From the bizarre to the big tests, the Grand Strand long since figured out that great golf doesn’t need 6,000 yards or any club other than a putter.
That’s right, we’re here to tell you about mini golf.
Myrtle Beach and its surrounding communities have banked on it for decades, celebrating the lighter side of golf. From families to buddies trips who feel like adding a touch of competition after sun down to even the highly competitive putters among us, there may not be a better spot to knock a colorful ball around the wind mill, through the cave and between the pirates.
TREASURE ISLAND, MYRTLE BEACH
A true staple along the mini-golf landscape, Treasure Island recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. It’s survived this long by keeping things interesting in its own unique way. In addition to a couple forced carries (seriously), Treasure Island is also the home of the rock drop. The course’s use of white accent stones have left an uncountable number of players over the years asking themselves “Do I hit from here?” You only live once, right? (pictured right)
MT. ATLANTICUS MINOTAUR GOFF, MYRTLE BEACH
Arguably the most noticeable putt-putt complex in the area, Mt. Atlanticus backs up its overwhelming visuals with 36 holes that will both tug at your ego with a few doozies that appear impossible and then boost it right up again with some easier shots. There are even a few water hazards along the way that can add a stroke to those who are scoring accurately (who does that?). Either way, with views of the ocean just two blocks away, this one is pretty memorable. (top photo)
RUNAWAY BAY, SURFSIDE BEACH
With an wooden bridge entryway fitting for a putt-putt king, Runaway Bay (part of the Tupelo Bay complex) has two 18-hole layouts able to accommodate any skill level. Cockpit Country is considerably tamer, with much less terrain to cover. And while it’s a fun option, Dunns River Falls is the gem of the duo. It includes hills, a water fall, some drastic and necessarily playable stone accents and a finishing hole the drops players down the side of a “mountain”.
ALOHA MINI GOLF, MYRTLE BEACH
The home to the 2023 World Putting League championships, Aloha Mini Golf brings angles to the forefront. The extremely green 36 holes here are a Hawaiian-themed trek (indoors and out) around ponds and caves and waterfalls and even a volcano. The arcade and game center is a nice way to pass a few minutes before or after the round. But the golf itself is a scenic getaway just off the heart of Restaurant Row. (pictured right)
BLACK PEARL MINI GOLF, NORTH MYRTLE BEACH
While more than a handful of tracks here went with the pirate theme, we’d like to tip our tams to Black Pearl and the impressive all-in approach it took. From the oversized pirate ship in its pond to the borderline cheesy characters dotting the property, this one keeps your attention throughout, especially if you’ve got little ones around. The best way to play Black Pearl is definitely under the lights, and the owners know it. It’s open until 11 p.m. during most of the tourist season.