Two marketing executives sat down over lunch three decades ago to create an event that would fill a gap on the tourism calendar of Myrtle Beach, SC.
Little did Marvin Arnsdorf and Paul Himmelsbach know that the event they mapped out on a cocktail napkin that day would become a permanent entry on the golf calendars of thousands of amateur golfers around the world.
Besides becoming golf’s largest amateur golf tournament, the Golf.Com World Amateur Handicap Championship is one of the world’s greatest annual reunions. Golfers from every U.S. state and two dozen countries gather every year during the last week in August to not only compete in a professional tour-type event, but also to renew friendships from years past, and make new ones for years to come.
The 30th Anniversary of the Golf.Com World Amateur begins with the first round on Monday. Over 3,300 amateurs of all skill levels have driven or flown to the Grand Strand to determine the world’s leading amateur golfer for 2013.
The field is divided into flights within age and gender divisions. Over 60 courses a day will be in play. Players stay with their flights, playing four different courses during the week.
When the 72 holes are completed, the flight winners advance to the Championship Finals on Friday.
Each night following play, players and their guests convene at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center for “The World’s Largest 19th Hole.” Food and beverages, included in the entry fee, are served, but there is plenty more to attract their attention. Guest speakers from The Golf Channel, a Golf Expo, a demo area and a band each night are among the things that attract players to the big party each night. They will also pick up a score sheet to see exactly where they stand in their flight.
It’s “everyday guy and gal’s golf tournament,” where competitors find out what it feels like to play in a professional tour tournament. And once you’ve tried it, you tend to return year after year.