Charlie’s looking for inspiration in his next stop, and what better place along the Myrtle Beach golf scene to find it than a course whose every hole is inspired by a famous hole from throughout the globe? In this episode, “The Big Timer” is taking on the finishing hole on the Championship Nine at World Tour Golf Links, a par four fashioned after the 11th hole of Arnold Palmer’s famed Bay Hill Club.
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 …
(Somebody clapped. I heard him!)
… 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!
(That’s why they call me “The BIIIIIIIIIIG TIMER!”)
Join me on my journey to break par!
Can’t get too caught up in tribute here because this recreation of Arnold Palmer’s 11 hole at Bay Hill commands your attention right off the bat. Water running all the way up the left side suggests a tee shot to the right, but not too far right, because there’s bunkers protecting the dogleg. Which way do I go?
So if you ever wanted to play, let’s say number 12 at Pine Valley, or number 12 at Augusta National. Yeah, I know you have. Well, this is your best chance here in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina at World Tour Golf Links. It’s a super cool place. You have replica holes from the greatest golf course in the world. And today we’re on the ninth hole of the Championship 9. This is a replica of Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Lodge. Yep. Home of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The 11th is one of the toughest holes down there. You got to squeeze it between the water on the left, the bunkers on the right. Let’s see if we can get it in play here. We’ll try and move her a little left or right from the water to the right. Oh yeah, that’s going to be pretty good right there. Get some of that. That’s why they call me the Big Timer. Big Timer, baby. Woo-hoo! The Big Timer!
I got all of that one. I’ve been struggling so much with my driver. I had a little thought before I hit that one. I said, I’m going to try to keep this left arm tucked in and make sure I sling to the left. So if you’re going to hit a cut, you got to start it to the left. See, if you start it to the right and you hit a cut, that’s when you bounce it off of condos and houses and water and other golfers and stuff and that’s not good. You got to start it left. So I thought I’ll just tuck it right in, right there. Woo. That worked. That one felt good. It’s a hard hole too. That’s right down the middle. See, we’ve been driving a long time and we hadn’t got to it yet. Where is that ball? Where is it? Oh yeah, we’re good. Yeah, I got all of that one. Man, I struggled with my driver. It’s fun when I hit one good.
So this 11th hole at Bay Hill, I was fortunate to play that tournament a few times. I never played very well, but I’m going to tell you what, it might be the hardest golf course on the planet. The wind was always blowing. Greens were firm. Mr. Palmer wanted to play it tough. Hole locations were tough. They got all these ridges running through the greens and it’d be right on top of a ridge. In fact, one year I played right behind Mr. Palmer and it’s like all of Orlando turned out to watch him play. He’s signing autographs. He gave away his hat. He gave away his sweater. I’m pretty sure it was cashmere. He was definitely cashmere. All right, I got about 125 here. It’s a back hole location. See if we can get all the way back there. That might be pretty good right there. Be right baby. Yeah. Yeah. That’s a flashback right there. People used to pay big money to see that. Big money. That’s me right in there, close by the hole.
Did you hear all the people clapping when I hit that one? Sounded just like that when I played the PGA TOUR. It was except for one time when I played golf with Greg Norman. Actually, two times. Nobody ever followed me except for friends and family. I got used to the silence.
See if we can get a birdie here. Yeah check, this might be my stroke hole. Yeah. Somebody clapped. I heard them. Thank you! Did you hear that? It was a big roar. Big man made a birdie. Ah, that’s still fun to make a birdie. Still fun, especially on a great hole like this. Fun just to be out here.
Mark that down, Jim! Birdie. Ninth hole. World Tour Golf Links, number 11, Bay Hill. Brought it to its knees.
Add another red number to the card, baby. Let’s keep this birdie train running as we head off to our next stop!