Charlie’s riding a wave of momentum, coming off consecutive birdie showings at his last two stops. Can he keep the heater going? Let’s find out as “The Big Timer” stops by Burning Ridge Golf Club to take on its par-3 17th hole!
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!
This is a nice way to wrap up our five-course journey through the same neighborhood. We’re headed across the street from Wild Wing to Burning Ridge, where the par-three 17th is a doozy. Water up and around the right side and a couple of strategically placed bunkers in front add to the challenge. Not much mystery here, so let’s get after it!
So we’re at Burning Ridge Golf Club right in the middle of everything. Centrally located here in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. And I’ve been coming to this golf course that opened in the early 80s. I’ve been coming here, gosh, since I was probably 14 or 15 years old. I remember playing it for the first time, a big match with my dad. We were playing a few buddies and my dad wasn’t real happy. He might’ve pitched a fit in the parking lot. So I definitely have some memories here.
Check out this 17th hole. Absolutely beautiful par three. It’s about 165 yards from these white tees, but I just love the way this green is set. It’s running with a bunker, short right, short left. You’ve got the pond in here, some black water, a little reflection coming off the pond. Absolutely spectacular. All right, 165 yards of bunker staring right at me. Let’s see if we can get it over it.
Up a little, baby!
All right, not my best – pin high, a little right. I can get a putter on that one though. Man, what a pretty golf hole.
All right, let’s talk a little bit of Gene Hamm architect. He’s done about 60 golf courses worldwide. He’s out of Raleigh, which is in North Carolina, not too far from here. And what he tries to do with his golf courses is make the fairways look a little smaller than they actually are. Does that by bunkering and mounding. So the more you play his golf course, the more you realize, “Hey, there’s a little more room out here than what I thought.” The other thing that’s interesting about Gene Hamm is his great-great-great-great, four greats, grandfather, Augustus Hamm, also from Raleigh. They actually invented ham, up until Augustus Hamm had the idea of taking a pig and getting some meat around the shoulder, putting it in a pit with some hickory, put a little honey on it, some cloves, a few other things, and cooking it for a while. Nobody had actually eaten ham before. So not only did the Hamm family produce a wonderful golf course here in Burning Ridge, but they also actually invented ham.
All right, so I missed this green over to the right, but it’s not a big target. Won’t go with a putter off the green. This would be one you could pitch if you wanted to, but that just got that four or five feet of fringe and it’s no problem.
Boy, the greens are in great shape. I see a little left early here, a little right late. Just look at a green like if there was this much water on this green, and you pull the plug, which way would it drain? So where that hole is, the water’s going to go down towards this lake. So that tells me that slope’s going to move a little towards that lake.
Or it could be just dead straight. It’s got to go towards that lake. It should be pretty square right here. I like taking my practice strokes, with my eyes looking at the target, which in this case is just the left side of that flag. And the reason I do that is if I take my practice strokes looking down, my brain is analyzing the putter, going back. Well, it’s a little inside. It’s a little outside. It’s a little open. It’s a little square. You don’t want that going on. You want to be like a pitcher in baseball. He’s just focusing on that mitt. Pitcher doesn’t watch his arm while he’s pitching. That wouldn’t work. Same thing with golf. Take your practice strokes looking at your target, not the club head.
Holding steady and loving every minute of it. We’re staying in the heart of the beach and headed over to play a “Legend”ary set of courses!