Inside Comments: Steve Turcotte

Myrtle Beach World Amateur offers something for everyone there

The Myrtle Beach World Amateur turned 35 years old this year. What started in 1984 with 684 players playing four rounds for an entry fee of $175 has turned into a monster of a golf tournament.

I have been to over 20 and every year there is always something new. This is an event that drew over 5,000 golfers in 2000 and has always been around the 3,000 number every since then. This is about as professional as any amateur golf tournament can be.

There is a kickoff function at an entertainment complex called Broadway at the Beach, four tournament rounds, nightly action at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center and more. And more means the beaches in Myrtle Beach, the nightlife and the family entertainment that is non stop.

This is a golf tournament that features something for everyone. Want top championship courses? No problem. How about some alligators roaming some of the courses? Got that too. And this year, even the weather cooperated with very little humidity and not a drop of rain and clear skies. There were no hurricanes or tropical storms in the forecast, although one year we did get the tail end of a tropical storm. That was plenty of fun.

The tournament itself is the real deal. This is serious stuff. The winners of each flight play for the tournament championship on the fifth day of the event. I thought I was ready this year. The game was good. Fairways were being hit. Putts were dropping. But something happened on the way to the winner’s circle. I took a total of 163 putts, yes 163 that’s no typo, over four rounds. In fact, one round I actually managed an 82, but took 41 putts along the way. Half my strokes were putts. The other rounds were all in the 90’s. Tournament pressure? Maybe. But once bad putting gets into your head, it’s over.

But that didn’t stop the fun that the tournament offers. The nightly action at the Convention Center featured Golf Channel’s Damon Hack for a couple of nights, golf internet sensation Paige Spiranac signing autographs and taking pictures and Golf Channel’s Chantel McCabe also working the crowd for a couple of nights. Live music could always be heard every night as well from the ballroom at the Convention Center.

If you have always thought a golf trip, this is the one you want to take. And it includes a tournament along the way as well.