Charlie has occasional trouble finding fairways with the driver. So while playing along the Grand Strand golf scene, he prefers courses where you can “grip it & rip it” without much fear of causing property damage. Here’s his list of five Myrtle Beach-area courses where you can especially “let the big dog eat!”
By Charlie Rymer
My time playing the PGA TOUR was in the mid 90’s. It seems like a lifetime ago, and I guess it was. People sometimes ask me why I quit the tour. Well, I didn’t actually quit. At some point I couldn’t get in the tournaments anymore. That happened at around 17 consecutive missed cuts. Give or take.
At that point the game of golf was more of a hobby than a profession. An expensive hobby. It was great spending time at home on the weekends with the wife and kids, but difficult to keep bellies full and the mortgage current.
So what happened to my game? The stats weren’t as detailed back in the day. There was no such thing as strokes gained, blah blah blah. I certainly didn’t need a personal statistician to interpret my numbers and give me a game plan.
All I had to do was look at my clothing after a PGA TOUR round. I was covered in hitchhikers, grass stains, bark marks, and my wife had to check me for ticks after every round.
You see, I couldn’t find a fairway to save my life. The only stats where I ever led the PGA TOUR were in “other fairways hit” and “house bounces.” It’s awfully hard to make a living playing golf when you can’t hit it where they mow the grass.
To this day I struggle hitting fairways with my driver. So in Myrtle Beach, I love to play the courses where you can let the big dawg eat and not worry about hitting your ball into a jacuzzi, or smacking someone in the forehead two holes over.
Here’s my top five list of courses in Myrtle Beach where you can play Big Ball without fear of sending a fellow golfer or unlucky homeowner to the hospital. Enjoy!
True Blue – Designed by the late Mike Strantz, True Blue has fairways that are as wide as you will ever see. Sometimes the fairways are as much as 60 yards wide. The idea is that width creates strategy. For me, width creates comfort. And I like being comfortable.
The Dunes Golf & Beach Club – This is a Robert Trent Jones beauty, a big course with big features. The greens are raised and surrounded by magnificent bunkering. You have to drive the ball well to play well, but you never feel claustrophobic here.
Long Bay Golf Club – Long Bay is a Jack Nicklaus design I’ve loved ever since my college days. As a member of the Georgia Tech golf team, we qualified for the NCAA Championship there my junior year. I remember having a chance to win the individual regional title but ultimately finished in 4th place. Jack Nicklaus always gives you room to drive the ball.
The Dye Course at Barefoot Resort – This is one of the toughest courses on the Grand Strand. Typical to Pete Dye courses everywhere, it is very intimidating off the tee. But here’s the thing about Pete Dye courses: the more you play them, the easier they get. Some fairways are nearly 50 yards wide, but the first time through they look like they’re 10 yards wide. After a few rounds on this beauty, you’ll realize that your tee box fears are unfounded.
Crown Park Golf Club – This is really a hidden gem that’s loads of fun. I love their home page that states “6,502 yards, 0 backyards.” You can get after it off the tee here and not worry one bit about doinking somebody’s patio and awakening a large man with big muscles from an afternoon nap.