With more than 100 golf courses in the Myrtle Beach area, guests at Bay View Resort on the Boardwalk have a lot options when it comes time to book a tee time.
Bay View has several golf packages available, and the friendly and knowledgeable staff can set you up at some of the most luxurious courses on the Strand, or at more affordable layouts that offer a stiff challenge without the steep greens fees.
One of the best combinations of quality and affordability features an appropriate name for the havoc it can wreak on your golf game. The Witch, located in nearby Conway, offers a high degree of difficulty in beautiful setting among wetlands and woodlands.
Of course, there are good witches and bad witches. So which kind of witch is The Witch? A little bit of both from a golfer's perspective. The scenic beauty of the natural setting and impressive design are offset by the degree of difficulty of the course.
The Witch was built upon 500 acres of swampy marshlands and dense forests, transforming the former wildlife refuge into a dynamic golf course that retains its natural charm. More than 4,000 feet of bridgework were requires to navigate the 6,796-yard layout.
Opened in 1989, this par-71 design was awarded four stars from Golf Digest and has been honored for its service and course maintenance. Designed by renowned architect Dan Maples, The Witch is as beautiful to look at as it is demanding to play. Carrying a course rating of 71.2 and a slope rating of 133, The Witch presents players with a true test of golf in a lovely setting.
Golfers may spot brown bears roaming in the woods, alligators sunning by the swamps and birds flying overhead. But the rarest sights on the course may be birdies and eagles.
The Witch is surrounded by and situated on water, and lots of it. The natural water hazards are the biggest concern before blasting off from the elevated tee boxes onto the lengthy links. Lakes, ponds and creeks require a steady hand to stay high and dry and a gambler’s mindset to grip it and rip it when the situation allows.
The Witch’s front nine features most of the bridges and is considerably longer than the back nine. The front nine is highlighted by the par-4 No. 9 signature hole that requires clearing a huge waste area off the tee while avoiding trees in the bend of the dogleg left. A small body of water protects the front of the green and tempts the brave to go for it in order to make or break par.
A common strategy to playing The Witch is to survive the front nine and go for broke on the back nine in hopes of salvaging par. The Witch presents several risk-reward opportunities to give golfers a fighting chance. Although the back nine may be drier and shorter than the front, there are many difficult holes to navigate. How well you keep your cool will go a long way toward determining your score.
The Witch is part of the Mystical Golf Group, so golfers can earn discounts by packaging rounds at sister courses Man O' War and The Wizard. The Witch features a modern clubhouse with a pro shop and snack bar, and a practice putting green and driving range are also available and pro lessons can be arranged.
The Witch is located at 1900 Highway 544 in Conway, approximately 10 miles from downtown Myrtle Beach. To book a tee time or for more information, visit www.myrtlebeachgolf.com.
(Photo courtesy: WitchGolf.com)