World Golf Hall of Fame Member Nancy Lopez Visits Pawleys Plantation

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As shown recently on “The Charlie Rymer Golf Show” on ESPN2, Nancy Lopez joins Charlie Rymer at the spectacular Pawleys Plantation. Watch as they take on some of the most famous holes at this Jack Nicklaus signature design!

Charlie (00:13):
Today I’m on the south end of Myrtle Beach at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Pawleys Plantation, and I’m hanging out with my good buddy, World Golf Hall of Fame member, Nancy Lopez. I’m Charlie Rymer, and this is Ridin’ with Rymer!
Ha ha ha ha, Nancy Lopez.
Nancy Lopez (01:03):
Charlie (01:05):
Welcome to Myrtle Beach and Pawleys Plantation.
Nancy Lopez (01:09):
Thank you.
Charlie (01:09):
It’s great to see you.
Nancy Lopez (01:09):
Thank you.
Charlie (01:09):
We have got a wonderful golf course today designed by Jack Nicklaus. I’ve got you loaded up. Hop in the cart, I can’t wait to get you out there.
Nancy Lopez (01:16):
I can’t wait to get out there either.
Charlie (01:18):
You need any help getting up there? It’s a big boy cart.
Nancy Lopez (01:21):
No, I’m a big girl.
Charlie (01:23):
Whatever you do, don’t honk the horn today. So Nancy, what was more challenging, winning 48 LPGA events, playing your way into the World Golf Hall of Fame, or raising three daughters?
Nancy Lopez (01:44):
Well, raising three daughters was fun, but I had to travel with them too. Which after you win your first one, you’re like, “Okay, I can do this.” Never did I think I would get in the Hall of Fame, and especially the LPGA Hall of Fame. Cause you really had to earn it and the criteria was really, really difficult.
Charlie (02:00):
Yeah, that’s straight up points to get in the LPGA Hall of Fame.
Nancy Lopez (02:03):
Well, now it’s points. Back then it was, I had to win two different majors with 30 wins. I kept winning the same major, the LPGA Championship.
Charlie (02:14):
There’s worse problems to have. In 1978, obviously you were Rookie of The Year when you were winning those nine events and five straight at one point. You know, were the queen of golf on the cover of all the magazines and well, what do you remember most from 1978?
Nancy Lopez (02:31):
How much fun I was having, being 19 and then turning 20 in January of ’78. So just that rookie year and being young and having fun and traveling to Japan and going to Europe, which I never thought I would. Here’s this little Mexican girl that lives in Roswell, New Mexico, and we didn’t have a lot. My dad worked really hard in his auto body repair shop, and never did I ever think I was going to go to Japan or even Europe. Unfortunately my mom passed away before I won any LPGA tournaments. She died in ’77 after I got my card, in July of ’77, and my dad started traveling with me. So it was fun having him with me because it was my way of saying thank you to him wherever I could take him. He was this little Hispanic man, wonderful guy, really strong Spanish accent and just my best friend.
Charlie (03:29):
And he was your teacher too? Yeah.
Nancy Lopez (03:31):
My only teacher.
Charlie (03:33):
And I got the sense that he never really played much golf, yet he taught a Hall of Famer.
Nancy Lopez (03:37):
Well, he learned golf from the gentleman that he worked for, and it was amazing that my dad had the mental ability to tell me how to play golf. He played, he was good, three handicap on a municipal golf course. But he just had the mental part of golf that was so strong and that’s what he taught me. And being positive, play happy. My play happy?
Charlie (04:06):
I know I’ve seen it, the big tees that you have.
Nancy Lopez (04:09):
Well, and he said, he told me-
Charlie (04:10):
Say “Play Happy” on them.
Nancy Lopez (04:12):
Yeah, he said I played better when I played happy. Yeah. So it was one of his philosophies.
Charlie (04:17):
All right Nancy, got a great hole for you. 17 here.
Nancy Lopez (04:18):
All right.
Charlie (04:18):
Pawleys Plantation. 138 yards today, what club is that for you?
Nancy Lopez (04:26):
My wedge.
Charlie (04:27):
All right, let’s go. Nancy, it’s a funny thing, I notice your wedge seems to have an eight stamped on the bottom of it.
Nancy Lopez (04:34):
Oh, how’d that happen?
Charlie (04:38):
All right, let’s see it. What a pretty [inaudible 00:04:40]
Nancy Lopez (04:39):
Oh yeah. Oh yeah.
Charlie (04:46):
That’s dead on right there.
Nancy Lopez (04:46):
Get in there. Get…
Charlie (04:48):
We’ll take that one.
Nancy Lopez (04:48):
I will.
Charlie (04:52):
I’ve got more in store for you, so don’t click that clicker.
You mentioned how much golf has done for you, exceeding what your expectations were. I know a lot of us that golf has been really kind to, for me, providing the education and a way to support my family. But the relationships that come along with it?
Nancy Lopez (05:26):
Charlie (05:27):
Is that why so many of us, when I say us, people in the golf industry, are so passionate about getting kids involved because we know not everybody’s going to make the LPGA or the PGA Tour-
Nancy Lopez (05:40):
Right, right.
Charlie (05:40):
But if you play golf and you play it for a lifetime, you’re going to get so much more out of it than you could possibly put into it.
Nancy Lopez (05:47):
Absolutely. Golf, to me, probably kept me out of trouble. I’m on the golf course and-
Charlie (05:53):
I know you’re a troublemaker at heart.
Nancy Lopez (05:56):
I might have been, we’ll never know. I used to do crazy things, I won’t to tell you what I did, but I was still a good person. That’s what my dad always told me to be, a good person, honest, and work hard. And so I always kind of share that with kids too. Unfortunately though, my three girls don’t play golf. I wish they would’ve played because I know when I’m doing anything with junior golfers, especially the little girls, I kind of feel like they’re my little girls. And this is the thing that I didn’t get to experience with them, but that’s okay.
Charlie (06:27):
I think a lot of golf fans out there, they look at golf professionals and they don’t see humans that are dealing with spouses or dealing with children. Sort of look at golf pros as like robots. I’m more interested in telling that sort of story or finding out what’s going on with a player, things that you can’t measure with a laser or put in a spreadsheet. Because people don’t realize how emotional playing this game is and how you still have to deal with life, even though you’re a golf professional.
Nancy Lopez (06:58):
Oh, absolutely Charlie. I know I’m married now my third time, so my personal life wasn’t always perfect. But I have three great daughters from it. The thing is, when I played golf and there was anything that I had to go through in my personal life or just life, I always kind of left it outside the ropes. I always say enjoy, I enjoyed walking inside the ropes. I kind of let life go away with whatever situation I was trying to handle, whatever feelings I was having. That was the only way I could really go out there and play golf. And when I would walk inside the ropes and start playing golf, I loved it. And I knew if I was going to be away from my kids and I didn’t want to waste that time away from them. So I wanted to be my best.
Charlie (07:48):
Now I’ve been fortunate in my broadcast career to be around a ton of Hall of Famers, men, women. And I look at your career, what you accomplished, and then your demeanor, how you carry yourself. You are by far the nicest athlete that I’ve ever been around in my life.
Nancy Lopez (08:10):
Oh you’re sweet. Thank you.
Charlie (08:11):
By far. And I just want to ask you, if you had been meaner, do you think you’d have won more than 48 times?
Nancy Lopez (08:21):
Well, I think if I wouldn’t have had three babies, I would’ve won more than 48 times.
Charlie (08:27):
We’re going to finish up on 18, since I’m your caddy.
Nancy Lopez (08:29):
Sounds like a plan.
Charlie (08:30):
I’m going to ask you to hit driver. You don’t mind hitting driver, do you?
Nancy Lopez (08:33):
Yeah, no, I love my driver.
Charlie (08:35):
Never have said that in my life. Okay, Nancy, before I get you to hit this driver, I want to ask you. You have these tees out everywhere you go, Nancy Lopez golf, which is your business, obviously. But on the top of the tee, very visibly, it says, “Play happy.” I know everybody doesn’t like to play happy, I like to play angry. I wish I could play happy, but tell me about that tee and your company.
Nancy Lopez (09:07):
Well, maybe I need to give you a few of these tee so you can keep looking at them.
Charlie (09:10):
It won’t hurt.
Nancy Lopez (09:12):
We teach my dad’s philosophies with Nancy Lopez Golf Adventures, and “Play Happy,” was something my dad always told me. Because I think as he watched me as a young player, if he saw me get a little angry, he knew I didn’t play better. So he always said, “Nancy, when you play happy, you play better.” So that’s where we got that from.
Charlie (09:33):
That’s a great philosophy. The other thing is we get older, it’s a little harder to tee that golf ball up. And I like the big tee.
Nancy Lopez (09:38):
It is, it helps the ball not fall off the tee when you’re shaking.
Charlie (09:41):
All right, let’s see a drive right down the middle.
Nancy Lopez (09:43):
Charlie (09:47):
Like I said, drive right down the middle.
Nancy Lopez (09:50):
I’ll take that one.
Charlie (09:51):
That got some run in it too. Nancy, I know you got a lot of places you can be on a day like this, and I can’t tell you how much it means to me for you to come spend a day with me here in Myrtle Beach.
Nancy Lopez (10:10):
Well, Charlie, any time. I had a great time today.
Charlie (10:13):
All right, Nancy.
Nancy Lopez (10:14):
All right.
Charlie (10:15):
This isn’t exactly in your make zone, but I’m betting you get it up there pretty close. I’ll tend the flag.
Nancy Lopez (10:20):
That’s what I’m here for, I’m going to try and make it.
Charlie (10:27):
Come on!
Nancy Lopez (10:27):
Go! Oh, darn it.
Charlie (10:30):
All right, I’m going to give you the rest of that one.
Nancy Lopez (10:33):
You’re so kind.
Charlie (10:35):
Nancy, you’re the best. It’s always great to spend time with you. Thank you so much for coming out.
Nancy Lopez (10:39):
Thanks, Charlie. Thank you. It’s so great to see you.
Charlie (10:40):
Appreciate it. Thank you so much.

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