07/29/2013

North Myrtle Beach native Kelly Tilghman and Fort Mill native Charlie Rymer benefitted from junior golf programs in South Carolina that helped launch their golf careers.

Wednesday July 25, 2013 they are going to show the world the benefits of a youth organization in the Myrtle Beach area.

The Golf Channel personalities will be doing live remote segments from The First Tee of the Grand Strand’s Future Generations Tournament at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club during the Wednesday’s 7-9 a.m. Morning Drive sports talk show.

Tilghman usually hosts the Tuesday and Wednesday editions of Morning drive and Rymer is a show regular five days a week.

“This was basically an idea Charlie and I came up with together,” Tilghman said. “Both of us being South Carolina natives, we grew up competing with and against each other in junior golf, and Charlie and I just wanted to know our local First Tee chapter better. We’re excited about this thing.

The Golf Channel is the official media partner of the First Tee, and Morning Drive is committed to a segment on The First Tee the first Wednesday of every month.

Tilghman and Rymer are also hosting a per-tournament dinner and banquet Tuesday night at The Dunes Golf and Beach Club. Tilghman expects to do between two and four live segments from the fundraiser for The First Tee of the Grand Strand, which has been overseen by the highly successful First Tee of Brunswick County for the past two years.

“It’s a big two-day extravaganza and we’ll talk about what we’ve done over the two days, Tilghman said. “The plan is to drop a spotlight on this thing. This is a great opportunity to show people what The first Tee is all about.”

The First Tee program was created in 1997 to give underprivileged children an introduction and access to golf. It has evolved into a youth development program that teaches life skills as well as golf skills, stressing nine core values. It has approximately 200 chapters throughout the U.S. and five additional countries.

Tilghman is a 1987 North Myrtle Beach graduate and hopes to take a few days off around her First Tee activities to meet with family and friends.

Rymer has a strong connection to the Strand as well. His high school golf coach, Eddie Weldon, is the brother of Thistle Golf Club director of golf Gene Weldon, who was the 20-year head pro at Gator Hole Golf Club, which was owned and operated by Tilghman’s father, Phil. So Rymer’s team would regularly come to the beach to practice. The former PGA Tour member won a handful of individual titles on Strand courses in his youth, and was marketing cooperative Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday’s first national spokesperson in 2007.