Course: Mt. Atlanticus – Minotaur Goff
Location: 707 Highway 17 North, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Price: $10 for 18 holes.
Review: Yup. This was the real deal: the crown jewel of the mini golf capital of the world. The self stylized “Best Miniature Golf Course in America,” built with a reported cost of 3 million dollars. One of Myrtle Beach’s oldest and most popular institutions. It even has its own parking garage.
If you’re looking for any sense of logic or order at Mt. Atlanticus, you’d have a better chance trying to decipher the mistranslated rantings of H.P. Lovecraft after drinking a bottle of DayQuil. Self-stylized as Minotaur Goff (intentional misspelling), Mt. Atlanticus is the unholy hybrid of Atlantis, Hawaii, Ancient Greece, the Incan Empire, and (for good measure) the album covers from every hair metal band from the 1980’s. Featuring massive towers overlooking the beach, absurdly expansive lakes, gigantic stone heads, ornate Grecian monoliths, a shaved-ice bar in the center of the course, and (most importantly) a particularly stirring mural of Jesus wearing sunglasses,* this course is like a particularly esoteric SkyMall catalog – filled with a bunch of really cool, but ultimately mindbogglingly random treasures.
It was also awesome.
Comprised of two different courses, (Minotaur and Conch) golfers voyaged across miniaturized oceans, through lofty caverns, and up several flights of stairs, until they arrived at the highest tower, overlooking the beach like a king. Like the rightful king of a domain filled with starfish, sandcastles, and drunk South Carolinians trying to see how many starfish can fit into a sandcastle before it collapses under the weight of a thousand starfish sandwiched into a castle made out of sand. And I’m sure right about now some readers are thinking “sure, it looks cool… but is every one of Mt. Atlanticus’ 36 holes unique, original, and challenging? I think not.” If you are one of these readers, you should blind yourself like Oedipus at the end of Oedipus because you have never been more wrong. There were holes I’d never even dreamed of here.** There were holes that even sunglass-wearing Jesus couldn’t dream of – and he wrote the bible. Moreover, at the end of the course, if golfers got a hole-in-one on the 19th hole, they would be given a lifetime pass to Mt. Atlanticus. And what a lifetime that would be. No need for children or a 401k. Just mini golf. Pure, unfettered mini golf. Until finally, weary from a life well led, you fall majestically from the highest tower of Mt. Atlanticus into a sapphire lake, like a fallen angel – forever cementing yourself in the annals of history and completely ruining the vacation of the Dreyson family who just wanted to play a quick round of mini golf before driving six hours back to Atlanta.
Even the wear-and-tear and occasional scuffmark couldn’t diminish my love of this course. Trust me, if you’re ever in Myrtle Beach and want to experience the miracle of Atlantis at the cost of an appetizer at the Olive Garden, Mt. Atlanticus comes with my highest recommendation.
*Because regular Jesus can turn water into wine, but sunglass Jesus can turn wine into Miller High Life-the champagne of beers ©.
**And, after playing mini golf for 3 straight weeks now, every time I go to bed I see mini golf. I feel mini golf. I hear mini golf (and the distant sounds of my own screaming – but that’s probably because I’m just so darn excited to play more mini golf, not because this trip will destroy me).
Course Score: 42; no par.
Pros: Impressive atmosphere; challenging course; beautiful environment; awesome (in the sense that it inspires pure, unadulterated awe); majestic; the Atlantis of Myrtle Beach.
Cons: Poor upkeep in places; there were sometimes decently large divots in the grass.