Chasing Birdies with “The Big Cats” Begins with a Leopard: “Breaking Par with Charlie Rymer” Episode 54

With this visit, Charlie begins his quest to tame “The Big Cats” of Ocean Ridge Plantation by taking on the finishing hole of its Tim Cate design at Leopard’s Chase Golf Club. What does “The Big Timer” have in his bag of tricks today? Tune in to find out!




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 …

(I don’t even have a writer!)

… 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!

(I’m gonna show you all the best par you’ve ever seen after that one!)

Join me on my journey to break par!

We are on the first leg of our four-stop journey through the land of “The Big Cats.” The finishing hole here at Leopard’s Chase throws a lot at you. Wetlands off the tee, water all along the left, and waste bunkering all the way up the right side. And check out that green with a big bunker and waterfall, for good measure. Let’s get after it!

It is one beautiful morning here at Sunset Beach, North Carolina. Ocean Ridge Plantation. This is a big facility cut through the Carolina pines. Some beautiful home sites and amazing golf courses. This is the home of “The Big Cats.” Four golf courses here, each named for one of “The Big Cats.” You got the lion, you got the tiger, you got the panther, and this is Leopard’s Chase. This is the 18th hole. Check it out. It is magnificent. You better be paying attention. Here you got some water left, water right, sand right, sand left. Beautiful waterfall. Great green right on top of that waterfall. I’m going to hit the driver, and I’m just going to take the heart out of the center of this fairway. At least that’s what the game plan is. I got a good, small target.

Hang on, baby! I think that’s going to catch some sand. We’ll be all right. We’re near the beach. You might as well play from the sand. Sand’s better than water.

This is a heck of a finishing hole, here at Leopard’s Chase. You better get your fairway finder out on this one. And I know, I know. I’m driving right through the middle of a bunker. That’s something that you don’t see a lot of places, but we have a lot of that here in Myrtle Beach. A lot of times the fairways are raised up. You put the sand one, sometimes both sides of that fairway. You run the carts through there and you can actually play out of it. Just an unmaintained… Like a waste bunker. Sometimes, I posted pictures on social media sitting in one of these bunkers like this, and people are like, “You can’t ride in a bunker.” Yes, I can, and so can you.

Let’s see what we got here. See, I told you I’d be all right. One of those cart path bunker things. See a lot of it here in Myrtle Beach. I like it. Looks like we’re going to have about 155 or so. The bunkers you drive the carts through, I like really firm sand. If I get firm sand, a clean lie, it plays just as good as a ball sitting in the fairway.

And I got a really good bunker tip for you. Write this down. When you’re in a fairway bunker, close your eyes and pretend really hard that you’re in the middle of the fairway because it’s no different than hitting it out of the fairway. People think they got to do 10 different things when they’re in a fairway bunker. You just hit it. Just pretend.

Go in! Hey, that’s pretty good right there. Just pretend you’re in the middle of the fairway. Or you could go read these golf magazines and look at YouTubes and try to do 17 different things and flub it. Or pretend you’re in the fairway. I’m going to pretend I’m in the fairway. I’m good at pretending.

I was doing this show, Golf Channel, one year with the PGA Championship over at Whistling Straits, and there literally is 1,200 bunkers out there, and the one that got Dustin Johnson, too. I did my show in the morning, and I did a little thing on how to hit out of fairway bunkers. That’s what I came up with. Pretend you’re in the middle of the fairway and hit it. My buddy, Michael Breed, great teacher, unbelievable at TV. He was with Golf Channel at the time. He did a tip on hitting out of fairway bunkers later that night, on his show. I counted he had 17 things you need to do when you’re a fairway bunker. I’m going to tell you, I love Michael, but it’s a lot easier to do one thing hitting a golf shot than a 17.

Bentgrass has pretty much gone away here in Myrtle Beach. We just have a few. This was one of the holdouts up until early this summer. They took the bentgrass that was here out. This is the latest in Bermuda grasses, TifEagle. Really nice putting surface. We’re here just a few days after it opened. You can see it is in great shape. In a month or so, these putting surfaces will be absolutely perfect. Hard to beat TifEagle. Y’all come here.

It’s a pterodactyl. Look at that thing! They get up to 200-300 pounds. I’ve seen him flying around with golden retrievers in their talons. Look at him. He’s going fishing. Is he going to get one? Yeah. That’s awesome.

All right, back to the golf. Hit it. All right. Dragonfly. They got all kinds… Look at that dragonfly. This is a darned wildlife show out here. Now you come to Myrtle Beach, that’s what you get. You’re out in the wilderness. No birdies here today, but solid par on a tough golf hole.

Marlon Perkins would’ve loved this stop. We’ve tamed the leopard, now it’s time to take on a Panther. Off to the next stop!


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