So, it’s your first time playing the World’s Largest amateur golf tournament catered to you, the every day golfer. What can you expect? We’ve asked our staff to put together their tips to keep you having fun on and off the course.
For starters: don’t assume you’ll play great. Tournament golf is hard! For most people it will be nerve-wracking to step on the first tee. Guess what? A lot of other people feel the same way. Who cares? You’re not alone. Whether you do or you don’t win should not be the barometer of success. The goal is the story telling you have at the end of the week. The World Am is a killer deal whether you walk away a winner or not. And chances are you’ll have more fun when you put less pressure on yourself. A top 5 is great, but 5 new golfing buddies is even better.
Come prepared. It’s hot, it could be wet, and you will be playing a 5-hour round. They say if you bring your umbrella it won’t rain. We recommend bringing 2 pairs of shoes, a few gloves, and stock up on golf balls at the PGA TOUR Superstore using your $20 discount card. Don’t forget a new rangefinder from our friends at GolfBuddy.
Avoid the big number. The thing we hear most from flight winners is their course management. Compounding an error can quickly take you out of the running. There’s 300+ shots to take over 4 days. Don’t let 1 hero attempt ruin your week. It’s a marathon not a sprint. That goes for the 19th Hole too!
Skins Games! A crowd favorite at World Am, though not operated by our staff which is why we have this important notice. ALWAYS confirm the person taking in skins money is in fact a registered participant in YOUR flight. We don’t condone giving money to strangers. Ask as many questions as possible about the rules and ask to see the results sheet if you think yours stood up. The World Am app has hole by hole scoring for fact checking.
A message to the operators of these games, if you create a post it size note card of the rules it will save you a bunch of time having to explain. GolfGenius, if you have the means to use it, has set the precedent of showing who cut who which makes it great for operations and transparency. We understand not many use it due to the financials. Remember the official scorecards are for the tournament and not the skins game. As much as a money game can net someone a few hundred bucks, failure to turn in a scorecard to HQ will result in a DQ.
Speaking of scorecards you’ll want to make sure to turn those in as a group to the professional in charge. We can’t tell you how many times we see an error on a card or an eraser mark that ‘appeared out of nowhere’. Turning cards in as a group prevents all questions. Notice we did not say, turn it in yourself, or let the marker turn it in. Let us repeat: As. A. Group! We are not quite the PGA TOUR with a scorers table, but that is the idea.
Accommodations wise its best to stay central as a rookie. If you find a great hotel somewhere you like that’s awesome! We’ve got deals all over town on our website. If you’ve never been though and don’t know where to be, stay near the Convention Center. The Sheraton is walking distance to the 19th Hole and so are a plethora of hotels off 21st avenue if you prefer to be oceanfront. This will limit your driving time in any direction since it is likely you will be playing one course in the Calabash area and one in Pawley’s Island.
Carpooling is an interesting component when you come with friends. We recommend no less than 2 cars for every 4 golfers (or 3 for 8, 4 for 12). It’s not an exact science. You can also do what’s called a ‘flight together request’ or play in the Just For Fun division which is a good spot for couples, groups of 4, first timers or beginners to golf.
Off course is just as much fun as on course. The 19th Hole is a golfer’s paradise. We have ample pages on our website website dedicated to that. Quickly allow us to go over what you’ll find at the 19th Hole and how to manage it. First grab a menu at the front entrance. You’ll want to hit at least 3-4 food stations to fill you up plus Friendly’s ice cream. Take one night to see each exhibitors’ latest products. And another night set aside for your favorite band on the schedule. We recommend no less than 2 nights at the 19th Hole. Tuesday and Wednesday tend to be the slowest if you’re looking to avoid a crowd. But if you can handle all 4, even better! If you do attend 3 or more nights you should look into getting the Fast Pass or VIP upgrades.
Want to eat out? We recommend the following spots:
- Steaks: Chucks
- Seafood: Bimini’s (as dive as they come!) or anywhere on the Marsh Walk
- Italian: Umberto’s or Angelo’s
- The Games: Carolina Ale House or King Street Grille
- The View: Tin Roof
Golf course clubhouses for post round food/drink:
- Thistle Club
- True Blue
- The Dye Club
- Grande Dunes
That should get you started. You’ll be a veteran in no time. Most people learn through their friends who got them signed up. Pick their brain and see what they say! What did we miss? Check our FAQ page for even more. Or comment on our Facebook post!