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The Witch

The Witch

Don't let the name of this golf course fool you. There's nothing scary about The Witch, except one of the most challenging rounds of golf on the Grand Strand.

Located in Conway about 10 miles inland from Myrtle Beach, The Witch rests upon some enchanting land that seems like another world. Spanning more than 500 acres of scenic Lowcountry wetlands and woodlands, this Dan Maples layout requires a a combination of force and finesse while offering an enjoyable experience for all handicaps.

Measuring 6,796 yards from the championship tees, this par 71 masterpiece was awarded 4.5 stars from Golf Digest and has become an increasingly popular spot since opening in 1989. Although quality golf is the primary calling card, The Witch is also known for its scenic beauty, making for a great walk even if you have a bad day of golf.

The Witch is a classic coastal Carolina coast, with natural water and dense forest at every turn, and vintage Maples, whose craftsmanship can be seen on seven courses in Myrtle Beach. Maples, a Pinehurst, NC native, is known for designing courses in the Carolinas that are as beautiful to look at as they are entertaining to play.

Carrying a course rating of 71.2 and a sloe of 133, The Witch presents players with a true test of golf in a lovely setting. Golfers may spot alligators sunning by the swamps, brown bears roaming in the woods and birds such as egrets and herons flying overhead. But birdies and eagles can be hard to find on this challenging course.

With more than 4,000 feet of bridgework required to get around The Witch, water is the biggest consideration before blasting off the elevated tee boxes. Lakes, ponds, creeks and marshes put a premium is staying high and dry, which means landing safely in the 419 Bermuda grass fairways en route to the TiftDwarf greens.

The front nine features the majority of the bridges and is considerably longer than the back nine - nearly 3,600 yards. The par-4 ninth signature hole calls for driving over a thick marsh, avoiding trees in the bend of the dogleg and avoiding the water protecting the front of the green in order to have a makeable putt for par.

The goal should be to survive the front nine and make up ground on the back, and there are several risk-reward opportunities to do so. Measuring just over 3,200 yards, the back nine is drier and distance becomes less of a consideration. The par-5 No. 11 is fairly open and presents golfers with their best opportunity to break par.

The Witch is part of the Mystical Golf Group and can be packaged with sister courses Man O' War and The Wizard for discounted fees. The Witch features a charming clubhouse with a pro shop and snack bar. A driving range and putting green are available and pro lessons can be arranged.

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