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August 25, 2023

World’s biggest amateur event to be held in Myrtle Beach

By Alabama Golf News Staff
Grande Dunes Golf in Myrtle Beach Myrtle Beach World Handicap AMateur CHampionship

Tourney features 'World's Largest 19th Hole'

Myrtle Beach is preparing for an anniversary of the PlayGolfMyrtleBeach World Amateur Handicap Championship – a flighted event with 3,260 players from all 50 states and 17 countries.

 The 40th annual PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com World Amateur Handicap Championship, a 72-hole, net stroke play event, will be played Aug. 28-Sept. 1 along Myrtle Beach’s Grand Strand. 

The inaugural World Am was first played in 1984 played in hopes of filling what had been a slow week in Myrtle Beach’s tourism calendar.

From those humble origins, the tournament has grown into an international event. From hurricanes and power outages to giving away golf course condos and Paula Morton holing out from 70 yards to claim the mantle of World Champion, the World Am has seen a little bit of everything over the years. 

40th World Amateur Handicap Championship

“We are looking forward to celebrating Year 40” of the event, tournament director Scott Tomasello said. “This event is always a celebration of the game and the people who love it, and that will certainly be the case this year. More than 3,200 golfers from across the globe are coming to Myrtle Beach, and we look forward to providing an unforgettable experience on and off the course.”

The World Am, which has been called the “Every Man’s Major,” allows regular golfers, who are flighted by age, gender and handicap, the rare opportunity to compete over 72 holes with flight winners advancing to the World Championship Playoff at the Grande Dunes Resort Course.

Highlighting the World Am’s broad appeal, there are players as old as 90 and as young as 16 registered for the 2023 tournament, while Portugal and Canada lead the nations sending international participants. The average handicap for tournament players is 11.8 and 50 of Myrtle Beach’s best courses will host the tournament.

 The World Am flights 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-plus), women (59 and under), senior women (60+), the gross division, senior (50+) gross division, mid-senior (60-plus) 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 tournament play, all flight winners will compete for the right to be crowned “World Champion” at the Grande Dunes Resort Course on Friday, Sept. 1.

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 participants, and much of that kinship is fostered at the World’s Largest 19th Hole.

Each night of the event, the 19th Hole takes over all 120,000 square feet of the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, providing participants with free food and drinks, live entertainment, celebrity guest appearances and a golf expo. Among the big names that have appeared at the 19th Hole in recent years are David Feherty, Brandel Chamblee, Charlie Rymer and John Daly.

Players also receive a gift bag that includes a polo, pullover, golf towel, logo’d hat, PGA Tour Superstore gift card and an assortment of other goodies valued cumulatively at $250.

Have a story idea or a news item to report to Alabama Golf News? Email gregg@alabamagolfnews.com

Featured image courtesy of Grande Dunes Resort Course

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