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Story by Ian Guerin
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. | Every now and again, Ryan Ruddy gets the question. Where are you from? “Scranton, home of ‘The Office,’” he says, mixing routine with purpose. “Scranton, home of ‘The Office,’” he says, mixing routine with purpose. He watched as the characters portrayed by the likes of Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski routinely set up a longstanding schtick while referring to restaurants and bars that were very much real. It has allowed Ruddy to relate with golf patrons for years as he served in various roles at three different Myrtle Beach-area properties. Essentially, those who couldn’t point Scranton out on a map could talk popular culture. Those who knew their way around northeastern Pennsylvania could talk shop.
After all, it was the golf there that pushed Ruddy into the game that now pays his salary. On the 15th hole at Glenmaura National Golf Club just outside Scranton, Ruddy hit pay dirt on his first hole-in-one in front of family and friends just prior to a cousin’s wedding. Down the road some at Bucknell Golf Club, he regularly joined his uncle for rounds while also playing some of his junior golf tournaments. Ruddy is also fond of the Scranton Municipal Golf Course and Pine Hills Country Club, the local tracks that hosted many of his high school golf matches. Bouncing between differing types of courses opened his eyes to what the sport could offer. It drove him to search for a place where that was the norm. Myrtle Beach was that place. He was accepted into the Golf Academy of America’s campus here. Shortly after graduation, he was hired in the first of his three stops.
Now 36-years old, Ruddy is fully engulfed in the market, serving as not only the head golf professional but also the general manager at one of the most popular multi-course sites in and around Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach National Golf Club. “The quality and variety of championship golf with in a short driving distance is a plus,” Ruddy said. “The area is packed with scenic golf courses up and down the Grand Strand that challenge all facets of your game.” He’ll gladly talk about it - whether he’s at home or the office.