MYRTLE BEACH, SC – As you approach The Wizard you’re immediately struck with the Scottish style castle clubhouse. Old world golf is exactly what you can expect from this Dan Maples masterpiece. Often subtle (but significant) elevation changes, deep bunkers, mounded fairways all add to the experience of this special course.
For this Par 71 the numbers add-up to a very playable golf course for all skill levels. The Championship Tees play to 6721-yards with a slope/rating of 129/71.7. The Regular Tees are 6138-yards at 121/69.1. The Middle Tees are a moderate 5547-yards and 115/66.3. The Forward Tees are 4972-yards with a slope/rating of 121/71.2 and present a strong play for the Ladies.
Here’s what you can expect at The Wizard.
- In true links-type style the course is wide open. Be alert to wind velocity and direction.
- The condition of the course is outstanding. Over seeded throughout (including all rough!) the course is in great shape regardless of when you play. Unusually large, well-conditioned tees.
- Purchase the yardage book and pay close attention to the green diagram/yardage on your cart’s window. The greens are large and misjudging an approach shot brings 3-putt into the equation.
- Significant water will come into play on the 1st, 17th & 18th holes.
- Be alert to a meandering stream that runs through numerous fairways.
- As a true test of golf be prepared to hit most every club in your bag.
- There’s a real Pittsburgh Steelers fan in the clubhouse with logo merchandise to confirm it.
- Play the tees that best suit your handicap, or driving distance.
Hopefully, you’ll arrive in ample time to hit some balls and roll a few putts. It’s a wise move. Hole 1 is a Par 5, No. 1 Handicap that measures 534-yards from the Regular Tees. Cut as much as you dare on this dogleg right, but beware of the hazards on that side. Three solid shots and two good putts will get your day off to a good start. The Par 5 Hole 14 is only 485-yards, but that pesky little stream runs through the fairway and should cause the big hitter to be aware. A well place second shot provides a short iron uphill approach shot.
With five Par 3s, The Wizard gets considerable length from its nine Par 4s. From the White Tees five of them exceed 375-yards. Hole 8 at 376-yards is a good test of your golf skills. A solid tee ball to the center of the fairway is necessary, regardless of your length. The low handicap player will have an approach shot to a green with only a small stream to catch an errant left shot. Those of us that are distance challenged need to calculate the yardage needed to carry the stream that crosses the fairway to a landing area, or lay-up short. It’s important to know your distance and select the correct club. The same can be said about the Par 4 18th hole. A great finishing hole you are surrounded by water playing from an island tee box to an island fairway to a peninsula green! Whether you attack the green in regulation, or lay-up and play as a three shot hole, Par on this one is an outstanding score.
With each of the five Par 3s you’ll see something a little different. Hole 6 is a real challenge. With a Sunday back pin placement yardage can approach 190-yards from the White Tees and it’s uphill! A trap placed 15 yards from the front of the green awaits those that select a short club, or take little to much turf from the tee box. Hole 17 begins the water wonderland that characterizes the two finishing holes considered by many two of the best in the area. Confirm your yardage and select the club that will put you in the center of the green. A two-putt, or up and down for Par is a good score here.
The Wizard is a golf course that fits every player’s game. The low handicap player will find birdie opportunities. A higher handicap player will be able to keep the ball in play and have some scoring chances. All levels will find their shot making abilities challenged. Give this Scottish 19th century links-type course a try on your next visit. You’ll be glad you did.