On an Island at Long Bay: “Breaking Par with Charlie Rymer” Episode 49

An island getaway is on the docket for “The Big Timer” as he heads over to the lair of “The Golden Bear,” Long Bay Golf Club in Longs, S.C. Let’s see what this Jack Nicklaus design has in store for Charlie as he takes on its par-3 13th 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 …

(Did I mention I made birdie there?)

… 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 go Google “perfect,” and see if that shot doesn’t come up right there!)

Join me on my journey to break par!

Charlie Rymer:
Time to check in on the Golden Bear’s North Strand design. The 13th at Long Bay is a departure from the sprawling bunkers that Jack Nicklaus offers on many of his holes here. This one’s all about the island. A green that’s not too long to reach but is surrounded by water. We need a bounce-back effect today. Let’s tee it up!

So we’re in Longs, South Carolina, just a few minutes away from the heart of Myrtle Beach. And this is Long Bay Club. It’s designed by Jack Nicklaus. This is the 13th hole; it’s an island green. And when I come here, I’ve got a lot of great memories. My junior year at Georgia Tech, check out the hat. We had the NCAA East regionals here, and we advanced to the NCAA (Tournament). So a lot of really good memories on this golf course. I love it.

And as for this 13th, it’s an island green. I got a tip for you. You don’t want to go right, you don’t want to go left, you don’t want to go long, and you don’t want to go short. You got that? That’s how you play an island green.

Be right, baby! Go in the bucket! I love me some Long Bay!

So I got to tell you, my senior year at Georgia Tech, it might’ve been my junior year; it was so long ago, I can’t remember. We actually played really well that week. I think we might’ve finished second or third as a team. And I think I finished maybe top five. And one of the cool things I remember my grandfather, Leo; he was a character, now, and he came to watch, and he always had a cooler of beer, not very far away. And he liked that cheap beer, Milwaukee’s Best. We call it “The Beast.” And every time I come in here, I can remember sitting in the corner of the parking lot in a lawn chair with my grandfather, Leo, mom, dad, some other family members, drinking “The Beast,” celebrating, advancing to the NCAA Finals. So I’ve had a lot of great moments here at Long Bay, a lot of memories. It’s a cool place; y’all ought to come check it out.

There’s something about an island green that always makes your pulse rate kick up a little bit. Pretty small target out here, too. Always a pretty good idea to avoid shooting it to flagstick. Just try to put it where there’s some grass.

All right, we got a little right to left. Coming off the back of that bunker. See what we got here? Come on! That was a good roll at it. Good par here. I might go celebrate with a “Beast!”

So the NCAA regionals here, that’d probably been 1989, maybe 1990. And we were paired with Georgia and Temple for the first two rounds, and the golf coach at the University of Georgia, his name was Dick Copas, he was also one of the football coaches, an assistant on the football team.

And he was real old South. He always wore a straw hat, and generally he’d have a piece of straw in his mouth, a real character. And he was standing behind the 10th green here at Long Bay. And the kid from Temple hit a good shot in there. And the kid from Georgia and me, we were somewhere on the green, but we weren’t even close.

And Dick Copas, he looked at that player from Temple, and he says, “Good shot, son.” And that player from Temple said, “I’m not your son.”

And Copas says, “All right, good shot, asshole.”

I’ll never forget that. What a moment!

The 10th green here at Long Bay. Well, par’s not bad here at all. I’ll most definitely take it. And I think Coach Copas would’ve approved. We’re off to the next stop in our Breaking Par journey!


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