(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) – Mystical Golf – offering "Myrtle Beach’s finest 54 holes of golf” on
its celebrated Witch, Man-O-War and Wizard courses – announces stay-and-play packages
ideal for exceptional vacations to the “Golf Capital of the U.S.”
Mystical Golf’s trio of courses are consistently recognized by Golf Channel to be among
Myrtle Beach’s “five best courses” and “best values.” The Witch and Man-O-War courses
are ranked in the “Top 15 Courses in South Carolina” in Golf Channel’s Golf Advisor rater
Man-O-War’s 15th hole ranks among GOLF Magazine’s “Five Most Memorable Island
Greens” alongside No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass, the “Alcatraz” hole at PGA West’s Stadium
Course and Coeur d’Alene Resort’s movable, floating putting surface. The Witch is praised
by PGA.com for presenting one of America’s “great ninth holes” and The Wizard has earned
4-1/2 stars from Golf Digest.
Through Sept. 6, the three-day Gold Package starts as low as $99 (per person, per day, taxes included). It includes three rounds with cart on each of the much-admired Mystical Golf layouts (plus one complimentary round), three nights’ lodging in well-appointed three-bedroom villa (four beds), free iHOP breakfast daily (available 24 hours per day), and a gratis steak dinner at Logan’s Roadhouse (includes non-alcoholic beverages, taxes).
Over the same time span, the Silver Package begins at $89 (per person, per day, taxes included) and features all the components of the Gold Package except the complimentary round, daily breakfast and steak dinner. Both stay-and-plays offer one complimentary golfer for booked groups of 20 or more players.
“Simply put, we offer the best stay-and-play packages in the U.S.,” says Claude Pardue, President and CEO. “Our three courses continue to draw nothing but raves from our first-time guests, loyal repeat customers returning year after year and the major golf media.”
Additional package highlights include two free beers and lunch at the course each day, complimentary daily range balls, instant replay round for cart fee only, and $15 gift card toward a golf shirt. Extra night stays are available at a moderate cost per person.
Mystical Golf’s three layouts are highlighted by wonderfully fun elements including the only back-to-back island greens in the game (Man-O-War), a front nine of dramatic holes weaving through secluded swampland teeming with wildlife (The Witch), and a splendid layout reminiscent of Scotland and Ireland’s classic courses complete with authentic sod-faced bunkering and castle-style clubhouse (The Wizard).
For Mystical Golf information: www.mysticalgolf.com, 843.282.2977.
By Paul Knowles
About a year ago, I got the chance to play one hole of golf against a teenage girl who happens to be Canada’s best golfer at
the moment – Brooke Henderson. She was doing some advance promotion for the 2015 LPGA Manulife Classic at
Whistlebear, and the organizers introduced her to the media at the host Cambridge club.
She is an amazingly classy, thoughtful, mature young woman, and she has since proven what a damned great golfer she is,
and will be.
Then, we played the course, and lo and behold, on the Par 3 Number 8 hole, there was Brooke, ready to play alongside us
for one hole. Pretty cool.
Number 8 is not long, but it’s a bit challenging – especially for the likes of me. You have to clear a small lake in front of the green, avoid a bunker, and land on a somewhat elevated green. Which, to my shock, I did – I was maybe 20 feet from the hole.
One playing partner dropped the ball within two feet – showing off unnecessarily for Brooke, we felt. Another matched my shot, and the fourth – well, we shall not speak of this. Other than to mention that the splash was impressive.
Brooke landed about as close as I did. I putted – to within maybe two feet. So did Brooke.
Ah ha! My chance to match a professional golfer, to show this 17 year old that old guys still got game. She putted – par. I putted. It stopped on the lip. I took a bogie.
Old guys should just keep their mouths shut, their expectations low. We should also keep the ball she autographed… because you’re never too old to be a groupie.
Mark Calcalvecchia finished in second place at th Champion’s Tour Major tournament, the Regions Tradition, on the weekend (ending May 18). He finished one stroke behind winner Kenny Perry, and moved up 27 places to 7th in the Charles Schwab Cup standings.
Golfguy.ca recently had an exclusive, one on one interview with Calcavecchia, at the PGA National Resort in Palm Beach. He has played on the PGA Tour since 1981, and still competes at that highest level; he’s also been part of the Champions Tour since 2010. He has won 13 PGA tournaments, including the British Open (1989), and the Canadian Open (2005), two Champions Tour events, and 14 other tournaments, including the Australian Open.
His dark of humour was evident in his first comment, in response to the question, “What has give you your longevity in golf?”
The man known as “Calc” responded: “I don’t want to lose my house. It’s necessity. The fact that I’m not rolling around in a pile of cash, I have financial stress.”
Less stress the morning after the Regions, where he won $193,600 for placing second; and he doesn’t have a problem paying his caddy, since his wife Brenda caddies for him.
Calcavecchia then admits that it really isn’t just about the money. He told Golfguy.ca, “I love golf. I don’t mind sitting around for a week or two, but what else am I going to do? I love to play golf, I like tournament golf, and as far as playing goes, luckily for me, my swing never gets too far out of whack where I have gone completely haywire and couldn’t find my driver. Some guys lose their driving game where they get it all over the lot. My swing never gets too far out of whack. So it’s easy… even when I’m playing bad, I’m never far off. I think that’s the main thing.”
That consistency is key to his ongoing success. He noted, with some pride, “I’ve made all the cuts this year.”
His primary focus is the Champions Tour, where clearly he continues to see success. But he will return to the PGA from time to time. After the Honda Classic, where he made the cut, but was eliminated after day three on a secondary cut, he said, “I’m going to play four more tournaments on this [PGA] tour [this year], and that’s it. I’m really only missing one Champions tour event.”
FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME
by Paul Knowles (a version of this article was originally published in Forever Young
“Mike has been a big supporter of mine. I can lean on him for advice.” – Graham DeLaet.
“Mike and I talk quite regularly. I bend the ear of Mike and of Stephen on occasion.” – Lorie Kane.
“When I was turning pro in 2001-2002, I was really looking up to guys like Mike.” – David Hearn.
When Mike Weir slipped on the famed green jacket, as Master’s Champion in 2003, he accomplished something no Canadian golfer has managed, before or since. It was the summit of a five-year run during which Weir spent over 110 weeks in the top ten in world golf rankings.
In truth, though, these accomplishments may have simply set the stage for an even more important legacy. Because, while he continues to play on the PGA tour and did make the cut at the 2014 Master’s, Brights Grove Ontario-native Weir’s real impact today is on the future of golf, in Canada. He’s not alone in this. Prince Edward Island’s Lorie Kane, in her own right, is a similar role model for young golfers, both women and men. Although, like Weir, Kane is by no means retired – she’s playing on the LPGA tour and also on the Legends tour – the women’s equivalent to the men’s Champions Tour, open to players 45 and over. Kane was the leading money-winner on the Legends tour last season.
And we won’t forget Calgarian Stephen Ames, as of this season playing on both the PGA and Champions Tour (open to players 50 and over; Ames turned 50 in April).
These three veteran Canadian golfers have set a standard that will be hard to match – and at the same time, have established a tradition that is inspiring younger golfers, led by newer stars such as DeLaet and Hearn. None of the three have lost one ounce of their competitive spirit. We interviewed Weir and Ames after the second round of the Honda Classic, at the beautiful but tough PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, a course that had attracted almost all of the top players in the world. Both Weir and Ames had missed the cut (along with many of the other best golfers in the world), and although they were gracious in the conversations, they were both clearly distressed at their failure to make it through to the weekend. These guys are fierce competitors.
But in spite of his obvious immediate disappointment, Weir insisted that “I still love the game.” And he’s committed to competing: “I’m in good physical shape, and I’m playing a full schedule.” When Weir made the cut, but finished well down the leaderboard at this year’s Masters, he said “Leaving Augusta National is always a sad moment. No matter what happens around here, it’s always an honour and a thrill to play in the Masters.” Weir then managed to inspire every fan of Canadian golf with his runner-up finish at the Byron Nelson Championship.
Ames said that he will compete on both the PGA and Champions tours, especially since he has earned full eligibility on the PGA.
And Kane, despite her success on the Legends Tour, emphasizes that after 19 seasons with the LPGA, that is still her main focus. “I am playing on the LPGA tour full time, and when I can, I will play the Legends tour. The LPGA is still where I want to play.”
Is their commitment to playing at the highest level a sensible approach? Perhaps it depends on one’s perspective. If success is measured by winning tournaments, maybe not. Global News golf analyst Robert Thompson says, “I'd say there is very a limited chance that any of the three will win again on the PGA Tour or LPGA Tour. Weir has struggled to recover from injuries.” By mid-season this year, Mike Weir’s winnings totaled $91.414, he was ranked 605th in the world; but after his runner-up success at the Byron Nelson, Mike was up to $854,000, at 139th place in the FedEx Cup standings.
But 2014 performance is by no means the whole story. There is little doubt that all three veteran golfers are doing just fine, financially, through their endorsement and advertising contracts. (Earlier this year, Golf Digest listed the best-paid golfers in the world; four of the top ten earned virtually no money from actually playing in tournaments – Greg Norman, 10th, Gary Player, 7th, Jack Nicklaus, 4th, and Arnold Palmer, 3rd, earning $40 million.) Weir, Ames and Kane are not at that stratospheric level, but they’re financially well set.
Continuing to compete keeps them in that endorsement game, while it allows them to do what they love – and what drives them – and also serves the good of the game, especially in their home and native land. As well, the creation of the Champions Tour for men (which now features large crowds and large prize money) and the Legends Tour for veteran LPGA players has created a new arena for best-in-the-world competitors.
Golf analyst Thompson points to the true measure of success for the three: “Ames' focus will be on the Champions Tour, where he'll likely have great success. He could well win there – that wouldn't be a surprise. Lorie's best days are a decade in the past, but she remains a great ambassador for the sport, a role that I think she'll slip seamlessly into.”
On a day when someone misses a cut (not an unusual experience for the biggest names in golf, this season, by the way), Thompson argues that we need to look beyond that. “We spend a lot of time worrying about what these three will do in the future, when it is worth celebrating their past accomplishments, which are extensive.”
A key element of their accomplishment involves setting an example for young Canadian golfers. And all three recognize this. “Sure, that’s important,” said Weir, while Ames commented that “Having Canadian golfers is good for Canadian golf, and it’s good for the kids.”
Kane says, “I think there’s a heck of a lot of talent in our country, kids who want to play professional golf.” She adds, “I think there are a lot of Lorie Kanes in a lot of small communities in Canada. I think there are a lot of Mike Weirs and Stephen Ames and Graham DeLaets.”
She calls for more support for emerging golfers, and believes the 2016 Olympics – which will include golf for the first time since 1904 – provide an opportunity to focus on support for young players. The Games will have both men’s and women’s golf – and Kane admits that she, undoubtedly like her friends Weir and Ames, hopes to be chosen for the Canadian team. “It is a goal.”
Weyburn, Saskatchewan’s Graham DeLaet would be a shoo-in for the team; he’s probably this country’s most promising golfer, the guy commentators predict will win several tournaments. He has nothing but the highest praise for Mike Weir: “He was my role model, growing up. The most glowing memory for me was the ’03 Masters when Mike won. I remember where I was, getting butterflies, goosebumps all over my body.”
Kane says that Weir continues to be an inspiration to her. “I believe that Mike has an unbreakable belief in himself. When I question my own beliefs in myself, I think of Mike. I reach out to Mike in order to get energized.”
Weir certainly does not sound like someone in retirement planning mode. He’s fully aware that he has enjoyed unprecedented success in golf compared to any other Canadian, stating, “Becoming the first Canadian male to win a Major Championship, especially being the Masters, was a dream come true.” But he’s not ready to rest on his laurels – or relax in his green jacket – saying, “There is still plenty of work to do when your goal is to be one of the best in the world.”
He has other goals, too: “If I can raise more money for charities, or get more Canadian kids to play golf, the green jacket will mean even more.”
Hearn, the rising star from Brantford, Ontario, still includes “Amsie” as “one of the guys really playing good golf.”
There’s a practical, patriotic challenge facing all these golfers: Canada is not the ideal place to play or practice golf for about half a dozen cold months. Weir now makes his permanent home in the U.S., although his official bio continues to list his home as Bright’s Grove, and he says, “We’re back to Canada a few times a year.” But he wears his nationality proudly; his website bears the maple leaf in its logo, as does his profile on pgatour.com.
Kane has homes in Orlando, and on her beloved Prince Edward Island, and says that PEI is definitely home, and always will be. “Some day we’ll spend more time there… but not yet.”
Ames, who was born in Trinidad, is a happily adopted Canadian; he lives in Calgary, and calls himself “a true Canadian”.
Is being a Canadian golfer a little like being a Jamaican bobsledder? Well, not quite, and although there are certainly challenges, these veterans also point to advantages. Ames admits that winter inhibits golf development, but at his point in his career, he says being able to spend some of the winter in Calgary allows him to relax and prepare to rejoin the tour refreshed and ready. He “always” spends a month – usually, January – in the city that is home to his beloved Calgary Flames.
Kane points to another advantage of being a Canadian. “Coming from a small province, I had a lot of backing from a lot of people.” That wasn’t just moral encouragement – fellow PEI residents kicked in financial support for the young Lorie Kane, and she says her successful career came about “because of that.” Kane’s hope is that Canadian golf organizations – traditionally focused on amateur golf – will expand their vision to support up and coming young professionals, as well.
If Kane gets her way, those up and comers may get professional and financial support from organizations like the Golf Canada Foundation, but there is no question where they will find their inspiration: in the lives, careers and role modeling of Mike Weir, Lorie Kane, and Stephen Ames, Canada’s living legends of golf – three competitors, still working on their game.