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Golf Channel Personality & Journalist Damon Hack joins Charlie as they play the lowcountry favorite, Willbrook Plantation Golf Club
Charlie: Today in Myrtle Beach I'm hanging out with one of the nicest guys I know, Damon Hack. I love him, and you're going to love him too. I'm Charlie Rymer and this is Ridin' With Rymer. What do you say, D Hack?
Damon: I made it, brother.
Charlie: Give me a hug, buddy.
Damon: Myrtle Beach, baby, I made it.
Charlie: Let me see these clubs. Oh man, I got a treat for you today. We're at Willbrook Plantation.
Charlie: Hop on in.
Charlie: You're going to love it. Oh, that's what I'm talking about right there. That's a bunker shot.
Damon: Oh, baby.
Charlie: All right, Damon, you grew up in LA.
Charlie: You didn't play golf when you were a kid. Basketball was your thing, right?
Damon: Basketball was my sport. If golf was on TV we'd turn it off.
Charlie: Turn it off.
Damon: Can you believe that?
Charlie: That's really funny.
Charlie: And you went to UCLA, you got an undergrad degree from UCLA.
Damon: I hit the books, I was like, you know what? I'm not going to be an athlete. I'm going to focus on getting into sports journalism. I want to be around sports one way or another, I love sports. So, after I graduated I decided to go to graduate school. Because UC Berkeley has a great journalism program. So I got a masters in journalism.
Damon: And big timer I was on my way.
Charlie: And from there, I know you wrote for New York Times.
Charlie: How long at New York Times?
Damon: I was there for five years. But before the Times, I paid my dues. I was a Summer intern at the Fresno Bee.
Charlie: Fresno Bee.
Damon: In Fresno, California. It's hot. Hot in Fresno.
Charlie: Oh man.
Damon: Oh my gosh.
Damon: I was a Sacramento Bee intern as well. And then I got the break of a lifetime, because all the sports writers that covered the 49ers were tired of it.
Charlie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Damon: And here I was this young kid just out of grad school, I was like, I want to do it, I want to do it. They gave me a try out during training camp to cover six weeks of football, see if I could do it. They gave me the bead after six weeks. So I had three years of covering the San Francisco 49ers. Here I am in my young 20s, and it was an incredible experience. And then I got offered a job to cover the Knicks news day. Long Island paper.
Damon: That's why I moved from California, I'm a California kid. I moved across the country, two years covering the Knicks and a little big of PGA Tour.
Damon: And then I got hired by the Times to cover the NFL for five years.
Charlie: And then it was on to SI.
Damon: Sports Illustrated.
Charlie: It's hard to get this out of you, but how many cover stories did you write for SI?
Damon: I don't know.
Charlie: It was a lot.
Damon: It was a lot. It was a lot. I mean, I had Adrian Peterson.
Damon: Running back was a cover story I did. I did the Giants Patriots second Superbowl cover story. I did the Steelers Cardinals Superbowl Santonio Holmes. I did Tiger Woods cover story when he came back from injury.
Charlie: So, let me ask you this.
Charlie: You're walking on the street in New York City.
Charlie: You go by the news stand, there's SI. What does it feel like knowing that you wrote the copy for that story.
Damon: Probably it feels like hitting a well struck four iron for you. I mean, you just feel it in your soul.
Charlie: All right, Damon.
Damon: All right.
Charlie: Let's check out this par three.
Charlie: What I want you to notice, there's two bunkers over there on the left.
Damon: I'm not looking at the bunkers, Charlie.
Damon: I'm looking at the green.
Charlie: You can think all you want, but this is going in the bunker.
Charlie: Where'd it go? Damon, where'd it go?
Charlie: I can't believe you hit that ball in the bunker.
Damon: Of course. Of course I did.
Charlie: So, you've done a lot of interviews in your life.
Charlie: The most riveting interview that you've done. Who is that?
Damon: I'd probably have to say Michael Jordan. I looked him dead in the eyes, and his eyes were as intense as I've ever seen. I mean, like they were back lit. There were flames coming out of his eyes. I'm serious. There's certain athletes who have that intensity. You said Nicholas has kind of a similar look.
Charlie: Nicholas, Mr. Palmer.
Charlie: Yeah. He's got an amazing presence. Loves this game.
Damon: He sure does, man. Who doesn't love this game? Everybody. Steph Curry, Darius Rucker. You got accomplished people outside of their own endeavor. Tony Romo, all they want to do is play golf.
Charlie: Yeah. So.
Charlie: I know you're a wine connoisseur.
Charlie: And you go to Italy.
Charlie: I know you go out to the West Coast. Wine is something you enjoy. You're looking at writing a book.
Charlie: About wines and all the celebrities that have their own wine label.
Damon: It's amazing the number of big time athletes, celebrities who have kind of launched a second career around wine. I've already spent time with Greg Norman, went to his office in Palm Beach and spent some time with him, and talked about how he got into it, and how he was this businessman outside of being a World Golf Hall of Famer. And he said because of his travels as an accomplished golfer is when he fell in love with wine, and got in the business of making wine. And he's very serious about it. So much in that we actually open up some bottles in his office.
Charlie: Oh, I bet you were like please Greg, no. Don't make me drink any wine.
Damon: And he was so into it. He was like Damon, this is a wine you have with pizza. This is a wine with you have with steak. I mean, we had Shiraz, and we had Pinot Noir, and we had Sauvignon Blanc. And he is not just an accomplished golfer. He is an absolute wine connoisseur.
Charlie: Well, that's pretty neat. I know you're excited about digging into that.
Damon: Yeah, it's been a fun hobby.
Charlie: So, this is your third or fourth trip here.
Damon: Yeah, yeah.
Charlie: To Myrtle Beach.
Damon: Exactly right. Third trip.
Charlie: Well, what do you think about the area?
Damon: I love it. I love it. And I tell you what, there's just no shortage of things to do. The golf is incredible. The variety of courses is incredible. And the hospitality here is great. Everybody is happy. They're bringing their families, they're doing buddies trips and things like that. And the golf is just fantastic here. So fun.
Charlie: Southern culture, especially hanging out with me, it is different.
Charlie: It's friendly.
Damon: Southern hospitality is a real thing.
Damon: And there's an abundance in Myrtle Beach.
Charlie: Talking about things you love, you got a beautiful wife. Y'all have triplet boys.
Charlie: I couldn't imagine. I mean, I've got two boys. They're 20 months apart, having triplets, all the same age at the same time.
Charlie: How do you guys manage all of that?
Damon: Well, just like you, my wife is a superhero. And we run a tight ship. It's the army in our house. Otherwise it'd be chaos. We play golf together. You want to talk about fun? We take two carts. So it's me, my wife, and the three boys. We've got two carts out there, and we're just having an absolute blast. There's just nothing like it. I want to freeze this age, because it's just so fun. It's precious, precious times.
Charlie: All right Damon, let's get up here at 18 green and finish out this great day of golf.
Damon: Let's do it. Sounds like a plan.
Charlie: All right.
Charlie: That was good.
Damon: What a game, my man.
Charlie: Hey buddy, always great spending time with you.
Damon: Thank you, my friend.
Charlie: Folks, any day on the golf course with Damon Hack is a great day. Damon, appreciate you coming out. Ridin' With Rymer.
Damon: I'd ride with Rymer any time.
Charlie: You always got a spot with me, buddy.
Damon: Thanks, pal.
Charlie: Buddy, I got to tell you, that was a lot of fun.
Damon: That was fun, how about putting?
Charlie: One of these days Damon.
Damon: I know, right? One of these days.
Charlie: They're all going in.
Damon: I'm going to shock the world.
Charlie: I hope I'm there when they do go in.
Damon: Oh, you know it, brother.
Charlie: Book your next vacation or get a customized quote at myrtlebeachgolftrips.com. We're at Willbrook Plantation. This is a ... Where'd you go? Oh, there you are.
Damon: Here I am. Over here.
Charlie: You know what? Fruit is not allowed in my cart. That shit's got to go. Mulligan. We'll get this in a second. He's been doing this for 20 years and hasn't gotten any better. How cool is that?
Damon: That felt good.
Charlie: Yeah it looked good.
Damon: The butt of the club.
Charlie: Butt of the club.
Damon: Butt of the club.
Charlie: What we're saying is, it's all about the butt of the club.
Damon: The butt of the club.