“Balls in the Air with Charlie Rymer” Podcast – Episode 1: New Year, New Charlie

In the “Balls in the Air with Charlie Rymer” inaugural episode, Charlie gives you some background on his new podcast and what you can expect (0:30-5:23) and some of his goals for the New Year and for golfers in 2021 (5:50-19:34). He wraps up the first show doing something he loves, telling stories (19:56-28:03).

Balls In The Air Podcast · Ep. 1: New Year, New Charlie

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Full Transcript

Charlie Rymer:

Hi and welcome into the Charlie Rymer Balls in the Air podcast, where you better not be late, because we tee off on time, every time. If you’re one minute late, we’re going to leave you. That’s what balls in the air means, folks. This is season one, episode one. Really thrilled to bring you this podcast. We’re based in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the golf capital of the world. We’re going to get to all kinds of things throughout this podcast. We’re going to be, obviously, talking about coming here and playing some golf in Myrtle Beach.

There is a lot of things that us locals know that maybe you don’t know. I’ve been living here for the last couple of years. I grew up in South Carolina. It’s nice to be back in a part of the world where we put sugar in our tea when it’s hot. Yeah, folks, we call that sweet tea. When you come down, you better make sure you have some of that sweet tea. But when you come and play golf here, you can find out all sorts of things over at playgolfmyrtlebeach.com, about booking your trip and that sort of stuff.

But it’s sort of like going to visit Disney World. There is all sorts of little secret menus, little places that you can only find out from us locals. That’s one of the things I’m going to try to do here on the Charlie Rymer Balls in the Air podcast. Nice place to hang out when you get finished playing golf, some places that the locals know about that maybe you’ve got to work at a little bit to get there. Talk about some great scenery, some great food, and of course, there is plenty to drink. Nobody goes thirsty down here in Myrtle Beach. We’re going to make sure we have a lot of fun throughout this podcast.

We’re obviously going to have a lot of interviews. We’re going to have quite a few bloopers. Very excited about the ne Charlie Rymer Golf Show coming to TV in April. Believe me, I’ve already been shooting that show a good bit. There is plenty of bloopers. There will be a lot of [noises 00:02:26]. But that’s sort of the fun stuff. We’ll also have a lot of expanding content from the TV show here on the podcast. TV, you’re limited in the real estate that you have. Here on the podcast, we can dig a little bit deeper. We’re unlimited in the amount of real estate that we have.

One of the things that I’ve always wanted to do, too, as a kid growing up near Charlotte, North Carolina, just into the South Carolina side, I was a big fan of John Boy and Billy. I’d listen to that radio show every day going to school. They were always doing fake calls, and gags, that sort of stuff. That’s one of the things I’m going to try to get into here on the podcast. Don’t you think it’d be fun to call up Marion and see what kind of special they’ve got for the weekend? I think that’d be pretty interesting. We’re going to give that a shot.

We’re also going to have some serious discussions as well. We’re going to get into trends in the golf industry. We’re going to be talking to industry professionals, both in front and behind the camera. Let’s not forget about … Excuse me, the counter. Let’s not forget about our superintendents. All of the things that go on behind the counter in the world of golf that let us enjoy getting out and playing a great golf course. A lot of things that we take for granted, by talking to some superintendents, we’ll be able to shine a light on some of that.

I’m a PGA professional, proud PGA member, one of the 29,000. We’ll also be talking about some issues that are important to my profession as well. We’ll get into some golf tips, we’ll have some instruction. A lot of golf lifestyle type issues we’ll dig into. Basically, folks, this is my show. It’s the Charlie Rymer Balls in the Air podcast. That means that I can talk about whatever I want to talk about, right? That’s why you have your own podcast. So things that I find interesting, I hope you’ll find interesting as well.

That makes me a little nervous. Been working on the new TV show, and then this new podcast. It’s like I’ve been cooking up this big pot of chili, and I got it exactly the way I want it. I got it spicy, I got a lot of salt in there, I got some exotic peppers. I really like the way that chili tastes to me. But now all the people are on the way over to the house, and I’m a little worried. Are you going to like it too? I hope so. I think you will. I’m sure looking forward to this season and beyond on the Charlie Rymer Balls in the Air podcast.

Right now, we’re going to go to a little break. Stick with us, and when we come back, we’re going to talk about some goals for this new year, 2021. If you’re anything like me, you want 2020 to be gone. Be gone with you, 2020. We’re in 2021, new year. We’re going to talk about goals. Stick with us, right here, on the Charlie Rymer Balls in the Air podcast.

We’re back on the Charlie Rymer Balls in the Air podcast. I’m your host, Charlie Rymer. Now is maybe my most unfavorite time of every year, as we start a new year, here in 2021. It’s time to talk about goals and goal setting. For me, that’s always been something that, one way or the other, relates to the scale. You know what I’m talking about. I actually had one year, January 1st, I was already off my diet by noon on January 1st. It’s not my superpower, let me tell you what. But this year, you know what, it might just be a little bit different.

The way I want to break down goals is I’m going to talk about some goals that I have. I want to talk about some goals that new golfers, I think, maybe should have, and then maybe some goals that avid golfers should have as well. With this being my show and all, let’s go ahead and start with me. I mean, that’s only fair, I think. I do need to do some work on the scale. I plan on doing that.

But one of the things I notice, I’m 53 years old now. Things don’t quite move like they used to, even five years ago. I notice when I go and do a little work on a track, man, I had [inaudible 00:07:00] speed 118, 120 just four, five years ago. These days, I’m lucky if I crack 110. I think some of that is natural, and some of it is the fact that I just need to do a bit of work.

So one of the things I’m going to do this year, and I’m going to bring our listeners along for the journey, is I’m going to work with a good buddy of mine. He is a longtime PGA professional out of Greensboro, Rick Murphy. In fact, Rick just got put into the Carolinas PGA section hall of fame. He’s served as our president of the Carolinas section, and ran for national office a couple of times, ran some great campaigns. Just got nipped there at the very end by some other candidates that were really, really good.

But Rick is one of these guys that he’s 58, and he’s in great shape. One of these guys, you see him, I’m really jealous of Rick. But he earned it. He’s done the work. He’s got a program called Kinexit. I’m actually going to get Rick to put me through this program, it’s really cool. It is a program, you can put it on your phone, your iPad, your computer, and he’s actually going to come into the studio here at Barefoot, at Myrtle Beach, and he’s going to do an evaluation of me. That program, after the evaluation, is going to get me some workouts. It seems like something I can do. It’s 15 minutes, three times a week. It’s going to start slow for me, because the main thing I’m looking to do is to increase my flexibility, my mobility, and my stability. So I’m really looking forward to spending some time with Rick over the course of this year. I know I’m going to learn a lot, some work I need to do. I know for a lot of our listeners it’s work that you need to do as well.

The other thing I’m going to be doing is spending some time with new Myrtle Beach resident Sean ‘The Beast’ Fister. Sean is a three time world long drive champion, he’s a great friend of mine. Played a lot of golf with Sean and done a lot of outings with him over the year. He is quite the character. But very, very knowledgeable. He doesn’t look very smart, but believe me, folks, he is smart. Back in my days at ESPN, one of the highlights I had was calling his third world long drive championship out at Mesquite, Nevada. It was at night, the grid was lit up, and The Beast hit his last ball in the grid, and won that third title.

I was really thrilled that I had the chance to go in and do the winner’s interview while he was still raw and emotional. But Sean is here, and he’s doing some work down at the Dustin Johnson Golf School, which is in Murrells Inlet. I’m going to work with Sean on getting a little strength back. I had, in 2020, middle of the year, I had a tough go with COVID-19. I was actually hospitalized, and real fortunate to come out of that hospital. A lot of great folks at that hospital took great care of me. So I’m really happy to be here for a lot of reasons. But I still haven’t quite gained my strength back. I’m going to be spending some time with Sean down there at that facility, and you’re going to like hearing from Sean, believe me.

Then my third goal is over the years I’ve lost a lot of confidence with my driver. We talk about how important putting is, pitching, all the aspects of golf. Driver is the most important club in the bag. That comes from Mr. Nicklaus himself. I’ve heard him talk about that a lot. I’ve lost some confidence with that driver. So Allen Terrell is the PGA professional that runs the Dustin Johnson Golf School for Dustin, also runs his foundation. Allen is an amazing teacher. He’s been with Dustin a long time. Of course, one of the masters in 2020 for Dustin was sort of the cherry on the top of 2020 for Team Dustin Johnson. So I’ll be spending a little bit of time with Allen, and he’s got all the bells and whistles down there. So we’ll bring you, our listeners, inside that process as well.

Now then, onto you. I’m so excited in that one of the silver linings for 2020 is that COVID-19 had people reevaluating a lot of things that they do in their life. One of the things that people realized is there is this thing called golf. I drive by it every day, or I walk by it every day. Let me go out and see what that’s all about. So as a result, we have a lot of new golfers in the game. I love that. I’ve seen more and more golfers out walking, they’re with their families. They haven’t played much golf, but they are into the game now. They’ve fallen in love with it. So I think I’ve got some goals that might be interesting to new golfers.

First and foremost, equipment is something that’s real challenging. You know when you go out to the golf course, and you haven’t played, you want to have some equipment. You want to look cool. But if you start getting the stuff that looks really cool, you better be rich, because starting from scratch and putting together 14 clubs, and a bag, and all the gear, boy that gets a little tough. So I think for our new golfers, let’s get that golf bag in order, and maybe look at finding some used equipment.

No matter where you live, you can find someone that’ll help you put a set of clubs together that’ll work for you. You don’t need the latest and greatest, especially when you’re first starting out. There is plenty of time to move up later. A lot of times, you’ll see that there is a really nice secondary market in used clubs. You can get something and use it for a year or two, and when you move up, you can still sell those secondhand clubs and get a little bit of value back. But you got to make sure that the set that you have in your bag makes sense for you, and it’s put together well.

I’ll just give you an example. As a new golfer, a lot of times you look in a bag, and you see a pitching wedge, and a sand wedge. You think, “Oh, this looks nice. I’ll throw this in there. This looks nice, I’ll throw it in there.” Well, again, without getting too technical, if you’re using a pitching wedge out of one set, and it has a 45 degrees loft on it, and you’re using a sand wedge from another set, and it has a 56 degrees loft on it, or 60 degrees loft on it, you’re going to have this huge gap in how far you hit those golf balls, because one degree in loft roughly equates to four degrees in distance. So from 45 to 56, that’s 11 degrees. 11 times four is 44. You’re going to have a hard time getting good touch when you’ve got a 44 yard gap between those two clubs. So you typically want to have those gaps be about 15 yards.

What I’m telling you, I know it’s a little bit confusing, is invest a little bit of time, make it a goal. Invest a little bit of time with a professional, a PGA professional near you, who can help you get in a set of clubs that’s inexpensive, and works, and will have some value down the road when you decide to trad that in and upgrade. One more thing for our new golfers, the way you look when you go to a golf course, I know that’s a big deal. Nobody wants to be embarrassed when they go to a golf course. But at the same time, you can’t go buy a whole new closet full of clothes.

There is a lot of really cool things in golf that you can wear in other places. I wear shoes that look great with blue jeans, or at least I think they look great with blue jeans. Golf shirts you can get away wearing in different places, shorts, that sort of stuff. A nice rain jacket, if you’re going to play much golf, because if you go to a golf course, let’s say you’re new, and you’re playing on the weekends, you come here to Myrtle Beach, and you’ve come from a long ways away, you paid a lot of money to get here, you want to make sure you can finish your found without getting miserable if you get a little bit of rain. So find a nice jacket that looks good on the golf course and away from the golf course. Then you can justify the cost of that apparel. You don’t have to get all the latest and greatest. Just find things that work and will work with things other than golf, so you can justify it.

For our avid golfers, I’m going to go a little bit deeper into equipment. There is so much good equipment out there. It’s very, very confusing. There is a lot of great manufacturers that have a lot of good stuff. The key is finding a PGA professional who can help you get fit in terms of finding those clubs that work for you. So many times, people have a big ego when it comes to golf equipment. They want to have the X shaft, they want to have a heavier shaft because they’ve read somewhere, where Dustin Johnson plays this, or [inaudible 00:15:43] plays that. Why in the hell would you want to play the same equipment that Dustin Johnson plays? I don’t get it. It’s not going to work for you. Anything that works for him, it ain’t going to work for you.

Find something that works for you. I’ll give you a great example, throughout my playing career, I always played Dynamic Gold X100 shaft. Weighs 130 grams. It’s a very popular shaft out on the PGA TOUR still to this day. I’m way too old at 53 to swing a shaft that’s that stiff and that heavy. The weight of the shaft in your irons is very significant. I play a shaft now that’s 110 grams. That’s a lot lighter than anything I ever played. But you know what? It’s more comfortable for me. I also came down to an S flex instead of an X flex. It makes golf a lot more fun for me knowing that I don’t have to go out and try to swing as hard as Dustin Johnson does to make my equipment fly the way I want it to fly.

Along with looking at some lighter shafts, this time of year, if you’re not playing a lot of golf, get your clubs regripped. They will feel like they are brand spanking new. You’d be surprised to know how much work PGA TOUR players put into their grips. I cleaned my grips … Well, that’s not really true. I had my caddy clean my grips before every round. I was really picky with how I did that. I had to use a stolen towel from a cheap motel, because they are the best ones to clean your grips with. The fancy hotels, they don’t like it when you steal the towels. I think the cheap hotels expect it. But the fluffy ones, they just don’t get it done. Plus, it’s hard to get them all packed in your luggage and everything, because they pop up. The cheap ones, you can steal those, no problem. But clean your grips, get new grips. You’ll be surprised at how much better your equipment feels when you do that.

Finally, this is a pretty cool goal, because I think everyone that’s in golf loves it, and we love it for different reasons, and we sort of get stuck in the way we do things. Invite someone new to play golf. That’s a great way to make a new friend. If you play the same group of folks all the time, they’re probably getting tired of playing with you, too. You probably are pretty smart to find somebody else new. But find somebody who maybe plays a little golf, heck, maybe they can be a new golfer. But invite them to play this game. You’ll be doing them a great favor, you’ll be making a … If it’s already a friend, you’ll deepen your friendship. If not, you’ll make a new friend.

Then last goal for an avid golfer, play a golf course that you haven’t ever played before. So many people, they get stuck, they play the same golf course all the time. Play a golf course that you’ve never played before. You’ll be challenged in a different way. A lot of times folks who play a lot of golf play the same course all the time, it gets a little stale. Just get in the car, drive somewhere, play another one. Here in Myrtle Beach we’ve got plenty for you to choose from. I’m not necessarily saying that because of that. But it works with the show, right?

But that’s one of the things about golf is you don’t have to do it the same way every time. I think if you do those things, that you’ll get a lot more enjoyment out of this great game. So there you have it, folks, there is the goals for me, for new golfers, and for avid golfers. I hope that you try some of these. If you do, I guarantee you that it’ll help you get more enjoyment out of the game.

Stick with us, we’re going to be back in just a moment here on the Charlie Rymer Balls on the Air podcast. Coming up next is story time with Charlie. That’s me, Charlie Rymer. The Charlie Rymer Balls in the Air podcast. Bye.

We’re back on the Charlie Rymer Balls in the Air podcast. I’m your host, Charlie Rymer. Check out this sound, folks. Yeah. That’s what I want to hear. That’s the sound of 2020 going down the drain. Man, 2020, I don’t know if I can say this or not, but 2020, you can kiss my ass. How about that, folks? I know a lot of you feel the same way. Silver lining is in there, too. But I’m so happy that it’s 2021. Just really ready to get our country back into normal footing. I know so many people are as well.

One of the things in thinking back in my career that I really enjoyed was the old PGA TOUR school. Not enjoy it, I guess I enjoyed it when I got through it. The last time I went to it, I’m one of the people that missed retaining my tour card by a shot. Believe me, that was a long seven-hour drive home with my wife, Carol, our oldest son, Charlie, and youngest son Hayden on the way, after missing retaining my PGA TOUR card by a single stroke. But that queue school was a nice way for players coming right out of college to earn their way directly to the PGA TOUR or PGA TOUR players that had a bad year or couple of years, they were able to get right back into being a PGA TOUR member.

Now the system of getting into the PGA TOUR, like everything else, is a little fouled up with the pandemic. But because of business reasons, we have a wraparound schedule, we have a qualifying school that goes to the Korn Ferry tour, and so you really can’t just go right to the PGA TOUR. You can’t start your season the first week in January. We’re end the old season sometime in October, and the next seasons begins 72 hours later. It just doesn’t feel like you have a sense of newness to the year.

But back when I earned my tour card, that happened in late November and into early December, and had about four weeks to celebrate and of course, get ready. My first event as a rookie on the PGA TOUR came at the Sony Open at Wai’alae Country Club in Honolulu. It was just so cool. It was like everything was fresh, and new, it was a new season, it was a calendar season. Everything just lined up and worked. There is just something new and fun about getting a new golf bag, getting your equipment refreshed, if you’re fortunate enough to be with an apparel company, getting in boxes of new stuff. That was still one of the things I can’t believe that somebody actually paid me to wear their apparel. It’s a great country, ain’t it, folks? I couldn’t believe that.

I got, actually, a deal with Nicklaus Apparel to wear their clothing as a rookie on a PGA TOUR. They paid $10,000. That’s right, $10,000. David Duval was a really good buddy of mine. We had been teammates in Georgia Tech, and played on what, at the time, was the Nike Tour. Now it’s the Korn Ferry Tour. David was a guy that always knew he was going to get to the top of the game. A great example of that is I was telling him about the new deal, and apparel I’ve got, Nicklaus Apparel. David very stoically looked at me, and he said, “Well, I’m happy for you. But I would never wear apparel that has another player’s name on it.” He was a rookie on the PGA TOUR when he said that. That gives you a pretty good idea of how big David Duval thought coming right out of the gates.

But back to that first tournament, it was sponsored in part by United Airlines. It might have been fully sponsored. In fact, I believe that’s the case. That’s before Sony came over to be the sponsor. But that meant I could take my caddy, my wife, we could fly first class, yeah, first class to Hawaii. That’s the only way to go to Hawaii. We got this huge discount, it was like $700 for three first class tickets to Hawaii. What a great trip. Of course, I got in there on Sunday, going to get in my two days of practice at Pro Am before the tournament started on Thursday. Had a nice place for us to stay in Honolulu, nice high rise with a great view, and all that sort of stuff.

Everything just seemed so fresh and new. The practice rounds went well, I was actually playing pretty well. I made the cut, which was a little bit of a shocker to my wife. She’s like, “You mean we come out here first class to Hawaii, and actually make money doing it?” I’m like, “Yeah.” It’s a great country, a great life when you’re playing good, I can tell you that. But the thing that I remember most about that year was getting paired with Jim Furyk. It was Jim’s second year, we played some college golf together. We had played some of the Nike tour together. So I get paired with Jim, he hadn’t won yet on tour. We teed off that first hole there at Wai’alae, short par four. I, now, when you see people play, a lot of the younger guys will try and drive it. I guess downwind, back in the day, you might try and drive it.

But I hit something out there in the fairway, probably an old school one iron, and wedged it up about six feet, made it through a birdie. Furyk missed the fairway over there, chopped it up on the fringe, two putted for par. So in my PGA TOUR career, one hole in the books, I’m one up on Jim Furyk. How about that? Ever since then, it has completely flip flopped. Jim is top five all time money lists on the PGA TOUR now. He’s just made a ton of money. You know, I was one up on him there for one hole. I’m sure I three putted 11, and he probably didn’t. He’s been beating my brains out ever since. But it’s funny how you remember things like that.

I recently ran into Jim Furyk, and it’s one of the reasons I want to tell the story, is Jim Furyk and his wife, Tabitha, they are two of the best folks you’ll ever know. That’s regardless of how much money that Jim has made, how much fame that he’s obtained. Jim is very involved in their home community down there in Ponte Vedra. Their foundation has done a lot of great stuff to help a lot of folks in the area. Jim, later this year, is going to have his name on a PGA TOUR champions event that’s in the Jacksonville area. He’s very excited about that.

But I’m just telling you that Jim Furyk, no matter what he’s done in life, has been the same person as the Jim Furyk that you see now out winning millions and millions of dollars on the PGA TOUR, and whipping up on the guys on the champion’s tour as well, and obviously with captancies, and Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup, he’s going to be relevant for a long time. Very well thought of among his peers. But that was my best, fresh start. What a great place to do it, there at Wai’alae Country Club in Honolulu.

Well, folks, we’re going to go ahead and wrap up our first episode of the Charlie Rymer Balls in the Air podcast. I appreciate you joining us. I’d like for you to stick around. We’re going to be taking this podcast in a lot of different directions. We covered that at the top of the show. We’re going to have some guests host in, as well. We’re going to be bringing you our perspective on the world of golf from right here in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the golf capital of the world. We really appreciate you joining us. Make sure you subscribe, rate, and review wherever you listen to your podcasts. I’m Charlie Rymer. Join us next time on the Charlie Rymer Balls in the Air podcast. Don’t be late. We tee off on time, every time, right here, on Balls in the Air.