Golf

Bob Gillespie

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Home Course: Charlie Rymer

Posted 10/17/2011 11:14:00 AM

To watch Charlie Rymer on the Golf Channel, where it seems he’s doing something almost every night while holding forth on a variety of subjects, it’s hard to imagine that when he was a teenager, it was almost impossible to get two words out of him.

It’s true, though. When the Fort Mill native was winning three straight South Carolina Junior Championships in the mid-1980s, pulling chicken’s teeth was easier than eliciting a quote from the big, quiet youngster. Then he went off to play college golf at Georgia Tech, where he became a two-time All-American and, as he once put it, “discovered the Atlanta night life, and beer.”

The affable and voluble Rymer, 43, began talking for a living when his up-and-down, three-year (1995-97) PGA Tour career ended. He joined ESPN’s golf coverage team in 1998, spending 10 years there before moving to Golf Channel full-time in May 2009. Along the way, he’s crossed verbal swords with fellow golf funnymen David Feherty and Gary McCord, usually holding his own.

In 2007, he became national spokesperson for Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday, and hosted Golf Channel’s “Road Trip: Myrtle Beach” series. He’s also partners with architect Mike Young in Athens, Ga.-based Young Rymer Designs. When he’s not on a TV set, at a PGA Tour event or blogging for Golf Channel, he’s spending time with wife Carol and sons Charlie Duke and Hayden at their home in Orlando, Fla.

Rymer’s chat-ability got him in a minor jam a few years ago. While covering the Masters for the Westwood One radio network, he stepped outside the Augusta National media center to use his cell phone – and was nabbed by a security guard, since cell phones are allowed only inside the media building. Rymer apologized, and the tournament re-admitted him the next day.

It’s the only time Charlie has stopped talking lately. After all, he’s very good at it.

Hometown: Fort Mill

Bio: Won back-to-back-to-back S.C. Junior Championship titles while in high school. Was a two-time All-American at Georgia Tech and played three years on the PGA Tour, with a best finish of third at the 1995 Shell Houston Open.

Highlights: Won the 1994 Nationwide Tour (then Nike Tour) South Carolina Classic. Was paired with Greg Norman during the 1996 Heritage the week after Norman’s final-round Masters meltdown; after a heckler harassed Norman, Rymer told the Shark the next day: “Don’t worry, Greg, nothing like that will happen today – I’m carrying a gun in my golf bag.”

Where I play: “I love Harbour Town (Golf Links), and I like The Dunes Club in Myrtle Beach. I also like the Country Club of Charleston and Chanticleer (Greenville Country Club), I won some junior tournaments there. But my true favorite courses are Camden Country Club and Palmetto (Golf Club) in Aiken. Those are classics, absolute gems; I’m a huge fan of both. Every time I’m (in Augusta) I try to stop by Palmetto. I love the (Alister) Mckenzie influence, the whole nine yards.

“I grew up in Fort Mill, and the front nine at Fort Mill Golf Club was designed by Donald Ross. It’s a pretty good course, particularly the front nine. There were three courses, all built by Springs Industries, that we played our high school matches on: Lancaster Country Club, Chester Country Club and Fort Mill, and Fort Mill was the best of the three. A lot of Charlotte people come down to play there.”

Where I eat: “Going to Myrtle Beach a lot, there’s a place in Florence, Red Bone Alley, that I love. They’ve got great fried chicken, and the best is these pullet bones; you’ve got to sweet-talk (the waitresses) to get those.

“I like Maurice’s Barbecue in Columbia, too. I’m a big fan of mustard-based barbecue, and the only place you can get it is in South Carolina.

“In Myrtle Beach, the best place I’ve been is Greg Norman’s Australian Grill. It’s really, really good.”

What I do for fun: “I like to bring the family to Myrtle Beach. We enjoy playing golf there, and we’re big fans of the crazy putt-putt places. Those are a lot of fun.

“I really enjoy fly fishing now. In Charleston, we’ll go after redfish in the fall, and we do some off-shore fishing, too. In the mountains, I like to go up above Seneca and do some stream fishing for trout. But then, I pretty much love to fish anywhere.”