Why this big personality is leaving Golf Channel and moving to the Myrtle Beach area

Kelly Tilghman and Charlie Rymer support The First Tee

Golf Channel personalities Kelly Tilghman of North Myrtle Beach and Charlie Rymer of Fort Mill hosted The First Tee of the Grand Strand Future Generations Tournament on Tuesday at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club.
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Golf Channel personalities Kelly Tilghman of North Myrtle Beach and Charlie Rymer of Fort Mill hosted The First Tee of the Grand Strand Future Generations Tournament on Tuesday at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club.

Charlie Rymer is saying goodbye to his full-time job on Golf Channel and hello to Myrtle Beach.

The Fort Mill native has ended an 11-year career as one of Golf Channel’s better-known personalities and is moving to the Grand Strand, where he will be a brand ambassador for Golf Tourism Solutions.

Rymer, who turned 51 on Tuesday, said he has a five-year contract to represent and do some work for the marketing and technology agency that promotes the Myrtle Beach golf market.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” Rymer said. “It feels a little like coming home. I didn’t grow up in Myrtle Beach, but I grew up in South Carolina, a state that has been so good to me.”

Rymer has been an analyst and voice on pre-game and post-game shows as well Golf Central, and his last show on Golf Channel was Sunday when “The Big Timer” ended a six-year run on the Morning Drive show.

“That 3:10 a.m. alarm clock gets a little rough,” Rymer said. “I’m grateful for my opportunity with Golf Channel, but I won’t be watching Morning Drive any longer, unless it’s on late.”

He plans to move from Orlando with his wife, Carol, who is a registered nurse, early in 2019 and will be a freelance golf broadcaster based in Myrtle Beach.

Golf Channel/NBC has already hired him to do a few events in 2019 including the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship, PGA national club pro championship, American Century Celebrity Golf Championship and PGA Junior League Championship, and he’ll continue to do commentary on Westwood One Radio at the Masters and PGA Championship.

“I’m a broadcaster. You’ve got it in the blood and that’s what you want to do,” said Rymer, who may play in a few Champions Tour events as well as Carolinas PGA tournaments. He will resign his post as vice president of the PGA of America’s North Florida Section and be a member of the CPGA.

“To have him calling Myrtle Beach home will be a big opportunity to project that out,” Golf Tourism Solutions president Bill Golden said. “He’ll be living the golf life in Myrtle Beach, and that will be projected throughout the country.”

Golden said Rymer will be included in much of Golf Tourism Solutions’ marketing and promotional material, particularly online, and be involved creatively as well.

“He’s not only a spokesperson but somebody we can lean on in the creative process as well,” Golden said. “We’ll integrate Charlie into many of our videos and content. And Charlie is a creative individual. . . . He’ll be a great asset to have as we continue to increase our online and social media platforms.”

Rymer has a long history with the Grand Strand. Both the north end and south end were vacation spots for his family growing up.

He won high school state team and individual titles at Bay Tree Golf Plantation in North Myrtle Beach and the Carolinas Golf Association’s South Carolina Junior at Myrtlewood Golf Club, and played in the George Holliday Memorial Junior at Myrtle Beach National.

His high school golf coach was Eddie Weldon, the brother of longtime Grand Strand pro Gene Weldon, and Rymer has continued that relationship as a board member of the Gene’s Dream Foundation named in honor of the late Weldon. He has regularly hosted The First Tee Coastal Carolina’s fundraising Future Generations Tournament at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club along with former Golf Channel coworker Kelly Tilghman.

As a player, the Georgia Tech alum won the U.S. Junior and the Tour’s 1994 Nike South Carolina Classic, and had a top PGA Tour finish of third at the 1995 Shell Houston Open.

He moved into broadcasting, and after a run on ESPN as a PGA Tour analyst he joined the cast of the Golf Channel show “Road Trip: Myrtle Beach,” for its one season in 2008 along with musicians Josh Kelley and Mark Bryan and pro golfer Perry Swenson.

He was hired by Golf Channel shortly thereafter, perhaps because of the personality he displayed on the reality-type show. He has made numerous visits to Strand events representing Golf Channel.

Rymer plans to become heavily involved in Golf Tourism Solutions’ Project Golf, an initiative to promote and grow the game with a focus on youth and disabled veterans.

“I’m looking forward to really plugging into the community . . . and getting involved with the Project Golf Foundation that’s coming along,” Rymer said. “It helps with kids, junior golf and vets. Those are things that are right in my wheelhouse that I’m passionate about and I plan to be on the leading edge with those things in Myrtle Beach.”

In recent years, Golf Tourism Solutions or its affiliated nonprofit marketing cooperative Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday have hired Coastal Carolina alumnus and former world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and internet sensation and model Paige Spiranac to represent the market as ambassadors. Spiranac’s involvement will continue in 2019.

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Alan Blondin covers golf, Coastal Carolina athletics and numerous other sports-related topics that warrant coverage. Well-versed in all things Myrtle Beach, Horry County and the Grand Strand, the Northeastern University journalism school valedictorian has been a sports reporter at The Sun News since 1993, earning eight top-10 Associated Press Sports Editors national writing awards and 18 top-three S.C. Press Association writing awards since 2007.