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December 2021

Mystic Creek Logo A Flattering Imitation

By Steve Eubanks

It’s the south end of nowhere and they know it. To call Mystic Creek Golf Club in El Dorado, Arkansas, a hidden gem undersells both words. El Dorado (pronounced like El Tornado, and the residents will correct you) is a two-hour drive from Little Rock and an hour-fifty from Shreveport, Louisiana. And those are the closest airports. El Dorado has three stoplights, four downtown blocks, and one pizza parlor on Main Street. The biggest building in town is the Baptist church. The second biggest is the headquarters of Murphy USA, a Fortune 200 gas station and convenience store company that is the town’s largest employer by a double-digit multiple.

So when the developer of Mystic Creek built what is arguably the best and most difficult golf course in the state of Arkansas (with apologies to The Blessings in Fayetteville), it was no wonder that hard times soon followed. Murphy USA stepped in and bought the golf club, which still hosts the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout, an annual Symetra Tour stop on what the women who play it call “the most challenging course on tour.” And with it, they inherited one of the most in-your-face logos in all of golf.

The Mystic Creek logo is a yellow outline of the state of Arkansas with a flagstick near the southern border where El Dorado is located. It’s a total rip off of the Augusta National logo, down to the color scheme and oversized flagstick. But as club general manager Cody Lack pointed out, “The original developer created the logo, so we had nothing to do with it. But when Murphy USA bought the club, they had to do some (legal) research to make sure they weren’t violating any copyrights. There’s no doubt it looks like Augusta National, but it really doesn’t. It’s Arkansas, not the United States and the flag is a little different.”

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. At least in its logo, Mystic Creek came as close to flattery as the law allows.

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