Wizard’s club­house ex­te­rior re­sem­bles a Scot­tish cas­tle, com­plete with a sur­round­ing moat. When Par­due con­jured the iden­ti­ties of his Mys­ti­cal Golf cour­ses, his goal was that you’d find his golf off­spring to be mem­o­rable.

The gen­er­ous fair­ways al­low you to find your game in the early going be­fore tack­ling The Wizard’s more chal­leng­ing back nine. The Wizard crescendo builds to­ward the last two holes where you’ll en­counter the Man O’ War golf course lake em­brac­ing The Wizard lay­out in dra­matic fash­ion.

The lake makes a bold ap­pear­ance on the 17th hole, a Par 3 that is

180-yards from the blue tees. This pic­turesque beauty is all carry and fea­tures an is­land green. The 18th hole, a 421-yard par 4, may call for you to lay up with your sec­ond shot, de­pend­ing on how far your drive car­ries. There is a fortress of wa­ter sur­round­ing the front, right, and back sides of The Wizard’s iconic fin­isher.

For those who’ve played Mys­ti­cal Golf mul­ti­ple times, many say that The Wizard is an ex­cel­lent course to play first. With its links-style con­tours and am­ple fair­ways, Maple’s playa­bil­ity thought process is on dis­play at The Wizard.

The Witch Golf Course In 1989, owner Claude Par­due re­searched no less than 30 dif­fer­ent tracks of Myr­tle Beach land be­fore fall­ing in love with 23,000-acres of Wac­ca­maw swamp­land. Par­due was thrilled by the po­ten­tial of cre­at­ing a golf course amidst wet­lands, wildlife, a na­ture pre­serve, and no fewer than five lakes.

To­day, golfers play­ing The Witch find it hard to con­ceive that this serene 6,700-yard 18-hole lay­out is on swamp­land. The tran­quil set­ting is a thing of beauty, and yet there are gen­tle re­minders as to how the course got its name.

Your first witch-like clue comes af­ter hol­ing out on the first green. Your group will cross over a long wooden bridge to the sec­ond hole. On ei­ther side of the bridge you’ll find an eerie vis­ual of cy­press knees pok­ing out from the wet­lands. You’ll soon dis­cover that these long-stemmed tree roots are used through­out The Witch’s 18 holes as South Carolina’s most unique tee mark­ers.

The Witch sep­a­rates it­self from its two sis­ter cour­ses with dra­matic el­e­va­tion changes that Maples in­cor­po­rated into his de­sign. The Witch stays true to the Mys­tic Golf added value mantra by re­ward­ing their clien­tele with pho­to­genic is­land green im­pact holes on num­ber one and num­ber nine.

An­other el­e­ment of The Witch that sort of sneaks up on you is the sheer peace­ful­ness of this lush en­vi­ron­ment. Owner Claude Par­due shared some­thing he reg­u­larly no­tices at The Witch. “Golfers find them­selves whis­per­ing. When I ask about this, golfers re­flect that they weren’t aware of how softly they were speak­ing. It makes me smile to know that this quiet, nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment was ex­actly what we tried to cre­ate almost 30 years ago. That’s just one rea­son we re­fer to our cour­ses as Mys­ti­cal Golf,” Par­due said. http://mys­ti­cal­

Man O’ War

The Witch

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.