More than 3,000 players from 26 countries began play at the 33rd annual Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship Monday morning in hopes of claiming the mantle of World Champion.
The “Every Man’s Major,” as the event is often called, is being contested on 50 of Myrtle Beach’s best courses, including Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, Love Course at Barefoot Resort, Grande Dunes Resort Course and Heritage Club.
A 72-hole, net stroke play tournament, the World Am is being played August 29-September 2. Players have been separated into six divisions and 64 flights based on age, gender and handicap. After four rounds of competition, all flight winners and ties advance to the World Championship Playoff at Barefoot Resort’s Dye Club on Friday.
At the heart of the World Am’s competitive success is the game’s best and most aggressively enforced handicap monitoring system, which levels the playing field for all participants.
Myrtle Beach, golf’s most popular destination, is the only place capable of hosting a tournament as large as the World Am, and the depth and quality of the area’s courses are a primary attraction.
As important as the golf is, it’s only half the fun at the World Am. Each night players gather at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center for the festivities at the “World’s Largest 19th Hole,” a 120,000-square-foot golf extravaganza. Players enjoy free food and drinks, live entertainment, a golf expo and celebrity guests, among many other activities.
Joining golfers at this year’s tournament will be television analyst Charlie Rymer, PGA Tour champion Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey, and national radio hosts Brian Katrek and John Maginnes.
The World Am is a one-of-a-kind event, bringing golfers from different cultures, ability levels and backgrounds together to celebrate the game.
Here are some numbers to digest as the 2016 Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship tees off:
6: Number of competitive divisions, ranging from men 49 and under to the super seniors (70+), a women's division and the recently created gross division
32: Courses used daily
50: Courses utilized for the entire week
64: Total number of flights
96: Approximate number of players at each course daily
5,000: Estimated participants and guests visiting the World’s Largest 19th Hole nightly at the Sheraton Hotel and Convention Center
102: Estimated kegs of beer consumed for the week at the 19th Hole.1 - 40.4: Range of handicaps in the competition
16,579 kilometers: The approximate distance from Adelaide, Australia – Christopher Kay’s home – to Myrtle Beach, the farthest commute of any 2016 competitor.
About Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday: Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday is a non-profit trade association comprised of 75 championship golf courses and 99 golf package providers in the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina area. Founded in 1967, the organization continues to be the driving force behind the growth of the region’s thriving golf market. The originator of the “Stay and Play Package,” Golf Holiday provides non-biased information about accommodations and golf courses to assist golfers in making the most informed decisions when planning for their next vacation.
Golf Holiday also hosts seven events and tournaments annually to help to foster continued growth of the game. In addition to hosting the Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After The Masters Celebrity Pro-Am Golf Tournament, Golf Holiday runs the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship – the world's largest single-site amateur golf tournament, the Palmetto High School Golf Championships, the Veterans Golf Classic, the Preseason Classic, the March Championship, the Calabash Cup and the Myrtle Beach Fall Classic.
Golf Holiday also hosts seven events and tournaments annually to help to foster continued growth of the game. In addition to hosting the Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After The Masters Celebrity Pro-Am Golf Tournament each spring, Golf Holiday also runs the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship – the world's largest single-site amateur golf tournament, the Summer Family Golf Tournaments, the Palmetto High School Golf Championships, the Veterans Golf Classic, the Preseason Classic, the March Championship and the Myrtle Beach Fall Classic.