With the recent US Open at Chambers Bay preceding another British Open at St. Andrews, golfers everywhere are keyed up to play some links golf. With that in mind, we bring you this review of The Wizard in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Claiming to bring a Scottish Highland feel to one of America’s golf hotbeds, this course is a definite break from the area’s norm.
The practice facility at The Wizard is just like those at the other Mystical Golf courses. Both the putting green and driving range are located near the clubhouse and the first tee making it easy to warm up right until your tee time. The range, which has very sandy soil, has enough targets that you can figure out if your distances have changed at the low elevation. The putting green does a good job emulating the ones on the course so you can hit the first hole with a good sense of distance control.
Amenities & Customer Service
First impressions are important, and The Wizard has an ace up their sleeve with their starter, Graham. The minute I walked up to the bag drop, I was made to feel like I was playing at my local course. In fact, based on the way Graham talked to everyone, the locals were indistinguishable from the tourists. This set the table for a great day.
Inside The Wizard’s castle of a clubhouse, you’ll find a wide array of soft goods and a restaurant. You won’t find any clubs, but you will see plenty of locals and tourists making new friends in the roomy seating area.
Course conditions at The Wizard are generally good with a few notable exceptions. The fairways, rough, and greens are all quite good. The fairways aren’t cut super tight, but that’s preferable for many players. The greens play a little slow in the summer because they’re kept wet, but the speed is consistent from one to the next, and they roll true.
My two complaints relate to the bunkers and the green surrounds. Many of the bunker don’t have much sand in them, and that’s a big problem when trying to escape the deep ones. The condition of the surrounds is very hit-or-miss: some look great, but others are very patchy.
Beauty & Scenery
While the idea of “being transported to the Scottish Highlands” might be a bit hyperbolic, The Wizard is a very attractive course that blends elements of typical Myrtle Beach golf with those of links courses. The first and final two holes have significant water on them, but the rest of the course is dry. There are plenty of trees visible on the course, but not many in play. What makes it feel links-y are the rolling, mounded fairways. Though the course is fairly compact, strategically placed trees and mounds keep it from feeling congested.
Course Design & Difficulty
Playing anywhere from 5,000 to 6,700 yards, The Wizard is not a course that beats you up with length, but there are definitely elements that can drive your score up in a hurry. While the fairways are generous, there is plenty of tall rough waiting for steal your ball. More devious than the tall fescue is the feathery rough that’s grown off the edge of a number of fairways. Balls that are hit just slightly askew can be lost for good, and if they are found the rough plays like a full stroke penalty. It’s also worth checking the score card or GPS on every hole – there are many bunkers and bits of water that aren’t visible from the tee.
While the course claims to be a links, the ground game is largely absent, at least during the summer. Like Man O War, another Mystical Golf course, the fairways and greens are bent grass. This is a rarity in Myrtle Beach because it requires that the course be watered often in the summer, and that water means minimal roll.
Finding the putting surface in regulation is key at The Wizard. The greens are average in size and relatively flat, so you should be able to make a lot of putts and keep the three-putts at bay. The greenside bunkers aren’t numerous, but most are deep. Use good course management, play away from them, and enjoy shooting a great score.
The Wizard is a good course that’s certainly worth playing the next time you’re in Myrtle Beach. There’s a nice variety of holes, and if you keep the ball in the fairway you can post an excellent score. Find out more about playing The Wizard and the other Mystical Golf courses HERE.