Thousands invade Strand courses for 31st World Am

worldam-averagejoeThinking about trying to squeeze in a couple of round of golf before Labor Day weekend? Think again. … unless you are playing in the 31st annual Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship

More than 60 of the Grand Strand’s 100 golf courses have tee times tied up for the World Am, aka Everyman’s Major, aka the Sandbagger’s Classic. Whatever you call it, it’s the world’s largest amateur golf tournament, and it’s getting bigger.

More than 3,400 golfers from around the globe will tee it up in the World Am, which will be played Monday through Friday at various layouts on the Strand. Among the 60-plus courses hosting the 72-hole tournament are Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, all four courses at Barefoot Resort, TPC Myrtle Beach, Rivers Edge and Pawleys Plantation.

Players have been placed into one of 76 flights, based on age, gender and handicap, with all flight winners and ties advancing to the World Championship Playoff on August 29 at Barefoot Resort’s Dye Club, where a champion will be crowned.

A look at this year’s field:

* This is the third consecutive year the tournament has enjoyed growth and 3,400 players are the event’s most since 2008.

* 291 women are slated to play in hopes of becoming the World Am’s fifth female world champion.

* Players are coming from 48 states with Idaho and South Dakota being the only delinquents.

* The field is comprised of players from 34 countries. The nations represented are: United States, Australia, Austria, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Germany, Ghana, Guam, Guatemala, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jamaica, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Panama, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, United Kingdom, United States-Outlying Islands, Venezuela and the Virgin Islands.

* States sending the most players to the World Am are, in order’ North Carolina (316), Florida (289), South Carolina (276), Virginia (254), Texas (245) and Georgia (214).

While the competition attracts players to the tournament, the event’s camaraderie is a primary factor in the bringing them back. The World Am’s social hub is the World’s Largest 19th Hole, which is hosted each night at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.

Participants enjoy free food and open bar, live entertainment, a 60-exhibitor golf expo, demo alley and many other activities at the 120,000-square-foot 19th Hole. Television personality Win McMurry will be appearing on the main stage and the Katrek and Maginness On Tap radio show, which is broadcast nationally on Sirius/XM radio, will originate from the 19th Hole.

To enjoy daily coverage of the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship, go to www.WorldAmGolf.com.

Photo courtesy of World Am

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