What’s the secret to making a killer burger? At 3’s Greenville, they’ve cracked the code

At 3's Greenville, the Smashburger, was an immediate hit.

At 3's Greenville, the Smashburger was an immediate hit.


One thing all golfers can agree on is this: When you’re stomach’s rumbling after a round, nothing hits the spot quite like a burger.

Burger quality can vary, depending on where you go, but at 3’s, a 12-hole short course in Greenville, S.C., they’ve cracked the code.

The course’s Smashburger, which features a double patty, homemade sauce, griddled onion, American cheese and dill pickles on a potato bun, was an immediate hit with 3’s clientele.

According to chef Chris Wehking, it’s the burger’s simplicity that makes it sing.

“Like everything we have here, it’s simple, with an eye on the details” he says. “Martin’s potato buns — super-soft, squishy, buttery rolls; 80/20 ground chuck, nice and fatty; two three-ounce patties, six-ounce burger.”

One point of differentiation for the 3’s burger is Wehking’s cooking method.

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“We cook ours on one side,” he says. “We don’t flip it. That way, we get as much crust as possible on that one side. I think that’s kind of the detail that sets ours apart.”

When an order comes in, Wehking starts by buttering the buns and getting them on the griddle. The burger patties are next. Wehking smashes the patties and seasons them with salt before adding caramelized onions on top. Cheese is placed on top of the onions as the caramelization develops on the burger.

Wehking then places the patties on top of each other, drizzles some 3’s sauce (which he describes as similar to McDonald’s Big Mac sauce) on the buns and the stacked patties, and adds crinkle-cut pickles on top of the sauce on the bun.

The burger is then assembled and wrapped in foil, which Wehking says helps to steam the bun, soften the ingredients and melt it all together.

The result, as GOLF’s Josh Sens experienced first-hand, is burger nirvana.

“That’s how we know we’ve done our job, when we see someone bite that,” Wehking says. “And then kind of do the close-eye head nod.”

“I didn’t even know what to say,” Sens agrees. “Just, damn, that’s good.”

To learn more about 3’s, click here.

Golf.com Editor

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.