After Debra Delp completed registration at the 2018 World Amateur Handicap Championship and collected her gift bags items, she came to a raffle benefiting the First Tee of the Coastal Carolinas.
The Lansdale, Pa., resident was playing in her first World Am, but she was familiar with the work of the First Tee and figured the contest to win a 7-night, 6-round dream trip to Myrtle Beach would benefit a worthy cause.
Delp didn’t give the raffle much thought the remainder of the week. Shortly after she left the World’s Largest 19th Hole on Thursday night, that all changed.
While she was new to the World Am, Delp quickly made friends and her new acquaintances started blowing up her phone with news that she had won a return trip to the area.
“Some of the girls (I played with) called and text me congratulations on winning the trip,” Delp said. “I said, ‘Win what?’ I called (the tournament office) and they told me. I was excited.”
With the ability to bring three people and play six courses of her choice, the trip provided Delp the opportunity to return to a layout that holds a special place in her heart.
As is the case with most World Am players, Delp is an avid golfer and she met her fiancé, Rene Kuenkel, playing American Singles Golf Association events in the Philadelphia area. As their relationship blossomed the couple made the decision to formalize their union on a Myrtle Beach golf trip.
“Caledonia is my favorite course there, and my fiancé proposed on the 18th hole (during a previous trip),” Delp said. “We were playing there and on the 18th green, he had ‘Deb, Will you marry me?’ on the flag. It’s a special place for us.”
Needless to say, Caledonia topped Delp’s wish list, but it was hardly the only memorable layout on her itinerary. Joined by another Philadelphia area couple she and Kuenkel met through the ASGA, Delp also played Pawleys Plantation, Tidewater, the Dye Course at Barefoot, Grande Dunes and Myrtlewood’s Palmetto Course during her April 27 – May 4 trip.
“The beauty of the courses (is what stood out),” Delp said. “Pawleys Plantation is really pretty. The holes along the water at Tidewater are gorgeous. You can’t beat the views. Even if you aren’t playing well, you have to enjoy it.”
The scenery at Marina Inn, a 4-Diamond property overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway where Delp and Kuenkel stayed, was almost as good.
Among the on-site amenities they enjoyed at Marina Inn were the area’s only infinity edge pool, complete with a swim-up bar, the Anchor Cafe, a restaurant built over the Intracoastal Waterway, and a Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
Throw in a PGA Tour Superstore gift card and all the elements of a dream vacation came together.
“Everything was first class,” Delp said. “The trip went beautifully.”
She has signed up for the 2019 World Am in hopes of winning a return trip.