Episode #17: Former PGA Tour Professional and Play Golf Myrtle Beach Spokesman Charlie Rymer 03/10/2020
Meredith: Really fun interview with former PGA Tour player, Charlie Rymer. We catch up with him, and discuss all things Myrtle Beach, including his love for fishing, and even his role as an underwear model. We had a lot of fun with this.
Meredith: Hey everyone, thanks for joining the Gimme Golf podcast, I am your host Meredith Kirk. Today, in our studio, we have a very special guest, Charlie Rymer. You guys know him from the Golf Channel. Well, we're so fortunate that he's with us today. He is the spokesperson for Play Golf Myrtle Beach.
Meredith: Charlie, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Charlie: Meredith, don't y'all have a little thing where you can hit the button, and it's like, yay? I don't get any of that?
Meredith: The effects? No, we're going to add them in later.
Charlie: Oh, yeah. Yeah, I love that. It's great to hang out with you, as always. I guess, you've lived here ... How long have you been here, in Myrtle Beach? Nine, 10 years?
Charlie: It's longer than that, right?
Meredith: Longer than that, since high school. I moved here to play golf.
Charlie: Okay, since high school. Yeah, so I've been ... You went to school at Coastal, and all that. I've been a full-time resident, here, for a little over a year now. This is my first winter. They call it winter down here, because sometimes it gets to 55 degrees. But, having moved here from Orlando, for the last 11 years. I've been visiting, and coming here a lot since I was a kid, but I haven't lived here for a full year. I can tell you, I absolutely love it. It's a wonderful place to live.
Charlie: I knew a lot about the golf, but I've discovered a lot more, away from the golf course. In particular, out on the water. Sometimes I'll get in a float boat, and cruise up and down the Intracoastal, which behind my house, is the Waccamaw River. It's just spectacular here, we're thrilled to be in the Myrtle Beach area.
Meredith: Yeah, that was actually my first question. What are some of the activities that you like to do, outside of golf? You like the river. Tell me a little bit about fishing? I did see a video of you fishing.
Charlie: So, there's fishing, and then there's fish catching. I'm a lot better at the fishing, than the actual fish catching. I've got all the equipment, the gear and everything, I look good. I'm like the person who decides they want to play golf, and they go to the PGA Tour Superstore, and they drop about $5 grand on the gear, and the apparel, and everything, and they look good going from the parking lot to the first tee. But, on the first tee, it's not so good. That's the way I am with fishing.
Charlie: But, I'm going to get a little bit better. Here, at Murrells Inlet, it's the name of our area, the part that I live in, here, it's actually a Murrells Inlet not to far from where we are, here, at TPC Myrtle Beach. It's a wonderful body of water, and throughout the years it's been one of the best spots on the whole East coast for red fish, and flounder.
Meredith: Flounder. Actually, I flounder fish out there.
Charlie: Oh, man. They say there's a lot of them out there.
Charlie: I've seen people catch them, but I hadn't actually caught many of them, myself.
Meredith: Oh, well I've taken my boys out there, and they're really good at catching flounder. But you know, I think the flounder has to be about 15 inches, to be able to bring it in?
Meredith: We have caught flounder, that we were able to take home. We went flounder fishing last year, and we brought home, probably, 10, 11 flounders.
Charlie: Fresh flounder's good.
Meredith: We were frying it that night, and my boys were like, "You're the best mama ever," because I took them fishing.
Charlie: Well, my boys, one of them is finished with college, the other one's finishing up. My boys, now, are two golden retrievers, Buzz and Gunnar. They'll get out with us, on the water.
Meredith: Do they ever jump off the boat, and go swimming?
Charlie: You know what? We don't let them do it on the saltwater side, because we got a few sharks around, in areas where you fish. But, we'll find a place on the river, off the Waccamaw, there's a few places where there's some bluffs, and some sandy beaches. We'll put the boat in there, and let them go to town.
Charlie: They love it, they love being in the water.
Meredith: Oh, that's cool. Do you ever see gators out there, on the river?
Meredith: Do you ever get nervous about that?
Charlie: Yeah, we do.
Meredith: Me too.
Charlie: We get a little nervous about that. But, it's funny, I see a lot of gators, but I never see them move. So, it's funny, our friends from up North will come down and play golf, this is the time of year where you see a lot of gators. They're going to get out on the cool days, they're going to get out on a sandy beach, and get in the sun to try to warm up. You don't see them in the summer, because they're back in the swamps. When you see them on the golf courses, then they don't move, they look fake. So, a lot of times, you'll see a big gator laying on a golf course, and there's 10 golf balls around it, people throwing a ball at him, and try to get him to move. I hope they're not going over there, and trying to get their picture taken with them, because if you see a gator on a golf course, it's not a fake gator.
Meredith: No. No, that's right. You just leave them alone.
Charlie: Some of them get pretty big.
Meredith: Yeah. That's why we have the zoom option on cameras.
Charlie: Yeah, right.
Meredith: All right, I want to talk a little bit about your golf game. Are you still considering playing the Champions Tour events?
Charlie: My golf game's a little like my fishing. I look pretty good, but can't bring it to the course.
Charlie: No, what's funny is, as I was sneaking up on 50, I decided that, even though I was doing about 240 live shows a year, that had me getting up at 3:10 AM. That's right, there's two 3:10's folks. That I could practice some, after doing my show in the morning, and get sharp enough to get out and play some decent golf. My intention was, as I was sneaking up on 50, to play some tournaments, play some PGA Section tournaments, I'm fortunate to be a member of PGA of America, maybe some mini tour events. My schedule just wouldn't allow that to happen.
Charlie: So, I went from just hitting some balls after work, and playing nine holes every now and then, to playing in a handful of events on a PGA Tour Champions, and it didn't work out, really. It was a lot of fun, but my golf game, it just wasn't ready.
Charlie: But, I did a lot of work. What's interesting is, this would have been two seasons ago, I played a decent amount. After that, my game finally started getting a little bit better. So, I go out, and I play now. I wish I could play a few events, now. In fact, I might try to slide in one or two. But, the putting, putting has never been a problem for me. I actually got to where I was hitting a ball okay, but I couldn't put it in a swimming pool, from five feet away. About, oh I don't know, about four or five months ago, I had a little thought. I said, "I'm going to try that," and all of a sudden, boom, I'm putting great now.
Charlie: Yeah, just one little thought. I've been pulling all my putts. So, I right to left putt, I'd get over five foot, or right to left, maybe going to break six inches, and I couldn't start it far enough right. So, I was terrified of all my right to left putts, and finally thought, maybe I'll just put it back in my stance a little bit. So, I moved it back about three or four inches, and now the ball goes right where I'm looking.
Charlie: So, putting is fun again, I just wish I'd had that thought a little bit earlier. I'm not saying I'd have been competitive on PGA Tour Champions, but I'd have had a few pretty decent scores, I think.
Meredith: Wow. Well, it's talk a little bit about the Ridin' With Rymer series, I've got to get that. There's a lot of Rs in there.
Charlie: It's not riding, you're adding a G. It's Ridin'.
Charlie: Ridin' with Rymer, there you go.
Meredith: That's right, we're in the Sound. Ridin' With Rymer series. Who was your favorite guest?
Charlie: Oh, who's your favorite child?
Meredith: I don't have a favorite.
Charlie: Right, I don't either.
Meredith: I love them all.
Charlie: You love them all, don't you?
Meredith: That's a good answer.
Charlie: It's the same people ask me, what's your favorite golf course, here in Myrtle Beach?
Meredith: Oh, that was my next question!
Charlie: Right. I'm fortunate enough to represent a big chunk of them, and do promotional work for a big chunk of them.
Charlie: The Ridin' With Rymer series was really a lot of fun. Our partner, there, who paid a big chunk of the bill, our friends at Founders Group International, and allowed us to do that series. I got some friends over at Club Car to send a really cool vehicle over, and we got that sucker decked up, and got some Go Pros in there, and we got our drones flying around.
Meredith: That's awesome.
Charlie: Then, golf over the years, I've been fortunate to make a lot of friends that are celebrities, so we had 12 either golf pros or celebrities come in. We'd go to a golf course, and play a little bit, mostly talk. I'm better talking than I am playing. But, it was some interesting folks.
Charlie: Mark Bryan, from Hootie and the Blowfish, has gotten to be a good buddy over the years. Hootie and the Blowfish, last year had, I think, probably the hottest tour out. They could nearly a million tickets last year, sort of a reunion tour. I hope it came across in our episode, I think it did, but Mark's a rock star, he's a lead guitarist for Hootie and the Blowfish, but he's just a guy, and he's a really cool guy. He doesn't play up the whole rock star thing. So, when he came up, and we shot that episode, it was just a lot of fun to hang out with him.
Meredith: That's cool.
Charlie: The other person, on the musician side that I've gotten to know over the years is a big teddy bear of a man by the name Dan Tyminski. People, you say that name, "Who's Dan Tyminski?" But, there was a George Clooney movie called Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?
Meredith: I remember that.
Charlie: The bluegrass movie, and the title cut from that movie was A Man of Constant Sorrow, a bluegrass song. Of course, you watch the movie, it looked like George Clooney sang it.
Charlie: George Clooney's a pretty man, but he can't sing like Dan Tyminski. That was Dan Tyminski singing, and loves golf. He's been with Allison Krauss for years. Dan Tyminski's got 14 Grammy Awards.
Charlie: There are not many people, I'd have to look it up. There's not many people that have got 14 or more Grammy Awards.
Meredith: Wow, that's impressive.
Charlie: But, just a sweetheart of a guy. So, those were a couple of my favorites.
Charlie: The episode with John Daly, that we shot here at TPC Myrtle Beach, I don't believe that's been released yet. That's going to be a good one, too. I asked John questions that he doesn't get, and I've known John a long time. The thing that frustrates me is every time John Daly does something on the negative side, and there's been a lot, and he'll tell you that, he gets beat up. Everybody throws darts at him, and shoots arrows at him. But, he's done a lot of good things, too.
Charlie: I ask him how it feels, to always get picked on by the media. Then I said, "Let's talk about some of the good things that you've done." I saw him, one time, win a golf tournament that was benefiting a children's home, and this was before John Daly was John Daly, he gave the entire winner's check to the children's home.
Charlie: Nobody ever talks about things like that, things he does with Make a Wish, some other things. So, John Daly, first off, he's a lot smarter than people think he is. He's not real smart, but he's a lot smarter than people think he is. No, he's a bright guy. He'll tell you right up, he's made a lot of double bogies, he's done a lot of dumb things, but he doesn't get credit for a lot of the thing things he's done, too. So, we got into that a little bit.
Charlie: I was real proud of that episode, and I think John will like it, when he sees it.
Meredith: Yeah, I look forward to seeing that. It's interesting, sometimes the media can just typecast people, put them in these boxes, and create this narrative about who they are, when they're not highlighting all the other dimensions about a person. It's kind of sad. We see that, not just with golf, but in other sports, and just in media, in general. But, that's good that you're bringing out that, because I think there's lot of golfers that do a lot of good, and they do get typecast, and the other things are not highlighted.
Charlie: Yeah, it's complicated. A lot of people don't realize ... They see golfers, out playing, and it looks like a video game. You forget that, we get analytics, this person, 72% of the time does blah, blah, blah. But, you forget that these aren't robots, it's not a video game, they're humans. They might have gotten in a fight with their wife this morning, or they might have a kid that's sick, or they might have something going on in their life, that they can't control. Or, they might have done something done themselves, that's impacting the way they play golf.
Charlie: It's hard to go out and play golf, because it's not like you can hand a ball to somebody else.
Charlie: It's about you, 100%, all the time. You physically might not be feeling good, emotionally you might be in a bad place.
Meredith: It's true.
Charlie: There's a lot of reasons you might play bad golf, but nobody wants to hear about that, they don't really understand, it's like a robot. Oh, they make money, they fly on private jets. Yeah, they do all of that, but there's a lot of bad stuff they deal with, too.
Meredith: Right. There's a saying, "To who much is given, much is required." All of these guys have worked hard, and ladies, they've been given a lot, but really, it's a lot of responsibility to not just handle fame, and being put on a pedestal, but it's a lot. Financially, managing money, trusting the people around you, that they have your best interest at heart, it's a lot of responsibility.
Charlie: Yeah, and things go wrong sometimes.
Meredith: So true.
Charlie: The other thing that people don't talk about is, in golf, let's say you play 30 tournaments a year, that's a really full schedule. But, let's say you play 30 tournaments a year, and let's say you win two tournaments a year. You've gotten beat 28 times a year, but if you do just that, and you do it for 15 years, that's a Hall of Fame career.
Charlie: In pretty much any other sport you play, you get a lot more positive reinforcement than in golf. If you're a football player, on any given night, you could win, you could lose. 500 might not be a great year, but you've won half the time.
Charlie: In golf, you might go five or six years, without winning. You've got to deal with a lot of defeat. So, in the media, they want to point out the bad things. If you're a golf professional, a touring golf professional, you've got to find the positives in a losing performance, and that's hard to do. You can pull it off a lot of times, but sometimes the grind just gets to you.
Charlie: That's what causes a lot of the exhaustion that people talk about, and its mental exhaustion, and its emotional exhaustion. It's dealing with getting your butt handed to you, by the golf course, and the people that you're competing against, and you just don't get things to line up all the time.
Charlie: People as me, they're like, "Do you miss playing golf?" I'm like, "Well I miss the maybe two weeks a year that I played well, but the other time, no, I don't miss that at all."
Charlie: But, there's just more to it, than what people think, or what it appears if you're a fan of the game, just watching it on TV.
Meredith: Right. Well, being a media journalist and personality on the Golf Channel, given with what you've just said, do you feel that you were an asset in highlighting the great things about players? Because, media can be tough, I'm sure the players are watching, at times, the Golf Channel, and other media outlets, of what they're saying, these narratives, and highlighting only the best. Maybe saying, "Hey, this guy hasn't won in forever, what's going on?" Do you think that they feel pressure? Or, some of the players avoid interviews, because of that? You know what I'm trying to say?
Charlie: Yeah, they get a little frustrated. So, the thing is, ... Listen, I didn't play the PGA Tour long, I played it just long enough to say I was a former PGA Tour player. But, I played it long enough to learn a decent amount about the game, but also on the media side, I've learned a lot about my colleagues that are writers, that are broadcasters. I always tried to come at being a member of the media from a playing side.
Charlie: I'll give you an example of how that's different. The issue of slow play in golf, I have a lot of colleagues on the media side, that would get on their high horse and, "Slow play is horrible. Such-and-such player is hurting the growth of the game. It's bad for golf, because when we got out and play on a Saturday we play slower, because this guy plays slow."
Charlie: I said, okay, let me look at it from a player's standpoint. You've got these rules that regulate slow play in golf. They're horrible rules, I agree with that. But, if you and I are competing, you're a touring professional, I'm a touring professional, and we're competing for a big chunk of a $10 million purse, and you're a fast player, and I'm a slow player. And, me playing slow is within the rules, but it bothers you, that's not my fault, I'm within the rules.
Charlie: You have to deal with it. They're trying to get this, the media side, "Well, why won't they slow down? People think they're a jerk." I don't go, to get up in a tournament, wanting to make friends. I've got a family at home, I go to play professional golf to put meat in the damn pot.
Meredith: That's right.
Charlie: I'm going to do that within the rules, but if I can do something that helps me play better, and it hurts you, and it's in the rules, why am I going to change?
Charlie: Now, if you want to argue about changing the rules, that's fine, and that's a good conversation to have. But, you've got people in the media that have never played for their mortgage, and they're saying, "This person needs to speed up, it's bad for the game." That person's not playing to grow the game, or bring people to the game, there's time for that later on in their career. It's a competition, and it's a fierce competition.
Meredith: It's about winning.
Charlie: He's going to go home with $1.5 million in his pocket.
Meredith: That's right.
Charlie: Now, if I'm playing for $1.5 million for me and my family, I'm not going to cheat, but I'm going to do what is allowed to me, within the rules of golf.
Charlie: And I would try to say, let's look at baseball. Let's say, you've got a pitcher, who is bringing it, and he's mowing my guys down, and I'm a manager. Well, I'm going to tell the guy going in there, "Let's back out, let's slow this guy down, let's take him out of his rhythm."
Charlie: They don't understand that, because they've never played the game at the highest level. You're just trying to take somebody out of their rhythm. If you can do that, and it helps you be better, why wouldn't you?
Meredith: Right. You're right, this happens in every other sport. I mean, you see it in basketball, too. When the game's moving really fast, then suddenly, they slow it down.
Charlie: They slow it down.
Meredith: They slow that pace down, it just changes. Sometimes, it changes how they're playing, they might go man to man, they might play zone. It's going to change, one person, it's almost like the butterfly effect, right? One person does something, it's going to have a chain reaction. I can't agree with you more, and I'm glad you're saying this because it makes so much sense, that if you are working within the rules, then, hey. And you can win?
Charlie: Do it.
Meredith: You're there to win.
Charlie: It's you and I are competing, I want my best, and you want my best, within the rules.
Charlie: There's nothing wrong with that. People on the outside looking in, they haven't been there, that are saying otherwise, honestly don't know what in the hell they're talking about.
Meredith: That's true. Well, speaking of the media, getting back to the Golf Channel, do you miss it? I know that you mentioned, one time, that you didn't miss getting up early. But, do you miss being on there regularly?
Charlie: Yeah, you know what? I love TV. I've been fortunate, in 22 years of broadcasting, to work for ... I think I've worked for every network that broadcast golf, during that period. I've been fortunate to have every role that available in golf, from being a reporter, to being a hole announcer, to being the lead analyst, to being the host, to do everything you can do in the studio. Tape shows, instruction shows, live, pregame, post game, nightly news shows, all of that. So, it's been an amazing run, in 22 years.
Charlie: I'll just say it this way. I miss the TV part, because I feel like I'm a broadcaster, and I miss being a broadcaster on a very regular basis. But, I don't miss the business behind being a broadcaster on a very regular basis. I'll just leave it at that. You can make what you want out of that.
Meredith: All right. So, if you weren't a golfer, what other sport would you play?
Charlie: Is underwear modeling a sport? I mean, technically I am an underwear model for 2 Under. 2 Under Underwear, which is a very fine product, when they were first getting started, they asked me to help them a little bit, and I said, "Yeah, I'll spread the word." I said, "Just get me some underwear, and let me call myself an ambassador for you, so technically that makes me an underwear model."
Charlie: So, I've helped them, and that allows me to say I'm an underwear model.
Meredith: Now, if you had to pick your favorite underwear design, would it be fishing rods, and fish, and flounder on it?
Charlie: Well, I'm actually working with 2 Under right now, on developing the perfect big guy underwear, so it's going to be antimicrobial infused, it's an extruded fiber so you can't have fungal issues.
Meredith: It's good in the South.
Charlie: It's got a brown body, and a yellow pouch so you can't stain it in the front, and you can't stain it in the back, and you can't get any fungus. So, it's a boxer brief, I think it's going to be a big seller.
Meredith: Well listen, it's going to be every wives' dreams when they clean those, right?
Charlie: Won't see any of the stains.
Meredith: That's right. All right, last question. Where do you envision golf to be in 25 years?
Charlie: You know, golf's been around a long time. There's actually some debate, you try to go online, and try to figure out when golf started. I think, best I can tell, it probably started somewhere in Scotland, we'll give Scotland credit. Shepherds knocking granite rocks into rabbit holes, with shepherd's crooks.
Charlie: Although, if you go and talk to, I believe, the Swedes ... The Swedes are crazy, anyway. I love them, they're crazy. They have some claim to some game, that was a precursor to even that.
Meredith: Oh, okay.
Charlie: But, I'm going to give our Scottish friends credit. By the way, the first golf played in the US was right here, in South Carolina. A lot of people don't realize that, in Charleston. I'm working on a project right now, to try to document that.
Charlie: But, it's been around a long time, there's a lot of chatter about golf being in trouble, there's a lot of debate over this, that, and the other. Golf's going to be fine, the game is going to be fine for a long time. I think sometimes the industry of golf pulls at the game of golf, and because of that, we might get to some places that maybe we shouldn't. But, when you look at it, and you look at all the entertainment options that are available to people outside of their work, or when they get into retirement, there's nothing like golf.
Charlie: Where, you can take four people, in general, that want to spend time together, go to a beautiful place, and spend, hopefully, no more than four and a half hours together, doing something that none of them are really good at, but they think they're a little better than they are. But, there's always some debate, something going one, there's something interesting to do, but there's nothing else that four people can do, in a beautiful place, that they all enjoy being there, more than golf.
Charlie: Golf is going to have some ups and downs, and all of us that love it, are going to have different point of view, and we're going to argue over it, and we might go one direction for a little while, and another direction for a little while. The industry might pull at us, a little bit. But, golf long term, it's going to be real good, for a long time.
Meredith: Yeah. I mean, golf is America's greatest pastime, I believe.
Meredith: Well Charlie, it's been great having you on the show. I'm very grateful, and you're so humble, and I love your balanced approach to golf. We're so happy to have you here, on the coast of South Carolina, so we're very lucky to have you. Just keep up the great work that you're doing for the game, you've done so much.
Meredith: Folks, join us next week on the Gimme Golf podcast. We're looking forward to connecting with you folks. You could subscribe to this podcast on multiple digital platforms, and if you have any questions always feel free to reach out to us, we are here.
Meredith: Charlie, thanks again for coming on the show.
Charlie: Are you going to teach me how to catch a flounder sometime?
Meredith: Yes, I will.
Meredith: It's all about knowing how to speed the boat up, you've got to be really, really quiet.
Charlie: There's the problem, the quiet.
Meredith: And try to get a place where there's no other boats. Then, you just be patient, and then when you start to feel it, you bring it in, you speed to boat up a little bit, and you pull that sucker.
Charlie: Yeah, I'm 0 for three on that. I can't get past quiet.
Charlie: Thank you, Meredith.
Meredith: All right, thanks.
LPGA Instructor and MyrtleBeachGolfTrips.com Ambassador Meredith Kirk hosts former PGA Tour Player Charlie Rymer for an entertaining conversation. Meredith and Charlie discuss all things Myrtle Beach, his love for fishing, 22 years as a broadcaster and even his role as an underwear model. This is a lot of fun.
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