World Am set to tee off in Myrtle Beach

The largest single-site amateur golf tournament in the world is held each year in Myrtle Beach, and the 32nd Annual World Amateur Handicap Championship looks to be bigger and better than ever.

More than 3,200 participants have already entered the popular event, which will be held Aug. 31 through Sept. 4 at more than 60 golf courses on the Grand Strand. Players come from all over the world and bring their clubs and official handicaps to compete on a level playing field, or putting green, as the case may be.

Each year the World Am attracts players from all 50 states, as well as 25 other countries, with skill levels ranging from scratch golfers to beginners. Hosting large groups from China, Portugal, Germany and Canada, this is truly an international affair that brings people together for their common love of golf and good competition.

The week-long events get things started with the Sunday night Golfapalooza Party at Broadway at the Beach, but be sure to pace yourself for the action on the course. All World Am participants play four 18-hole rounds at different courses over the first four days to determine their 72-hole net score, with the winners of each flight advancing to Friday's final round. Prizes are awarded to each flight winner, and the overall winner gets to take home the most coveted trophy in amateur golf.

For an entry fee of $575, golfers get to play at least four rounds on some of the top golf courses on the Grand Strand. This year's lineup of venues includes Barefoot Golf Resort's Norman, Fazio and Love courses, Pawleys Island's crown jewels of Caledonia Golf & Fish Club and True Blue Golf Plantation, and North Myrtle Beach's famed Tidewater Golf Club. The World Championship Playoff will be held at Barefoot Resort’s Dye Club.

The entry fee also includes a gift bag that contains $300 worth of golf-related gifts and discounts to Myrtle Beach attractions, restaurants and shops. Players also receive full access to “The World’s Largest 19th Hole,” which features free food and beverages at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, and daily contests like closest-to-the-pin and longest putt at each participating golf course.

After a long day on the links, the field flocks to Myrtle Beach Convention Center for a wide array of activities at the 19th Hole. Vendors and golf manufacturers flood the convention halls with equipment demos and contests of skill, and live entertainment keeps the party hopping. The function also features open bars, concerts and seminars, prize drawings and free food from several local restaurants.

The 19th Hole is also home to celebrity appearances and live broadcasts via numerous media outlets. Among this year's celebrity guests that will be in attendance are two-time major champion John Daly and TV personalities Win McMurry and Charlie Rymer. The “Katrek and Maginess on Tap” radio show, which airs nationally on Sirius/XM radio, will be broadcasting live from the convention center as well.

World Am participants are flighted based on gender, age and handicap index. The tournament is comprised of approximately 70 flights and all flight winners advance to the 18-hole world championship playoff where a champion is crowned. The event’s inclusiveness is apparent in its past champions as winners with handicaps as low as three and as high as 34 have won. Four women have hoisted the championship trophy.

The deadline for early registration end Aug. 7, although a limited number of spots may be available at later dates if there is enough space for add-ons. For more information or to register for the 32nd Annual World Am, visit www.myrtlebeachworldamateur.com.