Looking for a Breakthrough at Sea Trail-Maples: “Breaking Par with Charlie Rymer” Episode 40

In the final leg of his three -course tour through Sea Trail Golf Resort, Charlie’s taking on the par-5 15th at its Dan Maples signature layout. Can “The Big Timer” break his string of pars and come up with a birdie here? 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 …

(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!

As we make our final stop at Sea Trail Golf Resort, you better appreciate waste bunkering here on number 15 at the Maples Course, because you’ve got one riding shotgun with you for nearly the entire length of the hole on this challenging par 5. It’s all tightly framed by heavy tree line on both sides. So, let’s focus on finding the fairway on our way to the green.

So, give or take, I’m about a mile from the beach here on the North Carolina Coast. Yeah, that’s right. We’re at the far north end of the Grand Strand in Sunset Beach, North Carolina. This is Sea Trail. It’s a golf course with 54 holes designed by Rees Jones, Willard Byrd, and this one done by Dan Maples. It’s the 15th hole, it’s a par 5.

Now, Dan Maples is a legend in the Carolinas, so was his father Ellis Maples, and his grandfather actually was a construction supervisor for Donald Ross and Pinehurst. So here in the Carolinas, the bloodlines in golf course architecture run deep and true. Just a classic tree-lined, North Carolina coastal golf course. This is going to be a three-shotter for me. Let’s see what we can get here.

Oh, I got that pretty good. It might be a two-shotter!

Yeah, get some of that, ladies and gentlemen.

Really is cool how much of golf in this country came out of the Pinehurst area with Donald Ross settling there, CB McDonald of course up in the Northeast, and both of those great architects and disciples out, really, across the world. But a lot of it started right here in the Carolinas, the original run of golf courses that really put us on the map as a golf course capital of the world. That started in the early 80s and Dan Maples responsible for a lot of those early designs. Yeah, it’s going to be a three-shotter.

All right. So, this is it folks. The three wood, AKA, the Devil’s Club. When I played professional golf, I had a rule. If I saw water anywhere, I wouldn’t hit a three wood because I would hit it right in the water. Swimming pool, two rows of houses over, I’d hit it in there. I’m going to make an exception today. There’s a little hazard I got to fly. I’m going to hit this three wood and try and get up there as close to green as I can. Please get over that water.

Uh-oh. Hang on baby. That wasn’t my best, but I can still see it. And it’s dry. The Devil’s Club. I don’t like that one.

I’m going to tell you what, I love this shot right here. Y’all come right over here and look at this. Christian, get this. See the flag? See how I got to keep it right of these trees, under that limb, and hook it back against the wind. I live for shots like this. So, what I’m going to do is I’m going to take a pitching wedge, I’m going to put it back in my stance, that’s going to keep it low. I’m going to close that club face down, that’ll get a little hook.

Man, I love this one.

Right on up there, baby. Right on up there, baby.

Yeah, she’s putting. Love hitting shots like that.

It’s like, in my dreams when I’m playing the NBA, I’ve got a three-pointer to win the game and a buzzer’s going to go off and there’s six hands in my face, don’t bother me, I go ahead and make it. That’s what that tree limb is right there. It’s six hands in my face. Middle of the fairway, I got no chance. But under that tree, I got it.

This Dan Maples Course is a bit of a throwback in that when it was designed, it came online. Back in the 80s, it was bentgrass greens, and they’re one of the few courses in the area that have continued to grow big. There’s a couple others, but not many. In the summertime, they get a little bit slow. But I got to tell you what, in the wintertime, bentgrass, that’s a surface you just can’t beat.

Did you see that? Did you see that? How does that not go in? Gah. That’s pure right there. No birdies here today. Can’t believe that didn’t go in. That was a bad break. I’m going to fire my caddy on that one. There was somebody talking over there. I heard a siren. Seagulls were going. That’s what kept that out, the seagulls. They get you every time, especially when you’re this close to the beach. How does that not go in?

We got a bunch more stops to make along the north end, so be sure to join us as we head around the corner for the next one!


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