The 34th annual Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship is beginning to appear on the horizon, and of the 2,500 people already registered, few are looking forward to the event as much as Roy Brown.
The Billings, Mont., resident is returning to the World Am after a two-year absence due to family responsibilities, and he can’t wait to resume enjoying the tournament experience.
In 2010, Brown’s brother, Craig, suggested they play in the event and it took little convincing to get Roy to sign up. Once he got here, it was love at the first tee as Brown was immediately hooked.
He missed the following year due to family obligations, but played in 2012 and decided to bring his annual buddies trip junket to the World Am in 2013.
“The hardest thing the first time is the commitment,” Brown said of convincing his friends to come. “Once they go down there and see the immense value (they want to come back). A lot of us will start talking about it in October and start putting a little back in each paycheck so its paid for by May.”
Brown and his group rent a house, come down several days early for practice rounds – playing at sea level requires some adjustment when coming from Montana’s altitude – and generally have a great time.
After missing the last two years due to graduation ceremonies for his kids, August can’t get here soon enough for Brown and his crew. They will be staying and playing at Barefoot Resort and will be teeing it up at King’s North as a way of tipping their caps to The King, Arnold Palmer, all prior to the tournament teeing off.
The only thing Brown and his group aren’t overly optimistic about are their chances of winning. Brown has never finished better than the mid-20s in his flight and he doesn’t recall a top 10 finish for any of his fellow Montanans.
But that doesn’t diminish the experience or the anticipation.
“The World Am is everything you’d want on a buddies trip and you get to compete,” Brown said. “There is nothing like getting away from office, turning your cell phone off, and relaxing. The tournament is the total golf experience.”