The 38th annual PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com World Amateur Handicap Championship – the game’s most inclusive event – teed off Monday morning as 3,500 players from all 50 states and seven countries began their quest to claim the mantle of World Champion.
A 72-hole, net stroke play tournament, the World Am, which is open to all players 18 years of age and older, is being played August 30 – September 3 on 55 of the Myrtle Beach area’s premier courses. At the conclusion of Thursday’s fourth round, all flight winners and ties will advance to the Flight Winner’s Playoff at the Grande Dunes Resort Course, where a World Champion will be crowned.
“The excitement of opening day at the PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com World Amateur Handicap Championship never gets old,” tournament director Scott Tomasello said. “The event is equal parts competition and camaraderie, but everyone harbors dreams of winning the tournament and that anticipation is part of what makes this week special.”
Entry into the event, which included at least four rounds of golf, nightly admission to the World’s Largest 19th Hole and a gift bag, was $679.
While much of the 2021 tournament will look familiar to players, there are two new women’s divisions. For the first time, there will be a women’s gross division, and the ladies, who previously had just one age group, will be split into two groups – 59 and under and 60 and older.
The World Am flights players based on age, gender and handicap.
The World Am places players into 11 divisions – men 49 and under, senior men (50-59), mid-senior men (60-69), super senior men (70-79), seasoned seniors (80+), women (59 and under), senior women (60+), the gross division, senior (50+) gross division and women’s gross division. There is also a “Just For Fun” flight, created for players who want to enjoy the World Am experience without the pressure of competition.
After four days of play, all flight winners and ties will advance to the World Championship Playoff at the Grande Dunes Resort Course, an 18-hole shootout that crowns the event’s winner.
While the competition is initially what lures players to the tournament, it’s only part of what keeps them coming back. At the heart of the World Am’s appeal is the camaraderie among its participants and much of that kinship is fostered at the World’s Largest 19th Hole.
Each night of the event, the 19th Hole overtakes all 120,000-square feet of the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, providing participants with free food and drinks, live entertainment, celebrity guest appearances, a golf expo and more. Among the big names that have appeared at the 19th Hole in recent years are David Feherty, Brandel Chamblee, Charlie Rymer and John Daly.