The lines weren't reserved for the food and beverage lines at the Myrtle Beach World Am's World's Largest 19th Hole this year, there were queues and even the occasional traffic jam found in the 19th Hole's expo area this year. Thanks to the golf apparel, club and accessory companies and retailers that come to Myrtle Beach each year to show off their wares to the 3000+ golfers and their guests each year at the World's Largest 19th Hole Expo.
ECCO claims to make the "World's Most Comfortable Golf Shoe", so The World's Largest 19th Hole is the perfect place to try on a pair. ECCO wants their customers to rely on ECCO to deliver the highest quality standards, a great fit and good-looking shoes at a sensible price. ECCO will always stand for affordable luxury. Many PGA Tour professionals wear ECCO Shoes and now you have the opportunity to experience ECCO.
By popular demand, ClubCrown is back in Myrtle Beach so you can customize your driver. ClubCrown utilizes a revolutionary crown graphic technology to turn the look of your driver, fairway wood, or hybrid into your own custom design. The patented installation process uses high-tech 3M films, heat temperatures of up to 200 degrees, and Knifeless Tape Technology to ensure the highest quality application, all the while maintaining the security and form of your club. Choose from a multitude of designs like college logos, an American flag or even a smiley face. See all the designs at www.clubcrownbyvive.com.
New to the World Am but popular with professional and amateur players across the globe that choose Golfdotz to add style to their ball of choice. From beginners to tour winners, the love is spreading fast! And no, they don't alter the trajectory of the ball. They add your "personal signature" to your golf ball and are made right here in the USA. Choose from a duck, a lucky shamrock or even a paw print. The colors and designs are unique on these little peel-off decal stickers. They are R&A and USGA conforming and new designs are being released all the time. Visit www.golfdotz.
For first time, World Am participant, Jared Swopes, it's not only about the golf, it was time for a getaway with the family and the golf is turning out to be a bonus. The Lubbock, Tex. resident had planned on playing in his first World Am last year, but when it didn't materialize, he made sure 2016 would be the year.
"I listen to (Brian) Katrek and (John) Maginnes on (Sirius XM) PGA Tour Radio and they were broadcasting from here, and I had to look into it and now I'm here, and it's awesome," stated Swopes who made the trip from Texas with his wife Megan and his young son, Jameson.
While the World Am is a "Buddy Trip" for many, for Swopes, it's turned into a family vacation. The Swopes have visited the beaches and have been enjoying meeting fellow competitors in the World Am. Swopes says he's lucky that he has the opportunity to play golf on a regular basis and this week he is in Flight 5.
The first day was a little rough as he shot a 91, but the Golf Gods turned a bit kinder on Tuesday as he shot an 83 and was able to calm his nerves a little.
Megan and Jameson on the other hand have been visiting some of the hot spots in town.
Swopes plays out of the Lakeridge Country Club in Lubbock when he isn't running his automatic door company (think revolving doors at hotels and airports). Swopes says his family looks to plan a beach vacation each year that give him the opportunity to play golf. In recent years, they have visited spots in the Caribbean and Mexico, but they say Myrtle Beach ranks right up there when it comes to golf and things to do.
"I thought I was serious about the tournament, until the first day and I saw there players," admitted Swopes. "There are some good players here and I'm just happy I can experience it for myself."
Swopes said he would recommend the "World Am Experience" to his friends back home and he can foresee one of two of those families venturing to Myrtle Beach in the coming years.
"Most of the guys I play with are younger than me and they would love this. They may not know about it now, but they will when I get back."
The couple that golfs together stays together.
Or, at the very least, it works for Duane and Lisa Wilkins.
The Winter Park, Fl., couple are celebrating their wedding anniversary this week and they annually schedule vacation to coincide with the special occasion.
This year they are doing it at the World Am. Neither Duane or Lisa had heard of the event prior to receiving an email earlier in the year, but knowing they were taking the week off, the golf nuts took the plunge.
After signing up without doing a lot of research, there was some trepidation, but the experience has more than met their expectations.
“It’s awesome,” Lisa said. “The people are so nice and everyone is so friendly.”
“I haven’t met a bad person yet,” Duane said of the tournament.
While some - men and women - go to the course to escape their spouse, Duane and Lisa do the opposite. The couple plays together every week at Eagle Landing Golf Club in Jacksonville.
The result is a happy marriage and two new World Am players.
Happy Anniversary, Duane and Lisa. We hope to see you again next year.
Mark Ehlich stood on the 13th tee at the Moorland Course at Legends Resort as one of his playing partners tossed a tee in the air to see who would lead-off in the opening round of the World Am.
Naturally, given that he was playing in the event for the first time, the tee came to a stop pointing at Ehlich, who was left to silently bemoan his luck.Moments later, fate intervened in a way that it never has the 33-year history of the World Am.
“It was 120 yards (to the hole),” Ehlich said. “It was a little bit down hill so I took a 9-iron and swung easy. (My playing partners) were like it’s a good shot. I said, ‘Yeah, it looks pretty good’ and about that time, clink, it went straight in the hole. It actually damaged the hole and I had to call the clubhouse and have them come repair the cup.”
With his playing partners, one of whom had never seen an ace, celebrating, Ehlich had taken a lead at the World Am on his first swing. Ehlich endured a few good natured jokes about going broke buying drinks at the bar, but his response was on the money.
“It would be worth it,” he said with a laugh.
It was Ehlich’s third career ace and he made a double eagle earlier this year, so he knows how to get the ball in the cup from distance.
As is often the case with golf, the breaks didn’t go his way the rest of the way, and after an early lead, he finished the first round T-27 with a net 81. But there is time to recover and either way, Ehlich has already had an unforgettable World Am.