A native of Fort Mill, S.C., Charlie Rymer has been treating golf fans to his quick wit and down home “Good Ol’ Boy” humor since he came on the scene in 1998 as a sports commentator for ESPN. This past year, Rymer has been a mainstay on The Golf Channel as a full-time studio analyst, working on a number of shows and adding big smile spice to Golf Central broadcasts. Relying on his experiences on the PGA and then Nationwide tours (he was a better player than he’ll admit to), Rymer uses his views on life and golf to entertain audiences all over the world. After graduating as a two-time All-America at Georgia Tech, Rymer, who now lives in Orlando, Fl., spent over 10 years playing professional golf and recorded his best finish on the PGA Tour with a third-place finish at the Shell Houston Open in 1995. He also shot a 61 at the 1996 Byron Nelson Classic and won the 1994 Nationwide Tour South Carolina Classic. Golfing Magazine caught up with him at The Travelers Championship in Cromwell Ct. recently for a quick chat.
GM: How are things going with The Golf Channel gig?
CR: Great! I’ve been able to do many different things, work with great people and it’s been a fun and eye opening experience. I’ve done a lot of in-studio stuff and also have gotten out to do color for LPGA events. I haven’t gotten fired yet, which is good.
GM: Any surprises in the job so far?
CR: Well, it’s a lot harder than I thought. There is so much preparation that goes into a show and you have to do your homework or else you risk looking foolish on the air.
GM: I understand you moved recently to Orlando. How is that going?
CR: Well, it’s hot, really hot. But it has allowed me to be a much better father to my two sons, Charlie, who is 13, and Hayden, who is 12, because I live only a mile or so from the studio and I’m home most of the time. When I was playing, I was on the road all the time. Now, it’s only a few weeks out of the year.
GM: Do you sons enjoy the game?
CR: They do and they are pretty good players but they haven’t gotten close to beating the old man yet. We have come down the back nine with them fairly close a few times but it’s still a way off, I hope. Pretty much all the golf I play these days is family golf.
GM: Do you miss competing, being on Tour?
CR: Not really. There are days when I have these dreams about being able to compete but then I go to the course to play and I get a wake-up call. My days of competing seriously are over. My game really isn’t suited for public display.
GM: But you still love the game. That is obvious in your broadcasting style.
CR: I do love the game. It’s something I have been able to do my whole life and I treat it with respect. That’s how I approach my job. I try to be honest, fair, and respectful . I know what it is like for guys trying to make a living at golf and it isn’t easy. Some people may think I’m being soft sometimes on players, but I try to look into a person’s background and find out why something happened rather than just criticizing them.
GM: You like to have fun while broadcasting, don’t you?
CR: Golf is a game and it is a diversion for people. It gives us some time to forget about our problems and enjoy ourselves. I try to have fun with it and help other people have fun along the way.