Just for Fun – A New Way to Enjoy the World Am!

The World Am has been the premier tournament for everyday golfers for more than three decades. The excitement of the competition lures you in and the thrill of competing for the title of "World Champion" is something you can't get anywhere else. So for those that love competing on the course, or testing their game against players from around the globe; the World Am fulfills that desire.

Let's be honest, though...Not everyone is overly concerned with how they finish. There are more important things to consider, such as:

  • Travel arrangements (play with friends or your spouse)
  • Pace of play (it helps when there aren't 90 people grinding over 2 footers or hitting 5 off the tee)
  • Your sanity (you don't have to be the one hitting 5 off the tee and grinding over 2 footers!)
  • Rules Police (the game is hard enough without having to determine your options from a yellow vs. red hazard)

funThe fact is, the World Am can be sooooo much fun, even without the competition. That is why we have started the JUST FOR FUN flight! You will play four rounds on different Myrtle Beach Golf Courses, get access to the World's Largest 19th Hole for four evenings (open bar, free food, live music, games, celebrity guests, random drawing prizes and so much more), get a player gift bag, compete for on-course prizes and be automatically eligible for our "random drawing flight prizes". All of this without having to worry about handicaps, rules or scores.

If you have never played in the World Am, or you haven't in a while...here is a breakdown of the best reasons YOU should play in JUST FOR FUN:

Buddies Trip

The Grand Strand boasts nearly 100 courses, and we will use more than 50 of them in the World Am. That means you and your friends could be going in opposite directions every day if you are in flights based on your gender, age and handicap (the procedure for the competitive flights). That has long been a reason that people haven't built their buddy trips to Myrtle Beach around this spectacular event.

Now you can get your friends in the SUV and hop on down, because we have the best buddies trip experience waiting for you!

Spouse Trip

See above. Don't worry, you don't have to be paired together if you don't want to be. But wouldn't it be great to drive to the same course each day.

funGet Off the Island

It is lonely by yourself on an island for four days. 72 holes of stroke play, where every shot counts can be mentally draining. Not to mention you have to play by USGA rules the whole time. That means no gimmes, no playing OB as a lateral hazard, no "rolling your ball" in the fairway and no picking up on the hole when you've just had enough. If you accidentally sign for an incorrect scorecard, you could be disqualified...not in Just for Fun though! You can do whatever you want (within the realm of human decency) and you don't have to worry about being DQ'd!

The point is, it can be very intimidating for the average golfer to compete in a massive event like this. But that shouldn't keep you from having the time of your life, hanging out with other golf fanatics in a relaxed, fun atmosphere.

Tee Box Freedom!

What tees will I play from in the JUST FOR FUN flight? Wherever you want! Just as you should whenever you play golf, you can play from wherever your heart desires. The game of golf is meant to be enjoyable, don't interfere with that by playing from the incorrect tee box.

No Handicaps

Whether you don't like dealing with the process of paying for or maintaining a USGA Handicap Index, or you don't like the system and the way competitions are run with handicaps...you'll love this part. Handicaps don't matter in the JUST FOR FUN flight. No worrying about your own handicap or potential sandbaggers.

There are countless reasons why the World Am is a great way to enjoy a golf trip to Myrtle Beach. The best part about it is that you can now experience all of those without the intimidation, logistical issues and mental grind of actual tournament. Keep your sanity and JUST HAVE FUN!!

 

Learn More Here

 

Celebrity Guests Announced for 2017!

CHARLIE RYMER

Television personality Charlie Rymer’s star in the golf media business has continued to ascend in recent years, and through his rise, Rymer has a remained a friend of the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship.

One of Golf Channel’s most prominent personalities, Rymer will be appearing at the World’s Largest 19th Hole on Monday and Tuesday nights of tournament week.

A former host of the Golf Channel shows Big Break and Road Trip: Myrtle Beach, Rymer, who joined Golf Channel in 2008, now serves as a co-host of Morning Drive.

Rymer also contributes to the network’s coverage of the Drive, Chip and Putt Championships and Golf Central’s coverage of the NCAA Golf Championships. He has grown to develop a likeable reputation for his quick wit and “down home” humor on air. In 2015, Rymer was elected into the PGA of America as a certified PGA professional. He was elected to the Georgia Tech Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000 and the South Carolina Golf Hall of Fame in January of last year.

Rymer will emcee the 19th Hole activities, chat it up with other guests, tell his stories from behind the scenes on the PGA Tour, and take questions from the crowd.

DAMON HACK

Damon Hack became a Golf Channel host in 2012 and has predominantly served as a co-host for Morning Drive. He also is a contributing writer for GolfChannel.com. Damon has become a favorite on the network with his robust personality and extensive golf knowledge.

Hack previously worked for Sports Illustrated and The New York Times, where he covered golf and the NFL.

Damon will be the emcee of the 19th Hole on Wednesday and Thursday nights. He will conduct interviews on stage, cover live contests and tell his own stories of a life covering the games we all love.

CHANTEL MCCABE

Chantel began working as a live reporter for the Golf Channel in 2016. She has covered the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, NCAA golf and more. Chantel covered the Patriots 2016 season and the 2016 presidential election in the first-in-the-nation state. She also served as the 5pm news anchor weekdays at NH1 News. You may have seen her on NESN or Fox Sports regional channels on 'Golf Destination.'

Chantel spent some time in Myrtle Beach this past February, co-hosting Morning Drive with Charlie Rymer, live from the Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship. Her professional presence and interview skills will work masterfully amidst the crowds of the 19th Hole. Chantel will be on the main stage, roaming the floor conducting player interviews and more on Wednesday and Thursday nights at the 19th Hole.

 

Learn More About the 19th Hole

Three New Divisions for the World Am!

One of the greatest aspects of the Myrtle Beach World Amateur is the size of the field. It has allowed the event to be so unique in its ability to divide the field by gender, age and handicap to place competitors in tightly grouped flights. As the years go by, we realize though that changes should still be made to accommodate every single golfer that wants to enjoy the revelry and camaraderie of the World Am.

Senior Gross Division

2014 highlights (4)A few years ago, a Gross Division was introduced for the first time to allow low handicap amateurs a chance to experience the incredible week of festivities, and compete in a world class golf tournament without having to worry about strokes. That has been well received and we have had multiple requests for a senior version as well. So this year we are introducing the Senior Gross Division for Men 50 and over that wish to compete without handicaps. This is pure stroke play tournament golf, and participants can expect to tee it up between 6400 - 6900 yards on different Myrtle Beach courses each day. "We're hopeful that we can attract better golfers from around the world to introduce them to this great event," stated Tournament Director Jeff Monday. "This is truly an all inclusive tournament, but we have significantly missed on attracting low handicap golfers over the years, because of their hesitancy to play in net events."

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Just for Fun!

The World Am is fun! That is a fact. There is nothing else like it on planet Earth. But lets be honest, some people do not want to worry about keeping a handicap. Some find the thought of "grinding it out" and following the asinine rules of golf for 72 holes repulsive. Some would like the ability to travel to the same course with a spouse or friend, play from whatever tee box they want and not worry about their score. That is why we introduced the Just for Fun flight. This will give people the option to bypass the competition and get straight to the enjoyment on the golf course. Can't get out of the trap? Who cares! Pick up and move on. Want to tee it up from the red tee? highlights (36)smSounds good to us! "There are so many aspects of the World Am that people want to enjoy, from the gift bag and the 19th Hole, to spending the week in Myrtle Beach with friends and loved ones," said Scott Tomasello, Tournament Coordinator for the World Am. "We want to offer that to people in a non-competitive environment. Sometimes the fear of the big number or not knowing the rules keeps people from playing in the event. We want to make sure there is a platform for those people to experience the World Am as well."

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Seasoned Seniors

highlights (104)smNewsflash! We're all getting older. Some of our more Seasoned Seniors have been requesting an "80 and older" flight for years. Well, we're finally at the point where we will try to make it happen. So tell all your friends that are over the golden age and bring them back to the World Am. They don't have to play with the "young guys" any more. "This is a testament to how dedicated World Am players are to the game of golf," said Tomasello. "To have more than 50 guys over the age of 80 that are so excited to compete over four days in an event like this is truly special."

All competitors over the age of 80 at the start of the tournament will be placed in the Seasoned Senior division. As always, any competitor can request to play down to a younger age division.

More exciting news is coming soon. Stay tuned!

2017 World Am Entry Opens on March 29th!

We are excited to announce that on the morning of Wednesday, March 29th, entry will open for the 34th annual Myrtle Beach World Amateur. Our staff is working hard to put together the best tournament yet. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for many details regarding the upcoming World Am.

The most integral part of the tournament will again be the thousands of golf fanatics that participate in the event. And if you sign up early, you can start winning right away. We will be giving away over $10,000 in random drawing prizes, and you must sign up in the first 14 days to be eligible to win.

The early entry fee for the World Am will once again be $525. That low fee includes 4 rounds of golf on different Myrtle Beach area courses, four nights of the World's Largest 19th Hole for you and a guest, an awesome tournament gift bag, prizes and much, much more!

Maximize your value by signing up early, beginning on March 29th.

Gambling and the Game of Golf

Most of us are not great at golf. I wouldn't necessarily classify myself as good. Therefore, I am not able to go out and compete on a high level. However, I enjoy friendly competition and rivalry, so we tend to seek ways to make the game of golf more interesting...enter gambling.

 

Gambling 'I said we were going to play a game of skins, not shirts and skins!'The handicap indexes of those in the office that play golf are wide ranging. Ryan is a 3.1, Scott is a 9.5, I am a 17.7 and Chris is a 20.3. So when we go out to play, the last thing we do before teeing off is to calculate course handicaps and determine how many strokes each of us are getting. We generally select teams and play a two-person best ball for lunch. Another option is to play Wolf with the last place person owing the winner a lunch or each person throwing in $5 with the winner taking the pot. Most of the time, Ryan and I will have an individual side bet for lunch regardless of the other wagers. Although we're not playing for much, the side games make the day a lot more interesting and seemingly more important. It is a great reason to stay focused throughout the round, even on days where nothing seems to be going right.

 

Most people are familiar with the "5 dollar nassau" and "Wolf". However the most common form of golf gambling is the "skins game." Skins games create a pool of cash from entrants and split the pot amongst those that get a better score than the other entrants on a particular hole. Skins games are so common, in fact, that the USGA had to specifically state that winnings from them will not interfere with a golfer's amateur status under Rule 3-1. As long as the skins game is optional (not part of a mandatory entry fee), your winnings do not count against amateur status as prize money for a first place finish would.

 

MickelsonGambling on golf isn't just for the hacks like me though. Stories of PGA TOUR pros and their Tuesday gambling matches are things of lore. Phil Mickelson is the most prominent practice round gambler, but a vast majority of the world's best players are using side bets to "spice up" their preparation days. Side note - you should Google "Phil Mickelson Tuesday gambling" and read some of the stories...they're hilarious. One of my favorites is the time he beat Nick Watney in a British Open practice round for $1000 and when Watney pulled the grand out of his pocket after the 18th Hole, Mickelson gave him his money back and said, "this is Britain...I need pounds." The conversion rate put the loss for Watney closer to $1,700 for the day.

 

I also find that golf is one of the best sports to make small wagers on off the course (court, field, etc.). In the office, we will find ourselves in a disagreement about where the cut will be, whether Hudson Swafford will make a birdie before Seamus Power, or other nonsensical topics surrounding the game. What better way to make the day interesting than to pass a dollar back and forth 3 or 4 times with silly bets. We do serpentine drafts with eight players each for all of the majors and DraftKings has a great feature for Leagues that allows us to have a weekly contest in the office without paying them the rake.

 

The point is, gambling and golf have a long history with one another. Probably because most people aren't great (or even good) at golf, and it is a way for everyone to win something occasionally. The key when gambling is to keep it within reason and make it another fun part of the game we all love responsibly.

Head over to our Facebook page and discuss your favorite games or stories.

 

Slow Play: The Death of Golf.

As a tournament organizer and recreational golfer, pace of play is always a hot topic. For as many years as I can remember, the number one answer to why a player would not return to the World Am has been "Pace of Play". Most people just cannot tolerate multiple rounds of golf that take 5 hours or more to complete. I am one of those people. However, slow play is not a World Am problem. It is a golf problem, and I'm convinced it is getting worse as the years go on.

Let's explore the reasons that attribute to slow play:

WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET

I believe it starts at the top, with the PGA TOUR. What people watch on TV or in person at a TOUR event, gives a false blueprint as to how golfers should go through a round. Tediously measuring distance to the pin and examining putts from 4 angles are important for professional golfers in order to get the absolute most out of every stroke, which could mean the difference between making or missing the cut or winning or losing the tournament.

However, for me, the difference between 107 and 112 to the flag is negligible and borderline irrelevant. I should be aiming for the middle of every green and hoping I don't skull it into the green side bunker. Scrutinizing the break of a green from below the hole and inspecting which way the grain is growing are great if you're Jason Day, but I'm just trying not to have 5 feet coming back when I miss the putt. And don't get me started on the marking of putts. I get it...there is a "through line" that you might step on if you putt out. Lets leave that to the people playing for millions of dollars. If you putt it once and you're near the hole, just keep putting until it is IN the hole!

COURSE DESIGN AND SETUP

This is not meant to be a blanket statement, but I believe it applies to enough courses that it is relevant for all. Superintendents and set up staff do a poor job of setting the course up for amateur play. Its great to say you have greens that are rolling 12 on the Stimpmeter, if you have people that can putt playing the course. If you compound your green speeds with tricky hole locations, you're simply asking groups to spend 5-10 minutes on the green.

I also contend that the grass in the rough should be kept at a height less than the diameter of a golf ball. This is not for the ability to hit the ball out of the rough, but instead the ability to find a ball that is hit into the rough. I shouldn't need a search and rescue team to help locate a ball that missed the fairway by 3 yards.

Golf shouldn't be easy, but it is hard enough without lightning fast greens and super thick rough. Pace can only improve if balls are easier to locate and advance and greens are easier to putt on.

NARCISSISM, ENTITLEMENT AND IGNORANCE

This will be the touchy portion of my commentary. Just keep in mind that if you don't know anyone that I'm describing, but you always complain about slow play...you are one of these people.

 The narcissistic golfer is the one that always thinks they're on the verge of the best round of their life. Even if they start with 4 bogeys and a quad, it was just that one bad kick on #2 that caused the collapse and if they can just make birdie on #6 they will have a chance to make a charge on the back side. Look, we should all always want to make the best possible score on every hole we play; that is the spirit of the game of golf. But there is no need to be testing the wind with grass blades, spending more than 30 seconds to line up a putt or (please, for the love of everything decent) looking for an obviously lost ball instead of throwing another one down and moving on with the day.

The entitled golfer is the one that just doesn't care how slow they are. They paid to play and 'by golly', they're going to play however they want. This is unfortunately a popular sentiment these days. That because someone pays a greens fee, they can play at their desired, leisurely, slo(oooooooo)w pace. I don't have anything else to add. This is just a sad truth.

slow-playThe ignorant golfer is the one that is slow, but doesn't know it. They feel like they're going through their round at a good pace, but are really the one that everybody is waiting on...constantly. Whether it is being slow to the tee box, looking too long for balls, not being ready to hit in the fairway, always needing to go back to get another club, reading a putt for too long, etc., this golfer is just a little slower than everyone else and has absolutely no clue.

 

STROKE PLAY FORMAT WITH NO MAX SCORE

This is a World Am problem. Tournament golf is always slower than a recreational round. A stroke play golf tournament with no maximum hole score is a major issue for pace of play. If one or two people have "blow up" holes, it could set the stage for a prolonged round for the entire course. In all of our smaller events, we institute a maximum stroke rule to encourage players to pick up the ball and move on. However, in an event like the World Am, players are left to fend for themselves until the ball is holed. My advice on this is to play the safest shots once in trouble to avoid a major blow up. My personal take on it is that I would pick up my ball and DQ myself before hitting a 12th shot on any hole. At least then I can play care free the rest of the week!

The fact is, that slow play is a sport-side epidemic caused by many factors. The best way to combat the issue and make rounds faster is for every golfer to play faster. You don't have to rush, just be ready to hit when it is your turn and limit the extracurricular actions surrounding the game to what is absolutely necessary to hit the shot. To reiterate, we should always attempt to make the best score on every hole...we should just take less time to do it!

 

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Why My Handicap is Inaccurate

I always try to play well (but not always my best), I post (pretty much) every round and I play by the rules (for the most part). Those qualifying, parenthetical statements are what make my handicap index inaccurate. The USGA Handicap System has two underlying fundamentals that must be true before any calculations take place: 1) That each golfer attempts to make the best score on every hole they ever play, and 2) That every acceptable round of golf is posted to that player's handicap.

handicap-screenshotOne day soon I'll get even deeper into the inherent flaws of the system and the different ways we (as inherently flawed humans) can mess it up. But for now I'll just touch on a few of my shortfalls on the course that make my handicap index inaccurate from the jump. Trying your absolute best on every hole of every round is an impossible task for me. I've never played competitive golf, never had a lesson and never shot better than 83...anywhere....ever. I play about 12 - 15 times a year, most of which are recreational rounds with my brother, co-workers or friends. Some of those rounds are with Golf Writers or Tour Operators as part of my job. Side bets for lunch or a good Wolf game keep me interested for the most part, but I tend to lose 100% focus at different times throughout the round. In other words, my "care-o-meter" gets low sometimes. I enjoy the game of golf, but I abhor slow play. That makes me play faster most of the time and playing fast takes the place of playing well in my order of importance.

How does this affect my handicap? I have no idea. I honestly don't know because I have never played golf in my life when it actually matters. I'm not sure how much better or worse I would play over the course of 18, 36, 54 or 72 holes in an event of any actual significance to me. I would like to think that spending a little more time on pre-shot routines, getting the correct yardage and reading greens would result in fewer strokes each round. I'm also not naive enough to think that nerves wouldn't come into play and cost me a few strokes as well.

And then there are the Rules of Golf. I don't move or touch my ball unless it is picking up mud, so playing it down isn't an issue. I don't take many gimmies, so putting out shouldn't be a problem. I always count penalty strokes and the only mulligan I take during a round is the "breakfast ball" off the first tee if I need it (I forgot to mention I never...ever warm up on the range). The only major differences for me would be stroke and distance penalties. I think stroke and difference is one of the worst rules of golf, and I take my stand by rarely using it. If I know my ball is OB when I hit it, I'll hit another one. But if there is a chance its up, I'm going to have a look and then I'm dropping one where it crossed. I know this only hurts me in the long run, but I'm not challenging any course records, so I'll take the hit on my handicap index, save a few minutes and move on.

handicap-cartoonSo, my best guess is that with a little more focus, warm up and general round management I would probably shave a few strokes off during a tournament. However, I'm not convinced that over a two or three day period that I would avoid the major mistakes that would inevitably ruin any chance at competing I would have. What I do know is that my incoming USGA Handicap Index is not an accurate reflection of my playing potential for any tournament round anywhere. I know that because the rounds that I play throughout the year are in a completely different environment and I have a completely different mindset throughout all of those rounds. The handicap system only works if you play with the same determination and focus EVERY HOLE and that you genuinely attempt to make the best possible score on EVERY HOLE. I can definitively state that I don't do that, and that is the main reason why my handicap is inaccurate.

Another Friendly’s Ice Cream Line Sure to Be a Big Hit!

Tuesday (131)cPost tournament surveys are a wonderful tool to glean insight on where we can improve, both on and off the course. When it comes to the World's Largest 19th Hole, one comment stands out above all the rest....you need another Friendly's Ice Cream line! Well, we get the point. So this year our friends at Friendly's are going to have a second ice cream line to dish out the good stuff. This means less time waiting with your fellow players and more time to enjoy the rest of the 19th hole (with your ice cream in hand).

In addition to the second ice cream line, we're putting the final touches on another great 19th hole experience. Check out the links below to see what is awaiting our participants and guests at this year's party.

 

  Current Exhibitors Celebrity Guests and Bands
Open Bar Selections Contests and Activities
19th Hole Overview Watch Videos

Tommy Gainey and a Bull at the World’s Largest 19th Hole

The McGladrey Classic - Final RoundThe Myrtle Beach World Amateur is the largest single site golf tournament in the world. As part of that, the nightly party known as the "World's Largest 19th Hole" is the largest golf PARTY in the world. Over the years, the 19th hole has attracted some of the biggest names in the game of golf and beyond, including Annika Sorenstam, Jeff Gordon, John Daly, Roger Clemens, David Feherty, Brandel Chamblee, Charlie Rymer and many, many more. This year will be no different, with Rymer, Brian Katrek and John Maginnes already scheduled to return, the World Am is excited to announce the addition of PGA TOUR winner Tommy Gainey to the 19th Hole guest lineup. Gainey won his first PGA Tour event at the McGladrey Classic in October of 2012 by shooting a final round 60. He is also a two time Web.com TOUR winner and the champion of Big Break VII on the Golf Channel.

Tommy "Two Gloves" will be at the 19th Hole on Tuesday, August 30 to share stories of his time as a Pro and the unique road he took to get there. After working as a line worker for A.O. Smith in his hometown of Bishopville, South Carolina, Tommy was able to qualify for the PGA TOUR through Q-School and eventually win on golf's grandest circuit. Tommy's conversations with Katrek, Maginnes and Rymer will undoubtedly be some of the most intriguing in the history of the World Am. It should be fun!

bullOkay, so in the midst of the open bar, free food, live music, celebrity guests and tons of golf games...what has been missing all these years? A MECHANICAL BULL!!!! That's right, we're bringing in a bull, so you can challenge all of your friends to see who can stay on the longest. Or you can just watch your fellow players make a fool of themselves. Either way, this will surely bring some new excitement and competition to the 19th Hole floor. Its just 8 seconds...can you hold on?

More information on the World's Largest 19th Hole will be out soon. In the meantime, check out these videos from last year to get your taste of what this tournament is all about!

Dye Club to Once Again Host World Am Flight Winners

finals part 1  (261)Everyone that plays in the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship dreams of playing in the Flight Winner’s Playoff, and this year that dream will be fulfilled for the winners of all 66 flights.  at Barefoot Resort’s Dye Course.

The highly acclaimed Dye Course will host the World Championship Playoff for the fourth consecutive year. The layout, which has been ranked among America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses by Golf Digest, is just the third course to host the 18-hole shootout that determines the World Am champion.

“We look forward to crowning our champion at the Dye Club,” tournament director Jeff Monday said. “The golf course is among the best in America, and it’s a big-event facility. A field of over 3,000 golfers will be competing to earn a spot in the World Championship Playoff, and the Dye Club is one of the best tests on the Strand to determine the Champion.”

The Dye Club has a private clubhouse and a layout that will challenge the best players at this year’s World Am. Designed by the legendary Pete Dye, the course is complete with the octogenarian architect’s trademark features: ample mounding, a surplus of sand, and, of course, railroad ties.

The layout’s visuals are stunning. The sixth, ninth, 10th, 15th and 18th holes all standout amidst an impressive lineup.

finals part 1  (213)The 18th is one of Myrtle Beach’s best finishing holes. Measuring 415 yards from the member tees and 368 from the whites, No. 18 plays into the prevailing wind and water runs along the left side from tee to green. With the clubhouse veranda serving as the backdrop, it’s a fitting end to a top 100 round of golf and the World Am.

More than 3,300 players from across the globe are expected to descend on Myrtle Beach to participate in this year’s event, which will be played August 29 – September 2. Players will be flighted based on age, gender, and the game’s most rigorously enforced handicap system. More than 50 of Myrtle Beach’s finest golf courses will host the 72-hole event.

At the conclusion of play each day, participants will gather at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center to enjoy the festivities at the World’s Largest 19th Hole. The 19th Hole will provide players with free food, open bar, live entertainment, a golf expo, Demo Alley and much more.

 

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