The Witch Golf Links: A Strange Brew

The Course
Perhaps more than any other golf course in the area, The Witch is a tale of two drastically different nines. The front is more engaging than most on the Grand Strand, expansive yet isolated and raised out of a dense inland cypress swamp. Maples made the playing corridors plenty wide, but those who stray are likely to end up among the shallow water dotted with the cypress root “knees” that also are represented as the tee markers at The Witch. Highlight holes on this side include the par three third hole, requiring an aerial attack that carries part of the all-encompassing swamp, and the island-hopping short par four 9th, where players ride over long wooden bridges to reach both the fairway and the green.

Unfortunately, the inward nine does not quite uphold the lofty standards established by the outward one. This is not to say it’s bad golf, but the land occupied by holes ten through 18 is set closer to Rt. 544 and while it has some nice movement for coastal South Carolina, the routing is a little strange and there are a couple awkward holes and a lackluster finishing hole.

The Experience
Once again, The Witch is a mix of good and less-than-ideal. The good: the course is in very good shape, especially over the winter and early spring, with the management opting to overseed wall-to-wall with rye grass. They did a better job than some, with the greens quite smooth and fast and the fairways and roughs healthy as well.

The relatively high quality of the course conditions, then, stands a bit in contrast to the rest of the experience of spending a few hours at The Witch. The clubhouse, though fairly quaint and outwardly appearing like a witch’s home, could use some interior updates. Pace of play is quite slow at busy times and the practice facilities are average at best.

The Verdict
The Witch Golf Links is not perfect, but she isn’t nearly as ugly and unforgiving as her name might make her seem. The relatively low green fees make some of her shortcomings easier to overlook, and the course remains one of the Myrtle Beach area’s better values and a good option for inclusion in a middle-range rotation of golf courses.

Posted 4/8/13

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