In the penultimate stop of Charlie’s South Strand swing that’s kicked off this series, “The Big Timer” is in Murrells Inlet, S.C. to take on the penultimate hole at a Clyde Johnston classic: Wachesaw Plantation East Golf Club, home to multiple LPGA Tour events in recent years. Let’s see how Charlie fares on this challenging par 5!
Cancer knocked me down, but not out. Now, I’m cancer free. The recovery? It’s been tough. I’ll need patience, a lot of humor …
(You can only keep talent down for so long!)
… And support from friends and family. Over the last two years, I haven’t played much golf, but there’s no better place to get back in the game than on 66 courses in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We’re keeping score, but just teeing it up means I’ve already won!
(You’re not going to believe where this ball ended up!)
Join me on my journey to break par!
Clyde Johnston’s got some neat little features on this hole. We want to hit our tee shot to the right center of the fairway for the best chance to reach this green in two. There’s a lake down the right side that could spell danger to an errant approach, not to mention a little creek that snakes its way between the end of the fairway and the green.
I’m in Murrells Inlet, “The Seafood Capital of South Carolina,” and I’ve got a tip for you. South Carolina wild caught shrimp, grouper and flounder. Yeah, you can’t go wrong with any of them and you’re on vacation, so have it fried. Enjoy your vacation and enjoy golf here at Wachesaw Plantation East if you get a chance to play, it’s a real beauty. This golf course hosted the LPGA as seen on Golf Channel.
The 17th hole is a par five. It’s got a split fairway. I make bogey every time I play this hole. I go for it in two. I hit it in a creek. Doesn’t work out very good. Maybe today’s my lucky day.
Bite! Well, I’m not going to be going from anything. I’m not going to be going for anything from there. Maybe that’s a good break.
Every time I play this hole I drive it like perfect. It’s got a really cool green that’s raised up with a creek in front and high bunkers and I get out there and I got like a five wood into it and I hit it right of the flag and it goes in the creek. So today I thought, you know what? I’m going to slice it off in the woods on the right and that bad drive. Guess what? It’s going to end up leading to a birdie!
Oh yeah. I’m not going to have to worry about going for it today. Let’s see what we got here. Good, clean lie. Hey, this isn’t bad. Keep it down, get it through here. When you playing off this pine straw, you got to dig out of place for your feet to go. You play right off the top of it, your feet will slide all over the place. Start it right and hit it over to the fairway. Giddy up baby. That’ll work!
All right, let’s see what we got. 131. Here’s the deal. I’m sort of in this little grass bunker here and that is what we call a flyer lie. I’m going to get some grass and some water. It’ll fill up the grooves. It’s going to take the spin off of this ball a little downwind, so it’s going to play a lot shorter than it normally would. This ball’s going to roll 20, 30 feet when it gets on the green. Sort of curving around, left to right, bite. That’ll be just fine right there. Not bad from a flyer lie off a grass bunker standing on my head for an old man. See if we can make a 30 footer. I’m betting probably no.
Yeah, flyers, a lot of times when the ball is sitting in, there’s just a little grass you can tell it’s going to get between club face and the ball. Especially a little moisture around. We’ve had a little bit of rain this morning. That makes it really dangerous. If you make a big, full swing with a flyer lie, you can break a window in a house past the green. Yeah, I said 30 feet. I was a little closer than 30 feet. Tell you one of the things I learned when I was a kid. When you repair ball marks … This ball mark right here, if I don’t repair it, it’s going to end up looking brown and nasty. It’s no good. You do not want to be the kind of golfer that doesn’t repair a ball mark.
Everything but hit it. Man, that makes me mad to leave it short. Somebody should give me this one. The only thing that was keeping that ball out of the hole was time. Real exciting stuff watching this old man out here make pars. Maybe we’ll get some birdies going soon!
Well, we’re even through 12. The good news here is you haven’t seen my best golf yet. Stick around, folks!