It’s the first leg of his three-course journey through the Grand Strand’s domain of “The King,” and Charlie’s ready to take on the par-4 opening hole at Arnold Palmer’s SouthCreek at Myrtle Beach National. Let’s see how “The Big Timer” gets things going at one of the Myrtle Beach golf scene’s iconic complexes.
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!
We’re on the first leg of our three-course Arnold Palmer journey here at Myrtle Beach National. Let’s get things started on his SouthCreek design. We’ve got a slight dogleg left to contend with. So a tee shot to the right side is the play here. We’ll try following it up with a well-placed approach into a narrow green.
So today we are at Myrtle Beach National. It’s centrally located right smack dab in the middle of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. This is a really cool spot. It’s got three Arnold Palmer golf courses, and it’s sort of like a trip down memory lane for me. I’ve been coming here since I was a kid. There was a golf tournament still going on called the George Holliday. I spent most every Thanksgiving of my life as a junior golfer here at Myrtle Beach National.
Now, this is the SouthCreek course. Of the three courses, this is the one that requires the most precision. I’m going to go with a fairway metal here off of number one. It’s a dogleg left, par four. And again, we talk about it all the time. The stripe poles, that’s a 150 marker. It’s a great target when you play a lot of our courses here in Myrtle Beach.
Well, I think I hit it. I hit the pole. I think I hit it. No, I pulled it about three inches. That’s a good way to start the day right there!
Yeah, I tell you what though, the George Holliday Junior Tournament, I’d come down here probably when I was 14, 15, 16, and 17. Things were different then. You didn’t always travel with your parents when you played junior golf. So there would be maybe four or five of us kids and one parent would go.
I’d always travel a lot. Good buddy of mine, his name is Todd Gleaton, he ended up playing at NC State, still in the golf business, but he and his dad, I’d end up hanging out with him, and we’d always stay in a condo. That’s one of the great things about coming to Myrtle Beach. You can stay with folks you want to be with in a condo, and we’d always go to Bojangles on Wednesday, get big old boxes of chicken. And we’d sit in that condo and have our Thanksgiving.
So when I come out here to Myrtle Beach National, that’s what I remember, playing that junior tournament, which I never won. I think Todd always won it. Having that Bojangles for Thanksgiving. Good memories, but I do wish I’d have won it.
I thought I hit that pole! Came up a little short of it, but it was on line. I’m not much of a laser guy. I threw my laser in the pond the other day. I’m always shooting, and I never get the number back. I like seeing the pole. 150, pin’s in the middle. So guess what? I’m 158. I was a little late with that one. Now I get to see how my bunker game is. That makes me mad. I hit a perfect tee shot and bailed on an eight iron. That’s all right. You go to the beach, it ain’t a bad idea to go to the beach.
We used to set up a little flagstick down on the beach, get bunker shots, set up some holes. Man, I love hitting bunker shots. It’s one of the most fun things about golf. The beach sand is a lot different than the bunker sand. I can tell you that. It’s a lot fluffier. It’s hard to get the ball sitting up clean, unless you go down there. When the tide’s been in, it goes out. Then it’s concrete. Had a good clean lie there with Old Yeller. I hate it when you hit it, and it’s right in the middle of the bunker because now after I hit this shot, I’m going to have to rake the whole bunker. It’s a bunker tip for Charlie. When you hit it in the bunker, hit it around the edge. Makes things a lot easier. All right, let’s see what we got here.
That’ll do. Man, I love hitting bunker shots. Pretty good at raking bunkers too. All right, let’s go save this par. Hey, I’m not marking this, to save time. I’m going to get that sand off the ball. If you don’t get the sand off the ball, it’ll get on the club face between the ball and the club face, and that putt could go anywhere. You’d rather have a good par save on that first hole than a birdie. There we go. Not a bad way to get started. Love being out here this time of day!
So far, so good. Now let’s see what Mr. Palmer’s got in store for us on the second stop of our three course tour here at Myrtle Beach National!