In the movie "Castaway," Tom Hanks was stranded on a deserted island with a volleyball, but this crew of castaways must have brought golf balls along for their voyage that ran aground in downtown Myrtle Beach. Located near the South Beach and Springmaid Pier sections of town just across the street from the beach, Shipwreck Island allows visitors to join a stranded band of pirates on their quest to find their buried treasure and misplaced booty. Climb aboard the wrecked ship, the Myrtle Maiden, then putt your way through palm trees, flowing streams and waterfalls while following the treasure map.
Recommended for Miniature Golf because: Shipwreck Island is one of the newest and more modern courses on the Grand Strand.
Terry's expert tip: Shipwreck Island adjoins the Midway Par-3 course so more serious golfers can play it while the fun-lubbers go putt-putting.
Prepare to go on a family golf safari at Jungle Safari Miniature Golf in Myrtle Beach. Located on the north end of town near the famous stretch known as Restaurant Row, Jungle Safari has an ideal location for families looking to play a round before or after a nice dinner in the neighborhood. Finding Jungle Safari isn't a problem since the statues of giant elephants, giraffes, zebras and more catch the eye amid the stretch of strip malls and restaurants. Jungle Safari backs up to the Cane Patch Par-3 so more experienced golfers can play it while the putt-putt types take aim at the miniature course.
Recommended for Miniature Golf because: Jungle Safari is especially fun for small children who love to see exotic (albeit fake) animals.
Terry's expert tip: Outback Steakhouse next door allows awaiting guests to take a pager to Jungle Safari while they wait for a table.
Take a putt-putt tour back in time to Jurassic Golf, a 36-hole layout located in the heart of Myrtle Beach. Featuring two courses - the Ice Age and Predator layouts - visitors can walk among dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals that make for great photo opportunities for your family vacation. Featuring mountainous terrain and unique landscaping, guests can test their putting skills against a challenging design surrounded by creatures from another era. Waterfalls, volcanoes and caves are just some of the many obstacles between your putter and the holes. For dinosaur enthusiasts, a chart in the clubhouse helps you identify the various species on display.
Recommended for Miniature Golf because: Jurassic Golf boasts the only animated dinosaurs permanently located along the Grand Strand.
Terry's expert tip: Jurassic Golf's beautiful design makes it a great place for family vacation photos.
Put yourself and your putter in the middle of a plane crash in the Amazon at MayDay Golf, a refreshing break from the traditional pirate- and dinosaur-themed miniature golf courses. MayDay Golf was featured on the Travel Channel's "Mini-Golf Madness" as the "Best Survival Course" in the U.S. That's the premise for this unique 36-hole layout; you've crash landed in the jungle and have to putt your way out, sort of like a "Survivor" mini-golf mini-series. It isn't hard to find; there's a giant yellow airplane nose-down in a tropical rainforest just off the main drag in North Myrtle Beach.
Recommended for Miniature Golf because: The unique theme and layout make MayDay Golf one of the top courses on the Grand Strand.
Terry's expert tip: Choose from two courses - MayDay Mountain and Rescue Falls - or play both for a discounted price.
Ever wonder what happened to the underwater city of Atlantis? Well, at least according to Mount Atlanticus legend, a small piece of it was magically transported to downtown Myrtle Beach by a minotaur named Goff and transformed into miniature golf paradise. The result is a 36-hole layout that towers over the surrounding buildings in the downtown Five Points district. In fact, guests can see the ocean from the tiki towers atop Mount Atlanticus while putting their way around the elevated terrain and island landscaping. Waterfalls and palm trees line the fairways for some great photo ops for the whole family.
Recommended for Miniature Golf because: Mount Atlanticus is one of the oldest and most popular putt-putt courses on the Grand Strand.
Terry's expert tip: Be sure to take a swing at the 19th hole; a hole in one is rewarded with a lifetime pass.
Search for buried treasure while you putt your way around small lakes and scale a stucco mountain. This pirate-themed putt-putt course has been one of the more popular spots in town for years, although regular upgrades keep it in tip-top shape. The scorecard not only offers info on the holes but also where to locate the hidden booty. Scale the mountainside and water falls and search through dark caverns and steep drop-offs to find the treasure and make a hole in one. The clubhouse also has a souvenir shop and snacks, including gourmet fudge. There may be a line on busy nights.
Recommended for Miniature Golf because: Treasure Island is a family tradition for many visitors who stay in the nearby northside hotels.
Terry's expert tip: The steps are a bit steep so this course might not be the best choice for those with climbing issues.
Break par and beat the heat at the same time at Cancun Lagoon Miniature Golf, the only indoor/outdoor putt-putt course on the Grand Strand. Featuring a Mayan ruin structure that visitors enter through a cave entrance on the backside of the building, Cancun Lagoon offers two 18-hole courses that carry guests on a path through the jungle terrain, weaving indoors and outdoors for a welcome air-conditioned break from the summer heat. A large river and waterfall run through the courses and the scorecard features clues to the quest for hidden gold. A gift shop and snack bar are also located indoors.
Recommended for Miniature Golf because: The unique indoor/outdoor layout makes this one of the most creative courses on the Grand Strand.
Terry's expert tip: Guests can play all day for a small additional charge, a more tempting offer due to the air conditioning.
Prepare to walk the plank and make a big splash at Mutiny Bay Golf in North Myrtle Beach. Located near Main Street in downtown North Myrtle Beach, this popular attraction features a large bay separating the two 18-hole courses - Port Royal and Barbados. A large pirate ship serves as the centerpiece of the lake and the crew is known to hide about the rocky terrain. In fact, there is a surprise pirate show every half hour on the course. The path takes your party through dark caverns and below flowing waterfalls in your quest to find the buried treasure stashed away by the pirates.
Recommended for Miniature Golf because: Mutiny Bay's design stands out among the many pirate-themed putt-putt courses on the Grand Strand.
Terry's expert tip: Visitors to can purchase discounted passes to sister course Cancun Lagoon in Myrtle Beach.
Prepare for an escape into a fairy tale book-themed miniature golf experience at Captain Hook's Adventure Golf in downtown Myrtle Beach. Based on J.M. Barrie's play "Peter Pan," the 36-hole layout allows golfers to follow the tale and they follow the golf trail through rocky caverns, shipwrecks and a 15-foot tall rock skull. Signs feature excerpts from the book that set the stage for the round, and thunderous cannons roar into action as you approach the lair of Captain Hook, whose menacing laugh plays over the PA system. Visitors must putt around multiple water hazards, including one pond with a croc snapping at a pirate's backside.
Recommended for Miniature Golf because: The unique storyline and layout make Captain Hook's a popular pick for children.
Terry's expert tip: A hole-in-one on the 18th hole is good for a free round.
Visitors are greeted in traditional island style at Hawaiian Rumble - by a talking parrot in the clubhouse. But it's more than just fun and games. Hawaiian Rumble is the host to the annual U.S. Prominigolf Open, which attracts putt-putters from around the world to compete in the nationally televised tournament. It's a fitting venue, featuring waterfalls and volcanoes to create an island-style layout. Visitors can meet and chat with the course's mascot, a talking parrot, in the clubhouse before hitting the 18-hole masterpiece. After your round, check out the official U.S. Olympic Minigolf Team's training facility (yes, there is such a thing) in the back.
Recommended for Miniature Golf because: Hawaiian Rumble hosts international tournaments but is also a nice challenge for Average Joes.
Terry's expert tip: Tell family and friends to tune in online and watch you play the first hole via video webcam.