A Mystical Golf tour in Myrtle Beach makes a great economical pilgrimage for golfers around the globe. We returned for the annual golf writers’ tourney, generously hosted by owner Claude Pardue. No stranger to the golf business, he leveraged his financial services background with an investment in the land of booming Myrtle Beach and in ’89, built his fantasy three courses that are Mystical Golf – The Wizard, The Witch and Man-O-War.
The Wizard’s clubhouse has a whimsical castle motif. The stone façade seems almost out of place until you make the 18-hole journey to the moat of water between the fairway and the final green. Then it all makes sense. To begin with, Mr. Pardue takes pride in welcoming golfers to the first tee box, questioning the wisdom of a short cut strategy on the Wizard’s opening par 5, a sharp dogleg right with water the length of the right angle cutout. Long hitters must be precise or their result will be wet in the lake if short or wild in the wispy grass if long. This is a great hole from the forward tee for the cool, calm and collected to shine and make par or birdie.
“Knock Out Roses” stand out in the brightest shades along the course, with a smattering of pansies and lots of Scottish ball gobbling grass or gorse on mounds. Rock ditches intersect a few fairways where balls may ricochet or rocket forward. The trifecta of finishing holes brings a crescendo of water play leading up to the aforementioned moat where Mr. Pardue’s Wizard will hopefully wave his wand for a successful landing on the green.
A family man, Claude treasures time with his kids and gifts treasures to others’ kids that are less fortunate through his December charity tournament and concert at the Alabama Theater. Named after the music group, it is home to the “One Show,” a throw back to the Ed Sullivan mix of entertainment. Colorful lighting and professional props are the backdrops for musicians and skits as funny guy Ricky Mokel emcees. In Gomer Pyle style, he pokes fun at the area, stars, politicians and himself. His hillbilly routine explores life-pondering topics mostly in a goofy voice punctuated by wise realities until he spontaneously bestows rhetoric in radio quality bass tones. The ending is an All American salute to vets who are asked to stand for recognition. Alabama in South Carolina stands for wholesome evening entertainment for locals and tourists alike. The Pardue Children in Need fund has raised over $152k since 2004 and affected the lives of 222 children in 2014 through the Christmas Child Golf Tournament with concert and more events. Claude challenges his partners to increase contributions each year.
More challenging than most courses is The Witch at Mystical Golf. The first hole has a cauldron of trouble brewing in front of the tee box. Mighty big gators reside in the waterways. Wooden bridges traverse through eerie swamps. Tight fairways are carved out and lined by cypress forests reminiscent of “In the Woods.” Be careful what you wish for here! The Witch is watching. Danny went in the woods for a stray ball after a nearly perfect drive and came out bleeding, scratched by the Witch’s fingernails? It is a fantastic layout from beginning to end where back at the clubhouse, Graham the golf pro has been with Claude pretty much since the beginning, a testament to the extended family orientation and operation.
Claude partners with all ocean front hotels for golfers who want to stay right on the beach. For rock bottom pricing, the Sea Mist delivers basic rooms with a fridge on the Atlantic front and enclosed pool/Jacuzzi across the drive. If you opt for this, one of the cheapest beach choices in America, be sure to request an ocean front room and leave the balcony door open for the best lullaby a few bucks can buy – pounding waves. The beach strand has family and adult entertainment options with t-shirt and towel stores galore with kids sizes to xxx and any tourist trinket imaginable. Or a very nice logo apparel selection is presented in all three Mystical Golf shops and upscale villas are available close by Mystical Golf, away from the main drag.
Rounding out Mystical Golf’s repertoire is the Man O War, a golf water world of sorts, adjacent to the Wizard. Man-O-War clubhouse is situated on stilts over the water. Lined by the crisp cleanliness of tall pines, the game can get a bit messy on the course if the water messes with your mind. Claude touts Andy as the best agronomist in the business. Indeed, he keeps the place in tiptop shape. Though a seemingly nice guy, he might have a masochistic streak for pin placements in competition. This year’s writers’ tourney was called after the first 2 rounds as the rain came down the last evening with some precipitation lingering. We didn’t care, we had to play Man-O-War again anyway and we are so glad. The motto along with the logo is “Prepare for war.” War on who, what, water? Water appears on all but 2 of the holes, often not in play but still may be intimidating. The most memorable rounds might be played in the rain. It distinguishes who has game, a love for the game and life itself. With or without a little drizzle, we love Mystical Golf! You will too.
Special spring packages are now available to enjoy the Mystical Golf trifecta of diverse Dan Maples-designed layouts. From March 5 – 29, the three-day Gold Package starts at $109 (per person, per day, taxes included) and includes:
- Three rounds with cart on each of The Witch, The Wizard and Man-O-War
- Three nights’ lodging in well-appointed three-bedroom golf villas (four beds)
- Complimentary iHOP breakfast daily (available 24 hours per day)
- Free steak dinner at Logan’s Roadhouse (includes non-alcoholic beverages, taxes)
- Lunch and two beers free at the course each day (excluding complimentary round)
- Free daily range balls
- $15 gift card toward a golf shirt
- Instant replay round for cart fee only
- Extra night stays available at moderate cost per person
Over the same timeframe, the Silver Package starts at $99 (per person, per day, taxes included) and features all the attributes of the Gold Package except daily breakfast and steak dinner. Both stay-and-plays offer one complimentary golfer for booked groups of 20 or more players.
“The warm days of spring come early to coastal Myrtle Beach, so March is the ideal time to visit our Mystical Golf courses,” says Claude Pardue, President and CEO. We say any time you can make it, go.
For Mystical Golf information: www.mysticalgolf.com, 843.282.2977.