World Am: Day 1 Recap
By mustang6560 on 8/27/12
I am delighted to be blogging from the Sheraton Convention Center Hotel in beautiful Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. In case you don't know, I am in Myrtle Beach for the 29th annual World Amateur Handicap Championship - the largest amateur golf tournament in the world. It's my second World Am to participate in and it's off to a fantastic start!

I arrived yesterday afternoon and, thanks to a shortage of mid-size sedans, the folks at Thrifty Car Rental upgraded me to a Ford Mustang Convertible - for free! So, instead of riding around in a lamecompact, I'll be cruising around the Grand Strand in style this week! I'm not going to lie; I kind of feel like Batman in the all-black muscle car.

The Batmobile

After I checked into the hotel (see below), I took the BatMobile over the Martin's PGA Tour Superstore to check-in for the World Am. I met Jeff Monday and Scott Tomasello of Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday (the organization that puts together the World Am). They are already talking about partnering with us again next year, so you can expect another World Am Giveaway in the future! As is customary for the World Am, every participant gets a gift bag and generally it's the same from year to year. However, the biggest difference between this year and last year is every player got a $50 gift card to the PGA Tour Superstore. In case you were wondering, I bought a Titleist Players golf glove and four pairs of FootJoy ProDry golf socks.

Now that I caught you up with the first part of my trip, I'll get on to the good stuff – the golf! I played the Hackler Course at Coastal Carolina University earlier today in Conway, South Carolina. I arrived to the course early for one purpose – to make sure I got into the skins game, which I did. The way it works is pretty straightforward: Anyone who wants to play puts up $20 and if you birdie (or eagle) a hole, you get a cut of the money. But, if someone else birdies the same hole you birdie, then the birdies cancel each other. After everyone turns in their scorecard, the number of people with unique birdies split the winnings. I birdied hole four, but there were a couple other people who birdied as well, so no money for me today. I'm not sure how the skins finished today, but the pot was around $1,200.

I spoke to a first time player last night and he said he was nervous because he's playing in his first tournament. I told him, "Ah, it's not that bad. Your nerves won't be affected all that much."

Well, I guess I forgot how much pressure I felt last year, because the nerves got to my swing on the first several holes. The fact that there is out of bounds on nearly every hole at the Hackler Course didn't help either. I started on hole 15, a relatively long par-3. Through my first seven holes, I was 11-over-par. It's safe to say that is not how I wanted to start. But on hole 4 (my 8th of the day), things started to turn around. As I mentioned above, I birdied the 4th after hitting the fairway for the first time all day. My early struggles were directly related to my driver. I play a fade, however, for the first several holes, my tee shots were all going left. The worst feeling in the world is to stand up on a tee-box and not know which direction your ball is going to go. After my birdie, though, I calmed down and managed to put together a solid finish. Over the remaining 11 holes, I shot 4-over-par (including my triple on hole 8) and finished with an 87. I am really pleased with my 87 for two reasons:
  1. For a moment in time, the SG Mobile app was telling me I was on pace to shoot 100.

  2. It keeps my hopes alive of shooting in the 80s for all four rounds.

My view from the Sheraton

Tomorrow I play Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, which is supposed to be the difficult course in my schedule. For now, I am off to the convention center to enjoy the world’s largest 19th Hole!

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