When you talk about great golf courses you are usually recalling the brilliance of the design, particularly awesome individual holes or the way the place is run. Every so often, however, you find a golf course which is remarkable for its unique and spectacular location or scenery and the Witch in South Carolina is certainly one of those.
The Myrtle Beach area is literally littered with golf courses and there are many fine examples but of those that I played it was the Witch that lodged in my memory. Driving to the course there were already hints that the place was rather special. The Witch is built on reclaimed land in the swamp and is farther inland than many of the clubs at Myrtle Beach. The surrounding area is forested and as you drive up to the clubhouse it feels like you have entered another world. After checking in I jumped onto my cart with great anticipation and set out for the first tee.
The Witch turned out to be a very playable course for the hopelessly inept like me and the holes were well designed to make the best of the stunning landscape but it was that landscape that made the round so memorable. Every hole was surrounded by dense forest, waterways and swampland which were all teeming with wildlife. It was like visiting a national park and felt totally divorced from civilisation despite being just minutes from the main tourist areas of the region.
At one point a racoon appeared on the fairway and refused to budge forcing my playing partner to make his approach shot to the green straight over its head. Eagles soared above us and a large snake slithered across the front of one of the greens. At one point an American gentlemen in my group went slightly off-piste to retrieve a lost ball only to come face to face with a cottonmouth and then I found myself sharing a tee box with a sizeable alligator which seemed untroubled by my presence. Needless to say I took my shot rather hastily on this occasion as I felt rather vulnerable but the gator didn’t even twitch. On the back nine we heard a bear foraging in the woods behind us and there were several encounters with some interesting bugs of one kind or another. This was the kind of wildlife I had only ever seen on kids clothes before not standing next to me or crawling up my leg!
Doing it all Again
After a wonderful round in the wilderness I returned to the clubhouse for lunch. The staff asked me if I had enjoyed the course and my gushing praise went down very well. I was offered a free round in the afternoon and following a pleasant steak sandwich I was out on the course to do it all again. Indeed I returned for another round a few days later and frankly could have played there every day. If you are ever in Myrtle Beach make sure this place is on your itinerary.
Article by Sally Stacey