World Am Becomes First Amateur Golf Tournament to Feature Twitter
September 1, 2009, Myrtle Beach, S.C. – The PGA TOUR Superstore World Amateur Handicap Championship is considered to be the most comparable experience to the U.S. Open for the everyday amateur golfer. In 2009, the World’s Largest Amateur Single-Site Golf Tournament introduced Twitter, the hottest social media phenomenon, and encouraged participants to provide live Tweets from the World Am to keep family and followers up-to-date with their activities during the week.
Through the second day of competition, more than 200 tweets had been recorded. The World Am staff is also utilizing Twitter to relay behind-the-scenes accounts of what is happening in the tournament office, at the 19th Hole and in the handicap room. Twitter is also providing participants with quick updates on breaking news throughout the event. Fans can follow the official World Am Twitter feed and the Tweets of other World Am golfers during the week by searching #worldam.
“To our knowledge, no one has attempted to use Twitter in this context, networking the many aspects of an athletic event of this size,” said Dave Macpherson, Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday tournament director. “The camaraderie among participants is one of the event’s primary strengths, and the use of Twitter is strengthening that bond through online conversation.”
The second day of the 26th annual PGA TOUR Superstore World Amateur Handicap Championship also featured closest-to-the-pin contests on the courses and at the 19th Hole golf simulator with all proceeds benefitting “Know Your Score” campaign which is raising money for prostate cancer research and education. All golfers who entered today’s closest-to-the pin contests are eligible to win gift cards from the PGA TOUR Superstore.
The World Am is also raising money for the “Know Your Score” prostate cancer campaign at the 19th Hole each night with a raffle to win the opportunity to play pool against World 9-Ball champion, Ewa Laurance. If the golfer defeats Laurance in pool, they will win free entry into the 2010 World Am.
World Am participants entered the second day of competition in both the International Pairs Championship and the Cory Lemke Parent-Child Championship. Golfers are battling to win all-expense paid trip to St. Andrews to represent the United States in the 2010 International Pairs World Finals. The Cory Lemke Parent-Child Championship, open to any combination of parent and child participating, honors Lemke, who won his World Am flight at the age of 15 in 2002 before losing his life in a 2006 motorcycle accident
Hosted by Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday, the PGA TOUR Superstore World Amateur Handicap Championship is considered to be the most comparable experience to the U.S. Open for the amateur golfer. Held the week before Labor Day, the event is open to all amateur golfers with a USGA handicap, or the foreign equivalent. Flighted according to their handicaps, golfers compete in four rounds with all flight winners and ties then advancing to the 18-hole world championship playoff at the renowned Dunes Golf and Beach Club.
Fifty-one Myrtle Beach area golf courses, including six of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses,” are hosting rounds this year. Among the Top 100 layouts are the Dunes Club, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, Tidewater Golf Club & Plantation, The Resort Club at Grande Dunes, The Dye Club at Barefoot Resort & Golf and The Fazio Course at Barefoot Resort & Golf.
The on-course competition is only half the fun. Each evening after tournament play, participants and their guests enjoy hospitality at the “World’s Largest 19th Hole,” also known as the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. The 19th Hole features an extensive golf expo with equipment demos, entertainment, free food and drinks and jumbotron video boards to peruse scores. The 19th Hole is also the site of the “TOUR Van Experience” presented by the PGA TOUR Superstore. The “TOUR Van Experience” features a 30,000 square foot demo and club fitting area, fashion makeovers, game improvement areas, skill contests and seminars by Dave Pelz, Jesse Ortiz and Kevin Bullard. In addition to playing for the championship, golfers also have the opportunity to win a share of the $250,000 in prizes given away at the tournament.
World Am officials implemented new features in 2009 to help improve the pace of play and enhance the tournament experience for each participant. This year, players were grouped in threesomes, instead of foursomes, to shorten the length of the rounds and each flight was reduced from an average of 112 players to approximately 48. By reducing the number of golfers in each flight, participants now have a greater chance of winning their flight and advancing to the championship round.
The World Am also introduced Twitter, the popular social media application, to the 26th annual event. Participants are encouraged to Tweet from the course and from the 19th Hole to let friends, family and followers know of their experiences and thoughts during the week.
The PGA TOUR World Am website (WorldAmGolf.com) offers a daily glimpse at the World Am with updated standings, news releases and photographs from the 26th annual tournament. For more information on the 2009 PGA TOUR Superstore World Amateur Handicap Championship, visitWorldAmGolf.com or visit the World Am Virtual Newsroom, TheBrandonAgency.com/WorldAm.
About PGA TOUR Superstores
PGA TOUR Superstores are owned and operated by Golf & Tennis Pro Shop, Inc. (GTPS), headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. Each Superstore is dedicated to providing consumers with exceptional selection, services and prices within an entertaining, interactive store environment. GTPS is the PGA TOUR’s exclusive PGA TOUR partner for off-course/off-airport golf retailing.
Two Superstores operate as Martin’s PGA TOUR Superstore in Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach, S.C. Other Superstores operate in the Atlanta area (Roswell, Kennesaw, Duluth, Buckhead), two stores operate in the Dallas, Texas area and two stores operate in Chandler and Scottsdale, Ariz. All Superstores are focused on game improvement in golf and tennis, as well as growing the games. Each store offers swing analysis, golf instruction by professional instructors, club fittings, indoor practice greens, and hitting nets, as well as golf and tennis apparel, golf-themed home furnishings, and a vast selection of golf and tennis equipment. The PGA TOUR Superstore’s Web site address is www.pgatoursuperstore.com.
About Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday
Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday is a non-profit trade association of 76 championship golf courses, 107 golf package providers and five golf schools in the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina area. Founded in 1967, the organization has been and continues to be the driving force behind the growth of the Myrtle Beach area golf market. The originator of the “Stay and Play Package,” Golf Holiday provides non-biased information about the area accommodations and golf courses to assist golfers in making the most informed decisions when planning for their next vacation.
Golf Holiday also hosts seven events and tournaments annually to help grow the game of golf and attract golfers to the Grand Strand during slower times of year. In addition to hosting the PGA TOUR Superstore World Amateur Handicap Championship – the world’s largest on-site golf tournament, Golf Holiday also manages the Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After The Masters Celebrity Pro-Am Golf Tournament each spring, Summer Family Golf Tournaments, the Spring and Fall Palmetto High School Golf Championships, the Veterans Golf Classic and the FDNY 9-11 Memorial Golf Outing. For more information, call Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday at 1-800-833-8798 or visit GolfHoliday.com.
Cheryl Harden or Erin Barrett, The Brandon Agency, (843) 916-2009 or (843) 918-4999
or visit brandonpr.com