Between Harry Potter, The Wizard of Oz and Gandalf, who would be the better golfer?
Definitely Harry Potter because he could really do magic. The Wizard of Oz if you remember, he was just the man behind the curtain.
But Gandalf could use his staff as a club?
Now that’s true but I don’t know how he’d hit a golf ball, it’s not very straight.
No not really. I’m a marketing dude and the Witch was the first golf course I built in Myrtle Beach and I wanted something that you would remember. My partner at the time actually came up with the name because it winds through the Waccamaw Swamp which is 23000 of cypress swamps and its very unique and mystical and magical and that’s why we named the Witch the Witch. We also named it the Witch because we wanted someone who had never been there to see the name and remember the name.
That’s true I’ve played a bunch of courses in Myrtle Beach can only tell you the names of a small handful.
Correct, and I didn’t want that to happen on any of ours.
What hole does the lady of the lake tend to hang out on?
It’s definitely No. 9 on Man’o’War. It’s an island hole and its hard. It was designed to be into a prevailing wind so eighty percent of the time the wind is dead in your face. Its long and if you go right you’re in the water, if you go left you’re in the water and I think she sits up on that green and chuckles.
It’s actually proven that the longer the shaft the further you’ll hit the ball but the more inaccurate you’ll be. If you have plenty of distance but you have accuracy issues you should shorten your staff a little bit. If you are really accurate you can lengthen your staff a little bit to hit the ball a little bit further because accuracy is not a problem. But I think that’s more fact than a belief.
What hole would you need to conjure magic on in order to birdie?
This one right here, No. 18. No. 7, a 600 yard par-5. The par-3 17th is a great hole and No. 12 is another gorgeous par-3.
But what’s the hardest one?
All of them, I don’t believe in having signature holes. Because we had no limitation of land and we weren’t trying to design around houses or build any houses anyway our ideas was to build eighteen holes that fit together. I also feel they can’t be eighteen ultra hard holes because then the golf course will just beat you up. I think people if they’re hitting the ball well like to get on little runs too and so we believe in that also but we don’t have signature holes here, we tried to make eighteen holes here that are all beautiful, all unique unto themselves and show you different things and we did that at all three of the golf courses.
What makes this course so enchanting?
I think a little bit of it is the style. We tried to copy what you might see over in the British Isles. We’ve got water that is a factor on about four holes and on the rest of the golf course it’s the mounding and rolls of the hills and the way that [come into play on]. The golf greens are designed to be offsets in a lot of holes as they are in Scotland which is the case on No. 6, 7, 8, and 11 where they don’t necessarily rise, they’re just part of the ground layer. We’ve built our traps to be like at St. Andrews where they’re all stacked sod which I think is a great look and you don’t see it anywhere other than in Scotland or here at the Wizard. We are just a golf course. We have no housing or anything else so its just you and the golf course and I think that always adds some magic to a golf course and all three of our golf courses are that way.
I’ve read there’s a Scottish ball gobbling gorse planted on the course?
The only grass that actually came from Scotland is what is known as love grass. Donald Ross was from Scotland and he came over to the United State in 1899-1900, brought over by Mr. Tufts to build the Pinehurst courses. That’s why he came to the United States and he moved to Pinehurst and worked out of Pinehurst for the rest of his life until he died in 1948. Love grass is a grass that is used to secure grounds and keep them from eroding. It came to America and was first used at Pinehurst and now its used all over the East Coast and the Southwest where you have areas where you can’t grow grass but you need to secure it so the ground won’t erode. Ross brought love grass over from Scotland for that purpose. The rest of the grasses are native to here and we have to do that even though I’d love to do differently because they have to be grasses that grow in this climate.