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Aaron Marks, host of “The Drive” on CBS Sports Radio's Myrtle Beach affiliate, WSEA-FM, paid a recent visit to Burning Ridge Golf Club where he interviewed Burning Ridge's head golf professional, Steve Ubl. Aaron and Steve discussed several factors behind what made Burning Ridge the 2006 “Golf Course of the Year” as awarded by the Myrtle Beach Area Golf Course Owners Association.
Aaron: Joining us to talk about the golf course I had the chance to play the other day is none other than the head golf professional here at Burning Ridge Golf Club, Steve Ubl. Steve, how are you?
Steve: Doing well, thanks …
Aaron: So the most important question I have to ask, and you've been hearing us talk this morning, is this: do you have a narrator for Shark Week?
Steve: Personally, I think Joe Rogan would be the A+ choice for that one …
Aaron: That's a good one – a little UFC action coming to Shark Week!
Let's talk a little bit about the course. In 2006, it was named Myrtle Beach Golf Course of the Year (by the Myrtle Beach Area Golf Course Owners Association). So there's not a great deal that you're looking to make any changes with. I guess it's all about maintaining (a good thing). Tell us about what's been going on here in recent years.
Steve: Well, we were two courses for a long time, and it's been about 10 years now since we reduced it down to 18 holes. At that time, they put a lot of effort into revamping the current course (which was the East Course formerly). Took out a bunch of bunkers and trees, and made it more playable. It's a great design, everyone seems to enjoy it, and it's in fantastic shape. So, by all means, we invite folks to come out and check it out.
Aaron: What are some of the challenges folks will face the next time they come out here? What are the aspects of this course that make it so great, and helped it win that award back in 2006?
Steve: Well, the award had a lot to do with the course, but it also had a lot to do with the management and our place in the community, and what we try to do for the local community. We've always been involved in local tournaments, and the like.
But as far as the course itself, it's a Gene Hamm design, so there's a lot of perspective when you look at it. You'd think (at first) that you don't have a lot of area to land the ball, but in fact you do, there's space out there. The greens are not just your typical round or oval shapes – there are a lot of them that have shaping where you're not only talking about direction but also distance control that comes into play.
Aaron: Yeah, I learned that (laughing) … a lot of chip shots from off the green … you hit a lot of different types of shots from out there.
Steve: We'll make you a shot maker for sure!
Aaron: I had a very good time when I played the other day. It's an awesome facility. I've been out here a couple of times, but it had actually been a couple of years since I'd last played it. So I was excited to get back out, and glad to see it hadn't changed a whole lot.
But it has its challenges. I was actually driving the ball fantastically, but that doesn't necessarily put you in a position where there's an easy shot coming in.
Steve: You can't have just a standard, go-into-the-green kind of shot. You want to make sure you're on line, but distance control is a key point for sure if you want to be birdie putting.
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