You know all about Dustin Johnson, a local boy who is making millions on the PGA Tour.
Well, there's another local boy - OK, this boy is 53 years old - who is also making it big in golf.
Meet Rick Baird, a member of the Professional Putters Association (PPA) who honed his putting skills in North Myrtle Beach.
On April 9, Baird achieved a measure of fame when he scored a perfect game in the Richmond (Va.) Open, sinking 18 straight holes in one.
It was only the third perfect game in the 52-year history of the PPA and the first since 1979.
The feat earned him a spot in Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd section and the honor of being introduced at future tournaments as "Mr. Perfect."
Baird, now a Charlotte resident, grew up in Lake City. His family owned a beach house near The Pad in North Myrtle Beach and on long weekend visits he would spend hours at a now-defunct putt-putt course at Ocean Drive.
"I was about 8 or 9 and didn't care about laying on the beach or playing in the water," he said. "So I'd spend most of the day at the putt-putt course and I got pretty good."
He moved to Charlotte when he was 14 and did odd jobs at a course there. In exchange he had free use of the miniature golf layout - and two years later he was good enough to join the PPA.
Today, he plays in about six tournaments a month, mostly in the Southeast but also as far away as Texas, where he won the national championship in 2007.
"You can't make a living at it, but as a professional there is some money involved, about enough to pay expenses," he said.
So, Rick, how'd you feel lining up that final putt back in Richmond?
"Actually, No. 17 was the hardest hole on the course," he said. "When I made that, No. 18 should have been easy. But under the circumstances ... very difficult, the most nervous I've ever been."
Baird still comes to North Myrtle Beach to visit his mother, Beady Moore, but he doesn't spend much time at the Strand's tourist-driven miniature golf courses. Our courses, after all, have little in common with regulation putt-putt courses.
I think it's all those fire-breathing dragons and smoking volcanoes. Even Dustin couldn't putt with those kind of distractions.
Contact BOB BESTLER at email@example.com.