The world’s largest amateur golf tournament, the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship, enters its 31st edition this summer in the ‘Golf Capital of the World’ along the north-eastern South Carolina coast.
Approximately 3,500 participants are expected to play more than 60 courses in the event.
The August 25-29 tournament, with the theme ‘Anyone can play, anyone can win’ opened for entries on Tuesday. Until May 15 registration for the four-day, 72-hole event is $475 per person, a $100 saving on the regular entry fee of $575.
Registration is available at www.worldamgolf.com, and includes an extensive gift bag.
The World Am is grouped according to USGA indexes with five competitive divisions ranging from men/women under 49-years-old to super seniors 70 and above. Flight winners advance to the 18-hole world championship playoff where a World Champion is crowned.
The event’s inclusiveness is apparent in its past champions as winners with handicaps as low as 3 and as high as 34 have won. Four women have hoisted the championship trophy.
Jeff Monday, Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday’s tournament director, said: “Since the early 1980s, the World Am has characterized what golf is all about with a combination of friendly competition and camaraderie.
“The handicap system allows players of all abilities to vie for title of ‘World Champion’ in the golf capital of the U.S. With the welcomed influx of international participants, we are even more of a world championship.”
Nearly 100,000 people have competed since there were 684 participants in the first event in 1984. A maximum of 5,000 players entered in 2000. This year, participants from all 50 states in the United States and more than 25 countries are expected. Approximately 10 percent of the participants come from outside of the United States.
Last year, countries represented included Australia, Austria, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, China, Dominican Republic, Germany, Guatemala, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Portugal, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Venezuela and the Virgin Islands. There were 16 participants from China in 2013, determined by qualifiers held in China.
Participating courses include the Norman, Fazio and Love courses at Barefoot Resort, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, True Blue Golf Plantation and Tidewater Golf Club.
The entry fee also allows nightly access to ‘The World’s Largest 19th Hole’ at the Myrtle BeachConvention Center. The gathering features equipment demos, entertainment, open bars, concerts, prize drawings, food from superb area restaurants and celebrity appearances.
Facts about the 2013 World Amateur Handicap Championship:
- There were 3,310 participants, an increase of approximately eight percent from 2012 and the most since 3,623, in 2008.
- The first tournament in 1984 had 684 participants and the all-time record was a sellout of 5,000 in 2000.
- Players came from 27 countries and 46 states, with only Oregon, Idaho and the Dakotas not represented.
- 2013 marked the 30th World Amateur. 64 Myrtle Beach courses were utilized.
- There were 11 participants who have played in all 30 events.
- The World’s Largest 19th hole, a nightly party and expo at the Myrtle BeachConvention Center from Monday through Thursday, included three golf simulators, more than 50 exhibitors taking up 60 booths (doubling 2012) and PGA Tour Superstore retail floor space.
- The 19th Hole had nightly contests and entertainment, including comedian Henry Cho, Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Genevieve Morton, Golf Channel commentator Brandel Chamblee and Golf Magazine travel editor Travelin’ Joe Passov. Golf Channel personality Charlie Rymer and Conway’s Mitch Laurance handled emcee duties.
- The top five finishers in each of 70 flights won TaylorMade-adidas/Ashworth gift certificates, which are worth $600 for flight winners.
Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday, the non-profit trade association comprising 79 championship golf courses and 99 golf package providers in the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina area, hosts seven events and tournaments annually to help foster continued growth of the game.
In addition to hosting the World Amateur Handicap Championship, these include the Hootie & the Blowfish ‘Monday After The Masters’ Celebrity Pro-Am Golf Tournament, the Palmetto High School Golf Championships, the Veterans Golf Classic and the Myrtle Beach Never Forgets Memorial Golf Outing.
Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday www.golfholiday.com
Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship www.worldamgolf.com