ADD PLAYING IN THE WORLD AM TO YOUR BUCKET LIST!
In early Spring, before Covid rocked everyone’s world, I was invited by a bunch of girls to head down to Myrtle Beach, SC. I would play in the World Amateur Golf Championships the week before Labor Day weekend. One of the gals, Annie, has played in it four times before! This was to the be 37th annual tournament (it started in 1984). What IS the World Am? It is known to be the largest, most fun golf tournament on the planet! From scratch golfers to 36 handicaps, the event features all playing abilities and is one of the biggest women’s tournaments with 400 participants! How could I NOT play?
The “World Am”
…is the only event of its kind. Boasting 72 holes of net, stroke play with usually over 3,200 golfers (this year only 2,100 due to COVID) competing on nearly 60 of Myrtle Beach’s best golf courses. It isn’t all just about the golf though. The Myrtle Beach World Am provides players with the most unique and rewarding tournament golf experience around … with lots of FUN added to the great play. But would it happen because of COVID? Yes…the World Am instituted strict COVID rules both on and off the course… so off the 8 of us from Pinehurst went to play!
Here was our schedule:
we checked in at the PGA Superstore on Sunday, August 30th (which is a great place to check in as you can get everything you forgot to bring and more!) If you have never been to a PGA Superstore, add that to your list, too! At check in we got a HUGE bag of goodies ….. The entry fee for the whole event was only $535 …. So to get 72 holes of net, stroke tournament play on a different course each day. The opportunity to compete in a fifth round championship playoff, the Gift Bag with great golf products. All in all with a total value nearing $300, and over $25,000 in random drawing prizes (I actually was a winner of a really cool Club Glove golf travel bag!) and the Top 5 players in each flight receive a trophy and Gift Card, plus there were Daily prizes like low net, long drive, closest-to-the-pin, closest-to-the-line. It REALLY was a deal!
After check in
… we went and played a practice round at one of the courses we were going to play on. It was called Carolina National Golf Club, designed by Fred Couples. It was a VERY tricky, short course. The wonderful thing about the World Am is that there are 60 courses in the rotation. Here are all of the courses… WORLD AM COURSES . It was great for me to play these courses as they were all SO different than anything in Pinehurst….lots of water, very narrow fairways (one course we played was called Arrow Wood and it’s nick name was Narrow Wood!).
So…for four days
…we played at four different courses. My first round was not my best…but my next 3 rounds were VERY good…taking me from 35th place…all the way up for a tie for 7th in the 1-10 Handicap Division! What is also cool about this tournament is that there are SO many divisions for people to play in! They even have a Pairs Division and a Parent Child Division…so tournaments within the tournament. Several of us gals won Low Net on various days and Diana won straightest drive on one of the days. Who doesn’t LOVE prizes??
When we were done playing
…we retreated to our North Myrtle Beach condo and hit the beach or did some shopping. We did our best to be careful and social distance but the Ecco Outlet store called most of us to do at least a little shopping and one night we ate outside at one of Myrtle Beach’s best restaurants, Greg Norman’s Australian Grill…
CHARLIE RYMER OF THE GOLF CHANNEL
Probably one of the most unexpected things that happened on this fabulous trip happened Wednesday morning. USUALLY at the World Am, every night at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, there is a big party called the 19th Hole. It is where everyone goes after golf to have fun, party, and enjoy meeting players from all over the country. Due to COVID, there was no ACTUAL 19th Hole, but there was a VIRTUAL one every night hosted by Golf Channel’s Charlie Rymer.
So, Wednesday morning
… as I am on my way to the practice range before my round dressed in my finest pink attire and signature fedora hat, I noticed a TV crew at the range. Before I even walked ten steps, Charlie came up to me and said “I have to interview you because you are the most color coordinated!” (I was thinking…I guess I am not going to get interviewed because I am good so….OKAY!). So…here was that VERY fun interview…
So…save the date for next year…August 30th to September 3rd (and even stay longer over Labor Day) and head to Myrtle Beach, SC. And play in the World Amateur Golf Championships. Bring all your girlfriends or do a guys trip. Make it a couples trip or even bring the kids. Just make sure you play, stay at the beach and look forward to a GREAT time! I am already planning my return trip so see you there next year!!