Golfers around the world can begin focusing on the world’s largest amateur golf tournament, the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship, with the opening of registration for the late summer event.
Approximately 3,500 participants are expected for the 32nd edition of the tournament, August 31-September 4, in what the locals claim is the Golf Capital of the World along the northeastern South Carolina coast.
The tournament includes more than 65 Myrtle Beach courses and lives by the theme, anyone can play, anyone can win. The $475 cost for the four-day, 72-hole event includes a gift bag and nightly entry into the World’s Largest 19th Hole.
32 countries and 49 US states
The 2014 tournament attracted players from 49 US states and 32 countries. While Canada had the most international participants, outside of the United States, the emerging golf nations of China (20 players) and Brazil (14 players) were also represented.
“We are seeing more international players wishing to participate in the World Amateur, which continues to show that Myrtle Beach is an attractive and iconic golf destination worldwide,” said Jeff Monday, the World Amateur Handicap Championship tournament director. “Our country count was up by more than 25 per cent last year, which underlines the growing appeal of the event with international players.”
The World Am is grouped according to USGA indexes with five competitive divisions ranging from men/women under 49-years-old to super seniors 70 and above. Flight winners advance to the 18-hole world championship playoff where a World Champion is crowned. The event’s inclusiveness is apparent in its past champions as winners with handicaps as low as 3 and as high as 34 have won. Four women have hoisted the championship trophy.
About the organisers, Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday
Figures & facts from the 2014 edition
- 3: For a third consecutive year, the full field size increased
- 9: The handicap of Dennis Rasku of Pompano Beach, Fla., the 2014 World Champion. Rasku made a net birdie (gross par) on the first extra hole to win a three-way, sudden-death playoff over a 5 handicap and 7 handicap
- 10: The percentage of the field made up of international participants
- 32: International countries included 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, Venezuela and the Virgin Islands.
- 38: Courses used daily
- 61: Courses utilized for the entire week
- 76: Total number of flights
- 80: The number of exhibitors at the World Amateur ‘World’s Largest 19th Hole’, a centralized location all week for interactive exhibits and a reception at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center
- 90: Players at each course daily
- 96: Maximum number of players in each flight
- 112: Estimated kegs of beer consumed for the week at the 19th Hole
- 3,405: 2014 field size, the largest since 3,623 in 2008
- 5,000: Estimated participants and guests visiting the World’s Largest 19th Hole nightly at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center
- +4-36.4: Range of handicaps in the competition
- 100,000: The approximate number of people who have competed since there were 684 participants in the first event in 1984. A maximum of 5,000 players entered in 2000.
- 15,423 km: The approximate distance four Australians traveled to reach Myrtle Beach, the farthest distance of any competitors