World Am Golf: Not Just a Game — It’s a Food and FunFestival!

By Ken Mink, Editor….

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”

Those words were written by poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning in the mid-1800s when she was trying to win the heart of fellow poet Robert Browning.  She was successful and they were married for many years.

But the poetic words also apply in many ways to the World Amateur Handicap Golf Tournament coming up August 27-30 in Myrtle Beach, with more than 2,000 golfers (men and women) already registered.

There is so much to like, if not literally love, about this tournament it is difficult, indeed, to count the ways.

This is a golf event so diverse that anyone who loves golf – young. old, women. men, high-handicappers, scratch golfers — can find many reasons to celebrate this special week. There is a competition category to fit every player, giving dozens a good chance to win lucrative prizes in each division.

Now in its 35th year, the World Amateur expects to have more than 3,000 golfers age 18 and older from all across the nation and around the world playing in dozens of age, gender and handicap categories on 61 of the finest golf courses in the Myrtle Beach Grand Strand area.

This is not just a golf tournament. It might be more fitting to describe it as a golf festival.

Each evening after each round of golf there is a 19th Hole gathering that puts to shame any 19th Hole event anywhere in the world.

Players convene at the Sheraton Hotel ballroom to sample lots of free food, drinks, entertainment, exhibitions, hear expert speakers and take part in prize drawings. Dozens of Myrtle Beach restaurateurs provide heavy hors d’oeuvres featuring many of their most popular dishes. There is a live band on hand each night, with a large dance floor for those who like to swing and swirl the night away. There is seating for about 700. Each golfer may also bring one guest – husband, wife, friend or child – to join in the fun. As the week progresses players can keep track of their standing on scoreboards throughout the ballroom.

         Other ballroom features include an open bar with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, displays including emerging golf products, golf games, and info provided by leading golf instructors. Every participant will be eligible for over $25,000 in random drawing prizes and top players in each flight receive a trophy and gift card. Daily low net, long drive, closest-to-the-pin, closest-to-the-line, and hole-in-ones also share the spoils of victory.

Each registered player will receive a gift bag, with items valued at several hundred dollars.

Players can register for the tournament  at www.MyrtleBeachWorldAmateur.com. The 72-hole net stroke play tournament will be played Aug. 27-30, with a championship shootout round for flight winners on Aug. 31 at Barefoot Resort’s Dye Club for the fifth consecutive year. Early bird discount entry fee is $525 through May 17.

World Am players are flighted based on age, gender and handicap, and a gross division, senior (50-plus) gross division and “Just For Fun” flight – for players wanting to experience the World Am without the pressure of competition – have been created in recent years to appeal to more golfers.

Players compete on a different course each day.

The World Am is a unique golf tournament experience you cannot get anywhere else. With over 3,000 players competing each year, there is a different feeling when standing on the first tee than you get when playing in your weekly league or local Am Tour event.

Handicap ranges within the flights are very small. In addition to the net flights, the tournament offers gross divisions for men and senior men who prefer medal play.

Flight Divisions (assigned by handicap index):

– Men (49 & Under)
– Senior Men (50-59)
– Mid Senior Men (60-69)
– Super Senior Men (70-79)
– Seasoned Seniors (80+)
– Women
Just For Fun (no scores/handicaps)
– Gross & Senior Gross (separate championships)

Flights will consist of about 48 people. Each course will host 2 flights per day (approximately 96 players per course).

Coffee, bagels & doughnuts are provided at tournament golf courses each day.

Looking for more action?

If you go to Myrtle Beach for the great golf courses and camaraderie of the World’s No. 1 amateur golf tournament, you can find several other golf events preceding the World Am, including:

Wachesaw Plantation East, August 25th, 2018 – 8:00AM Shotgun

Wachesaw East was named the 2007 Myrtle Beach Golf Course of the Year by the Myrtle Beach Golf Course Owners Association. See what makes this course a ‘can’t miss’ on the Grand Strand

Entry Fee: $55

Includes: Greens/cart fees & free range balls. Closest to the Pin on every par 3 for $50 Gift Cards.

Not Included: Gross and net optional cash skins game. $10/each. All cash paid to host facility. Cash payouts at course after play.

Legends Heathland, August 25, 2018, 2:00PM Shotgun

The par 71 Heathland course is one of designer Tom Doak’s earliest gems. It takes you back in time to when golf courses were created with an artistic touch and the natural contours of the land dictated the flow of the course.You’ll find holes reminiscent of familiar links, like St.Andrews, and lesser-known courses like Lahinch and Cruden Bay.

Entry Fee: $48

Includes: Greens/cart fees, lunch before golf and 2 drinks valid for beer or fountain drinks. Closest to the Pin on every par 3 for $50 Gift Cards.

Not Included: Gross and net optional cash skins game. $10/each. All cash paid to host facility. Cash payouts at course after play.

World Tour Golf Links, August 26th, 2018 – 8:30AM Shotgun

Inspired by the greatest courses in the world, World Tour Golf Links is the stuff golfing dreams are made of. Now you can experience the thrill of playing 18 holes inspired by some of the world’s most famous layouts; Pine Valley, Augusta National, St. Andrews. They’re all here and more.

Entry Fee: $65

Includes: Greens/cart fees & free range balls. Closest to the Pin on every par 3 for $50 Gift Cards.

Not Included: Gross and net optional cash skins game. $10/each. All cash paid to host facility. Cash payouts at course after play.

Sea Trail Byrd, August 26, 2018, 9:00AM Shotgun

The Willard Byrd Course at Sea Trail is built around seven man-made lakes ranging from 14 to 20 acres. Each hole of the course is most memorable for beauty and exacting play. Recent renovations and upgrades make Sea Trail Resort a place to play in 2018.

Entry Fee: $65

Includes: Greens/cart fees, breakfast & lunch buffets, 2 draft beers/fountain drinks. Closest to the Pin on every par 3 for $50 Gift Cards.

Not Included: Gross and net optional cash skins game. $10/each. All cash paid to host facility. Cash payouts at course after play.

Barefoot Resort – Fazio Course, August 26, 2018, 9:30AM Shotgun

This Tom Fazio design has helped Barefoot Resort & Golf become Myrtle Beach’s most popular destination… Every top golf publication has honored Barefoot Resort. The course traverses natural sand dunes and Lowcountry forest.

Entry Fee: $69

Includes: Greens/cart fees, range balls. Closest to the Pin on every par 3 for $50 Gift Cards.

Ken Mink is editor of The Travelling Adventurer magazine (www.travellingadventurer.com). He is also a member of the Golf Travel Writers Association, a select group of golf writers from across America. You can find several of his golf stories and stories by many other GTWA writers at http://www.golftravelwriters.com

 

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