Thursday, August 29, 2013

PhotoThe main festivities of the World's Largest 19th Hole at the World Amateur Handicap Championship are held in the massive convention center adjacent to the Sheraton Hotel in Myrtle Beach. Amid all of the free food and beer you could want and all of the swing aids and golf equipment you could buy, the island green of the most famous par-3 in the country sits and waits in the very back of the building. 
No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass. Well, kind of. The World Am's version isn't quite the same, but it does have a huge blue water hazard that wrecks rounds at Sawgrass. There isn't any wind to speak of, and the balls are a foam orange instead of a dimpled white. But that doesn't stop participants from forming the second-longest line of the event (The ice cream stand's queue in the hallway is the clear winner.)
Golfers wait in line to take on the feared par-3 for a chance at the closest to the pin award that's presented nightly. Each winner from Monday-Thursday receives a SkyCaddie GPS watch and at the end of the week all four winners battle for free entry into the 2014 World Amateur. 
This is only a small corner of the World's Largest 19th Hole. If you want to join the fun for 2014, all you need is a USGA handicap. Don't have a handicap? Use the Handicap Tracker to get ready for next year. 

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