The 34th annual Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship is beginning to appear on the horizon, and of the 2,500 people already registered, few are looking forward to the event as much as Roy Brown. The Billings, Mont., resident is returning to the World Am after a two-year absence due to family responsibilities, and he can't wait to resume enjoying the tournament experience.
Golfweek recently released its annual list of the best courses you can play in each state. Myrtle Beach, once again, dominated the ranking of South Carolina’s leading public courses.
Nine of the Palmetto State’s 15 best golf courses are located along the Grand Strand, 7 of which can be played in the 2017 Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship.
Those 7 courses in the list published by Golfweek include Caledonia Golf & Fish Club (#5 in state), True Blue Golf Club (#6), Moorland at Legends Resort (#9), Tidewater Golf Club (#10), TPC Myrtle Beach (#12), King’s North at Myrtle Beach National (#13) and Heritage Club (#14).
The rankings reflect the depth and quality of World AM’s golf course offerings. It's also further affirmation of Myrtle Beach's reputation as the game’s most popular destination.
Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, which is also a national Top 100 course, is lowcountry masterpiece. The course plays through stunning live oak trees draped in Spanish moss. This course is a delight from the time you enter the property until you are enjoying a post-round refreshment on the clubhouse deck overlooking the beautiful 18th hole.
Everything is big at True Blue Golf Club – the fairways, greens and most of all the fun. True Blue is ranked among America’s best public courses by Golf Magazine and Golf Channel’s Matt Ginella.
The Moorland at Legends Resort is a P.B. Dye design that was once ranked among America’s 50 hardest courses by Golf Digest. The layout features the unforgettable 16th hole, a short par 4 called Hell’s Half-Acre.
Tidewater Golf Club is arguably the Grand Strand’s most scenic layout. The 3rd and 12th holes are a pair of par 3s situated along a beautiful stretch of Cherry Grove. The 13th hole, a stunning par 5, provides distant views of the Atlantic Ocean.
TPC Myrtle Beach, which has hosted a Senior Tour Championship along with the Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship, is one of the area’s premier layouts. It more than lives up to the lofty expectations associated with the TPC name.
King’s North, an Arnold Palmer design, is a Myrtle Beach institution, highlighted by the par 5 sixth hole, known to everyone as The Gambler. The alternate, island fairway is just one of the many reasons to play one of The King’s finest designs.
Heritage Club is another lowcountry favorite. The Dan Maples creation plays amongst live oak trees on land that was once home to a thriving rice plantation. But what the course is most known for are its large undulating greens.
While the courses Golfweek’s raters honored are worthy of praise, they are hardly alone. The World AM utilizes over 50 golf courses and layouts like Grande Dunes, the Love and Fazio Courses and several others could’ve easily made Golfweek's best courses list.
The 34th Annual 'World Am', which will be played August 28 - Sept 1 on 50+ of Myrtle Beach’s best golf courses, is expected to attract more than 3,100 players from all 50 states and 25 foreign countries.
“Hole-In-One Trophies.com is an ideal partner for the World Am,” said Jeff Monday, Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday’s tournament director. “They are the largest of their kind, recognizing this major accomplishment that many folks achieve at our tournament. With over 12,000 rounds of golf played in just one week, we look forward to having a partner that will reward and acknowledge those lucky participants.”
As part of the partnership, all players making a hole in one during competition will receive a custom Hole-In-One display from their multitude of product offerings. Additionally, these achievements will be registered with the National Hole-In-One Registry, which is also a division of Eureka Golf Products, Inc.
Fun. Camaraderie. Memories. Competition. But love for the game of golf is what this event is REALLY about. The courses are the canvas for each round we play, and Myrtle Beach has one of the best collection of courses in the world.
The course lineup for the 2017 tournament is complete, and the list is full of award-winning tracks. You have heard all about the quantity of golf courses in the Myrtle Beach area, and you may have experienced many of them. But the quality of these courses is even better, with 11 of them that have been ranked among America’s top 100 public courses by either Golf Magazine and Golf Digest in recent years. The top 100 courses hosting the event are:
Barefoot Fazio and Barefoot Love, Caledonia Golf and Fish Club, Grande Dunes Resort Course, Heritage Club, Myrtle Beach National King's North, Rivers Edge, Tidewater Golf Club, Tiger’s Eye, TPC Myrtle Beach and True Blue Plantation.
“The courses our participants get to play is second to none,” said Jeff Monday, Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday’s tournament director. “The unique course offerings along the coast really give players a different look from day to day. You can play a tree-lined Rees Jones course one day, the next you're on a Pete Dye designed beauty with rolling mounds and the next you're playing a links course with open fairways and huge greens. The golf really is the best part of the event.”
The 34th annual World Am will be played August 28 through September 1, and the early entry registration fee of $525 runs through May 18.
A 72-hole, net stroke play event, the World Am is expected to attract more than 3,000 players from all 50 states and more than 30 countries. Golf’s most respected and rigorously enforced handicap system levels the playing field, giving all players a chance to win. Players are flighted based on gender, age and handicap. After four rounds of competition, all flight winners and ties will advance to the World Championship Playoff.
The fun of the World Am doesn’t end with the final putt. Each night participants and a guest gather at the World’s Largest 19th Hole, which encompasses 120,000 square feet of the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, for free food and drinks, live entertainment and an expansive golf expo.
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)
The 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:
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!
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.
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.
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!!
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 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 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.
The Makings of a Great Golf Trip
So you've been to your local PGA TOUR event, taken that bachelor party in your heyday to Pinehurst and lost more money on the links than you're willing to share. What do all of these memories have in common? They all were tailored around this game we love.
More likely than not you've already played in the World's Largest Amateur Golf Tournament here in Myrtle Beach, but if you haven't or want to make it even better, take a piece of advice from the folks who live it every day. Here's a quick rundown of how you can make your first-- or twenty-first trip to Myrtle Beach another memory to last a lifetime.
For starters, ditch the cell phone. If you aren't in town with everyone who you need to talk to in the first place you probably didn't bring the right people. And if you're flying solo, embrace your opportunity to take it all in. Besides, nobody wants to deal with the person on the 10th tee yelling at his punk son to make sure he's not throwing a party while he's out of town.
Next, stop trying to do too much. This is a golf trip and golf is a game of leisure. This isn't New York City and you're not trying to beat rush hour. After your round sit for at least one beer with your foursome and learn a thing or two about each other if you haven't already. Then go back to the hotel and if it's oceanfront (which it should be) sit yourself on the balcony and enjoy the view.
What else do you need to do? Something you've never done before. Myrtle Beach has tons to offer. This can be as simple as that new restaurant that just opened down the street or as farfetched as cruising at 200mph in the NASCAR Driving Experience at the Myrtle Beach Speedway.
Last but not least: Eat, drink and be merry. Here's my list of the best places in a random list of categories I made up:
- Happy Hour - Liberty Brewery / Flying Fish
- Splurge Dinner - 21 Main
- Casual Dinner - Nacho Hippo / Bimini's
- Clubhouse Bar - Caledonia Golf and Fish Club / Thistle Club
- Beer Cart Service - Arrowhead Country Club
- Beach Bar - Ocean Annie's
- Place you wouldn't think to go to - 710 Bowling
Whether you come for the World Am or it's time for an annual buddies trip, remember my simple tips for an effective holiday.
Story time! With the Masters starting tomorrow, we here at the World AM wanted to share with everyone our favorite Masters Memory. So sit back and enjoy the read. If you have your own favorite Masters Memory, be sure to share it with us on our Facebook Page!
Scott's Favorite Masters Memory
Monday, April 4, 2016
August National, Augusta, GA
There are few moments you never forget. For some it's their first child being born or their wedding day. For me, it’s the day I step foot on Augusta National.
It was a Friday afternoon in my office the week before the tournament and I get the call that there are two tickets for this coming Monday's practice round if I want them.
The first thing I do is call my father who I'd hope would be joining me. An eight hour drive away was not going to get in the way. We meet up in Columbia Sunday evening and wake up first thing in the morning to get in as the gates open. I had one request from my mother and that was to get a picture in front of the clubhouse with my father.
We walk in and are immediately mesmerized. Greener greens than you've ever seen, perfectly manicured flower beds and more delicious sweet tea than you can physically drink. First things first: get that photograph. We were disheartened when we were pointed out the line to get your photo taken. It had to be 250 people long. This could take hours. But, mothers orders, right?
We step in the line and await our turn. In a true stroke of fate, not five minutes of waiting had passed and I hear, "Scott?" being golf whispered. I turn and see my friend Caroline who I went to college with and in fact works for Augusta. We catch up for a few minutes before she asks, "would you like to get your photo taken?".
..is this a trick question? Yes! We hop in her cart and scurry past the throngs of bystanders while I had a grin inside me that I'm sure showed outward inadvertently. We got our photo taken (saving two hours of time) and made our way to the first tee where none other than Jason Day was starting his practice round. It's a memory with my father I'll cherish as long as I live.
Ryan's Favorite Masters Memory
The golf tournament that I look most forward to every year is the Masters. There is just something magical about the event that puts it on a level above any other golf tournament for me. This stems back to my childhood as one thing was almost certain in my house growing up and that was that my dad was going to miss my sister’s birthday almost every year as it fell on Masters and he was going to be there for the event. This was big, but there is definitely one Masters that sticks out to me more than any other that has been played and more than likely will stick out more than any of them in the future as well.
In 1992 I was 10 years old and one of the guys from the group my father always went to the Masters with had something come up at the last minute and I was able to go with my dad for the event. I stayed in a house with my father and a few other adults who all were like kids in a candy store discussing who they were going to follow at the event. Well there was no question in my mind who I was going to follow as I had one golfer I loved to watch swing and play more than anyone else and that was Fred Couples.
I followed him all day on Thursday weaving my way through crowds of people. Being so small I was always able to find a way to the edge of the ropes securing the perfect spot that the adults only dreamed of having. To be honest, I can’t really remember any of the shots that he hit, but when we got back to house that evening I was definitely involved in the storytelling that went on amongst the guys about the event. I could not wait to get back to the venue the next day where everywhere you walked was like walking on the best fairway you ever played golf on.
The next day I was able to repeat this process and followed him all day long and then the truly magical moment happened. I watched him finish the 17th hole and found a way, as I had for two days, to get really close to him as he made his way to the 18th and final hole of the day. At last, I finally gained enough courage to yell out “Go get em Freddie”, which created an eruption of laughter from the crowd about the little squeaky voice from the young kid calling him Freddie.
I will never forget that next moment as Couples turned, looked me right in the eye, smiled and tossed his Maxfli HT-100 balata ball in my direction while causally continuing that famous smooth walk through the ropes. The guy beside me reached out and one hand snagged that thing out of the air like your favorite first baseman before I was able to get my hands on it. Couples stopped in his tracks, turned around, came right over to us and said “Hey man I was trying to give the ball to the kid”. I'm not sure the guy liked it much, but he handed me the ball and Couples winked at me and headed on his way.
I was so excited I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t wait to find my way back to the group to tell everyone the story. Once I found everyone, the story quickly became highlight for the trip. For everyone that doesn’t know, Fred Couples went on to win the 1992 Masters and he definitely remains my favorite golfer to this day. I get the same question from everyone when telling the story now, “Do you still have the ball?”...That is a firm no as my golden retriever tore that thing into a hundred pieces two weeks after the event, but the 1992 Master will always hold a special place in my heart and is the place where I truly fell in love with the game of golf.
Cory's Favorite Masters Memory
My favorite Masters Memory begins in 2013. If you didn’t already know, I am an alumnus of the University of South Carolina. Because of USC’s close proximity to Augusta (Columbia, SC is about an hour’s drive from Augusta), Augusta National and USC have always had a good relationship with one another. Every year, Augusta opens up temporary positions to USC students for that year’s Masters Tournament. In 2013, my senior year, I was lucky enough to be hired to work at Augusta National.
2013 was a pretty big year for Augusta National. It was the first time they let women be members of the club, accepting Condoleeza Rice and Darla Moore (fun fact: Darla Moore is a USC graduate and USC’s business school is named after her). Augusta National also opened up Berckmans Place for the first time. Berckmans Place, as golf.com put it, “is the ultimate Masters VIP room”. It holds 3 massive restaurants for guests that are members of corporations and capable of affording the hefty $6,000 price tag.
Anyways, I was hired on as a busboy for one of Berckmans Place’s restaurants, Calamity Jane’s Oyster Bar. It was a pretty incredible experience right from the get go. During the first week of training, I was able to walk around the course during our lunch break. Augusta National truly was the most beautiful golf course I had ever seen. It even exceeded my own high expectations. I swear it almost didn’t even look real.
When the week of the Masters came, it simply amazing to see the celebrities that ended up at Calamity Jane’s. Whether it was Lynn Swan, Kate Upton, or Arnold Palmer (who, believe it or not, ordered an Arnold Palmer), Berckmans truly was a place for VIPs. Don’t get me wrong though; it wasn’t all just fun and games. We were working around 14 hours a day and I was driving too and from Columbia each day. It was exhausting but well worth it.
When the tournament actually began, I snuck out on my lunch break the first two days to catch some play. The first day I got to see Sergio Garcia, the leader at the time, play hole 16. The second day I made a point to get to see Amen Corner, specifically Hole 12. My roommates and I had been playing a lot of Tiger Woods Golf recently, and that hole would do to us what it did to Spieth in 2016. So I had to see someone play it. Sure enough, the first golfer I see hits it right into the water. It’s safe to say I was pretty satisfied!
The week was capped off with the spectacular finish in Sudden Death between Adam Scott and Angel Cabrerra. It was truly special watching Scott sink the putt to win and all of Berckmans Place go crazy. It was most certainly an experience that I’ll never forget.
The 2017 Masters is upon us, and with that comes the World AM Staff's picks for who will be donning the Green Jacket. We've taken a different approach than most golf analysts out there, though. We'll be picking who we think is the favorite to win from 5 different categories and why. The 5 different categories consist of:
- Past Winner - what past winner has the best shot of winning?
- International Player - what international player has the best shot of winning?
- Player Over 40 - what player over the age of 40 has the best shot of winning?
- First Time Player - what first timer has the best shot of winning?
- Favorite - what player has the overall best shot of winning?
To see a full list of the field, click HERE.
So, without further adieu, the World AM Staff's 2017 Masters Picks!
Past winner - Jordan Spieth
"Augusta suits his game well which is in great form currently. No chance he finishes outside the top 10."
International - Rory McIlroy
"If there's a year he takes home the Green Jacket. This is it."
Over 40 - Lee Westwood
"Made the cut here 14/18 times, Five top 10's in last seven years."
First Time Player - Thomas Pieters
"Lots of great players in this category. Only picked Pieters because people say I look like him. I don't see it."
Favorite - Dustin Johnson
"World #1. Period."
Past winner - Jordan Spieth
"2013 was the last time The Masters had a Sunday morning leader other than Jordan Spieth, so I'm not betting against him."
International - Rory McIlroy
"He's eventually going to win at Augusta, which is more than can be said for Garcia, Westwood and Els, among other Internationals, so give me the Irishman."
Over 40 - No Pick
"Do those guys still play?"
First Time Player - William McGirt
"First time players don't win The Masters and that won't change this year, but I'll be rooting for William McGirt, a native Carolinian and regular Monday After the Masters participant."
Favorite - Dustin Johnson
"Is there any other answer?"
Past Winner - Jordan Spieth
"With his epic collapse on the back 9 of the final round last year, Spieth has one thing on his mind: Redemption."
International - Hideki Matsuyama
"With 3 wins and 2 second place finishes since October, Matsuyama is arguably the hottest golfer right now."
Over 40 - Phil Mickelson
"Mickelson always comes with his best game to Augusta. 2017 will be no different."
First Time Player - Jon Rahm
"Currently 7th in the FedEx Cup Rankings and the 26th ranked golfer in the world, there isn’t a newcomer that has a better shot than Jon Rahm."
Favorite - Dustin Johnson
"He’s the number one golfer in the world and he’s gotten past his first majors win hurdle. It’s his time."
Past Winner - Jordan Spieth
"That’s right The Future already has a past."
International - Justin Rose
"This guys track record speaks for itself and he is going to break through at this event sooner rather than later."
Over 40 - Phil Mickelson
"Who else in this category would you consider taking over Lefty."
First Time - John Rahm
"This course is set up for first timers to normally fail, but if I am choosing one this guy is a clear cut choice for me."
Favorite - Justin Rose
"Doesn’t matter if you are asking for favorite player, or who I actually think is the favorite to win is in 2017."
Past Winner - Jordan Spieth
"The guy just seems to play well during the biggest tournaments."
International - Jason Day
"People say his back is not 100%, but I saw an Instagram video of him this week swinging, and he looked good to me."
"I'm a lefty, he's a lefty. Us lefty's need to stick together."
First Time Player - Toto Gana
"His name reminds me of the dog from The Wizard of Oz - that's my only reason."
Favorite - Dustin Johnson
"It may be the homer pick, but how can you bet against this guy right now?"
Past Winner - Jordan Spieth
"He's finished T2-1-T2 in his three visits to Augusta. And last year was probably the biggest meltdown I've ever witnessed on a golf course. He loves the place and has the ball striking, putting and mindset to go really, really low."
International - Rory McIlroy
"He's only missed the cut once in eight tries and (when healthy) is probably the most talented player in the world. I give him the slight edge over Jason Day, who I think will own a green jacket before his career is over."
"This is too easy. Other people may get cute here and try to find a way to go against the grain. But, they're wasting time. He has as many green jackets as missed cuts (3) in 24 appearances. Enough said, but if you need more... He has finishes this year of T8-T21-T14-T16-65-34-T7, so his game is pretty good at the moment as well."
First Time Player - Tyrell Hatton
"Hatton is on fire right now. He has finishes of T23-T4-10-T4 this year. In addition, he is ranked 1st in SG:Putting, 13th in SG: Off the Tee and 5th in SG: Approach the Green. All of that, especially the putting, will come in handy on your first trip around Augusta National."
Favorite - Jordan Spieth
"See above. I think he wants to pummel this golf course to make up for last year's debacle."
Once again the world's largest golf tournament is shelling out major prizes for participants well before a ball is teed off. Entrants that sign up for this great event within the first 14 days are automatically eligible for random drawings worth over $10,000 from brand name manufacturers.
"We want to reward the loyal players that know they're coming to the event and give them a great reason to sign up early." said Tournament Director Jeff Monday. "Some people have been waiting since they left Myrtle Beach to get the party started again. Fortunately for them, this is just the beginning of what is sure to be another exciting year as we roll out a bunch of new additions to the event atmosphere. As always, we'll continue to do more giveaways throughout the year as we rev up for the event in late August."
The list of prizes up for grabs include:
- Twenty (20) - Custom ClubGlove LAST BAG™ Travel Bags
- Twenty (20) - Voice Caddie VC300SE™ GPS Devices
- Twenty (20) - Custom Oakley 5-Speed Backpacks
- Four (4) - 3-Dozen Nike RZN Tour Platinum golf balls
Be sure to like us on Facebook as we dish out even more prizes on a regular basis! Entry opens on March 29th and the early entry fee is only $525 through May 18th. To learn more about what is included in your entry for the 2017 World Am, click here.