Home Forums The World Am Bulletin Board Is It the End of the World Am as we know it

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  • #50628
    Scott Porter
    Participant

    Anyone else feel like this year is the beginning of the end for the World Am Tournament.
    I have not played in this tournament as long as some but I have looked forward to the event every year for the last 10 plus years. I was always one of the first people to sign up on day one. I promoted the event to everyone I talked to as the best tournament for armatures, specifically “The best bang for the buck in golf”. That opinion has waned over the last several years but I still held onto the opinion that it was an enjoyable week of golf and worth the expense to go, until this year. Do not get me wrong, Scott and the staff at the WA do an admirable job of pulling the event together every year but over the last 4 years the tournament has lost a lot of its sparkle and appeal.
    First is the cost, from 2019 to 2022 the cost for the event has risen from $535 to $599. This would not be such a big deal except for the decline in everything else related to the tournament. Starting with the food, the food quality, serving size and selection has all suffered over the past 4 years. You spend the first hour plus in lines to get a meatball and a teaspoon of mashed potatoes. Many of the best restaurants no longer participate in the event and the few that do, the food offerings are nothing to get excited about. The array of golf related vendors has diminish substantially, the first few years the room was packed with different vendors from the world of golf equipment. There were club makers, ball manufacturers, and new items to the sport. It was a great time walking through, looking at all of the new items and talking with the vendors. Now half of the booths or more have nothing to do with golf, its campgrounds, insurance companies, art galleries, video games and a host of other booths with nothing to do with golf. Then there is the entertainment, the diversity of it has become none existent. It is the same old bands with Karaoke thrown in on one night. There used to be comedians that would do a set or two on a given night or other entertainers. Then there is the players goodie bag, I ready a post from the bulletin board that said it well, “the same old stuff, just in a different color”. I do not know about everyone else but most of the items in the bag I giveaway. I would rather have a few quality, useful items than a bag of stuff I would never use. Then there are the sub-pare conditions of some of the courses in the rotation, the lack of enforcement by the WA committee to hold course staff accountable for pace of play to reduce 5 and 6 hour rounds.
    I have not registered yet as I continue to wrestle with the decision of whether it is worth it to me. By the number of early entries and posts on the bulletin board, I am not the only one. Most of the past years the early entry count as of now was over 2000, right now, barely 1350.

    #50629
    Ken Delaney
    Participant

    Well said Scott. My thoughts are almost identical. I have been playing in this event since 2005 and I too feel the same sentiments. A week in MB is always a blast, etc but with the increase in price to where it’s at now, it’s really getting to the point of what you mentioned (not enough bang for your buck).

    I love the competition, love seeing all the friends I have made over the years but I think they have driven this to the breaking point of “decision time”. Is it worth it, or do I set myself up with a different type of golf vacation for a little less?

    I still give credit to the staff for their efforts, as I am sure it’s not easy to put an event of this size together. Personally, I have cherished all the memories I have made for 17 years, but after this year, it may be time to try something else (as I expect another $ increase for 2023).

    I am signed up for 2022 being that I benefited from 3 newbie friends coming in 2021. So let’s see how this year goes and take it from there.

    Cheers everyone!!

    #50631
    Billy Burwick
    Participant

    I am new here but I just want to ask what hasn’t gone up in price over the last 2 years??
    Expecting something to stay the same price year over year doesn’t make sense since everything usually costs more.

    #50632
    Dale Craig
    Participant

    I kind of agree with most of your comments. I have not gone the last 2 years mostly due to Covid and not wanting to risk it. I am signed up this year but am really going as much to do some house hunting as well as play golf. In years past I looked at the WA as my guys week and didn’t care as much about the cost, but WOW everything costs so much more now. I used to fly in and rent a car, but no way am I gonna do that. Also, I always get a VRBO condo off the beach, but this year there are far fewer for rent. I got lucky this year as I am renting from a woman who I rented from previously and I got a place for half what I could find online.
    As for tournament cost. I agree. I don’t want most of the stuff in the gift bag. I’d be happy with just a shirt and gift certificate. I am not going to complain about course conditions in general, as I guess I’ve been lucky to get decent draws.
    I was extremely happy we are returning to shotgun starts. No way I would want to get a later tee time and have to play in the afternoon heat.

    #50633
    Mike Cheeseman
    Participant

    Scott, well said. This is going to be my last year. I usually come down with one other person but this year I have two buddies who really want to come. They are going to play in the just for fun flight. I have been raving about the WA to them for year and they finally decided to go this year. Being Canadian it is a significant cost. $599US is about $770 Canadian. Plus all the other expenses, condo rental, rental cars airfare food gas ect…. It really adds up. It is easy $1500 – $2000 for each of us in Canadian funds. We can one hell of a golf vacation in Canada with A1 courses for half of what we spend for a week. My wife and I go to Scotland every July for 2 weeks for about $3000 total. I will miss it and the good guys I meet over the years.

    #50634
    Scott Porter
    Participant

    Hi Bill
    It is really not that I expect pricing never to go up, it is the perceived value of the price increase. There have been price increases several of the years I have played, usually 1.0 to 2.0 percent. However, from 2020 to 2021 the increase was 3.5 percent. Now from 2021 to 2022 the increase is almost 6.5 percent. There are scenarios that the tournament is still a perceived value, but if you look at the event from a purely golfing standpoint, you can play four of the very best golf courses in the area, Caledonia, True Blue, TPC and Pawley’s Island for about $450 that time of year. That still leaves you $149 difference from this year’s entry fee. I hope you have a great time this year Bill and best of luck.

    #50635
    Billy Burwick
    Participant

    Scott,

    Ok, I understand where you are coming from.
    Is the WA is more than just the 4 rounds? It’s the competition and the camaraderie right?
    I will check back with you after this year and maybe I will agree with you.

    I am hoping to have a great time also. As long as I don’t come in last I will be happy!

    Stay safe and Peace

    #50636
    Jason Moore
    Participant

    Scott,

    Your post was perfect. Over the last 6-7 Years I’ve talked the World Am up at my club and my group I play with. I’ve introduced over 20 players to the World AM over the years and after 2021 we all decided enough was enough. The branding in the Swag bag is no longer quality merchandise. I get Short Par 4 is a sponsoring brand so I understand the partner ship by the Greg Norman merch was much better quality. The 19th hole has declined and wish they would offer a different price to opt out of this experience. I’ll miss the guys in the Gross Flight as I stay in touch with many of them but no longer find it enjoyable with the especially with them having Lions Paw remaining in the rotation.

    #50637

    Hi all – thank you for the feedback.

    Throughout the years we try to stay at/below rising costs. To Billy’s point $535 in 2019 is the same as $601 in 2022 dollars. I feel great about the value we provide compared to anyone, anywhere. We continue to operate the event at the costs we have to pay for things. In short, to generate economic impact and not make money. It is not proper to look at the price strictly from a golf only standpoint.

    Pacing wise we are 250 players more right now YTD. We did not reach 2,000 until May 4 last year. Expecting 3,300 this year.

    Appreciate the insight into the entertainment. We have not solidified 2022 but can say karaoke will not be a part of it. That was least valued per our surveys. Yes, we listen! The gift bag we have two items we haven’t had since I’ve been here; an umbrella and glove. Plus a rain jacket which has not been done in 4-5 years.

    A few steps forward we’re proud of — prize distribution, spirits & operational efficiency. Aside from top 5’s, we gift 400+, high dollar prizes. In 2022 — to entire flights we will give golfbuddy lasers, sweet rollz grips, peakvision sunglasses. I encourage you to look at prizes pre-2010 in your participant guide. Take away the 1 person who could maybe win a condo and they’re comically low value.

    If you’re a spirits drinker, the step up has been considerable thanks to Crown Royal, Johnnie Walker, and Ketel One to name a few. Operational efficiency may be lost on a consumer but we’ve made strides in scoring and general technology to help promote a seamless event.

    For those that did not approve of a particular course played the good news is you likely will not see it again for many years if you don’t change age brackets. Similarly we have utilized survey responses to increase/decrease the usage of particular courses. A course may be hosting less or more days than the year prior if surveys dictate they were above or below their typically quality.

    To Ken’s point we have over 400 referral discounts out there meaning many of you aren’t paying full price. Keep up the good work referring friends so we can help to make the event grow.


    @Mike
    – can you send me that Scotland itinerary if that is a golf trip? Does that include airfare? Curious both personally and professionally. I would love to see that pricing as we remain competitive to other markets. wahc@golfholiday.com.

    Hope this helps provide insight to all who read the board. Please keep constructive criticism coming.

    #50638
    Bruce Friend
    Participant

    I just got done planting my vegetable garden and have nothing else to do while resting so I will bore others and post my worthless comments.

    Personally I’m bummed karaoke night is done as it was my favorite night of entertainment. I don’t like the early bird increase in price but I do trust WAM staff in their ability to manage this tournament in terms of cost while understanding the increase is in line or below what I see other tournaments and golf packages have increased to. So personally, I’m satisfied viewing it from a comparison and macro level without knowing WAM proforma financials. If you don’t want to enjoy the best week of golf with everything taken care of for you once you arrive, don’t sign up but you are missing out. If you can’t afford it, don’t consider it. I will bet $100 registrations will be below 3300 if Scott T wants some action. Haha.

    This tournament is massive and the staff has done a great job in the 6 years I’ve been attending in an overall perspective. I will have 2-4 newbies with me this year. They all understand with 100 golfers on the course pace of play won’t be ideal and there is a possibility of 1 course in their rotation conditions will be poor. It sucks and it is the one place I think can be improved with a small change. Take the big cat courses out of the rotation until they PROVE they can maintain a decent experience.

    Looking forward to arriving and getting my goody bag regardless what is in it. I don’t need anything but always enjoy getting it.

    #50639
    Bruce Friend
    Participant

    I do have a question for Scott T. After a newbie registers with me as a referral, when do I get a notification I have a bonus for 2023 and do I need to keep it or will it be applied next year automatically? Thanks in advance

    #50642
    Rick Kimbrell
    Participant

    I signed up at 4:00AM the morning registration opened this year. This will be my 35th consecutive year. Am I a sucker for coming back every year? You may think so. I don’t. The only night the food and drink lines seem to be intolerable is Monday night (1st night). If you base your decision on whether or not to come to the Convention Center solely on coming on a Monday night…try Tuesday or any other night.
    As far as the food you get there…it really hasn’t changed very much. You are not going to get a full meal at any one place unless you keep circling thru the line over and over and over. And, it wasn’t intended to be that way.
    From a golf perspective, it is huge fun, great competition, and chance to meet new folks every year. I am sorry the Legends courses are not included. And, the Big Cats courses…they should be dropped. They are in horrible shape and have been for a few years now. If I draw one of them, I will play it and I will write yet another bad review on Golfpass and anywhere else I can find. People used to complain about Wedgefield down in Georgetown. Any of the Big Cats courses make Wedgefield seem like Augusta National.
    The price has gone up marginally but so has everything else I buy. Also more expensive are air fares, hotels and rent cars. If I couldn’t afford it, I wouldn’t come.
    Honestly, what may prevent me from coming after 2022 has nothing to do with cost. I am getting to the point where my arthritis in my hands is having a huge impact on my ability to play golf and with the new (so called better) World Handicap System, I am soft capped at a handicap level where I simply am not very competitive because my hands don’t cooperate when I am playing every day.
    No, I don’t think the World Am is at its end as we know it. But, when you have played in it as many years as I have…you would/will see lots and lots of changes. It cannot remain the same year after year.
    What I would like to see at the Convention Center would be the major equipment companies with demo areas set up so you can hit their clubs. That seems to come and go and come and go. Having it again would be great.
    So, God willing, I will see you all there in August again this year and hopefully years to come.

    #50686
    David Baker
    Participant

    I have complained about the course condition during the WA over the years and yes some of them have been beyond terrible. This will be my 25 year I think, and I have come to realize that the true value of the WA to me, is the friendships, I have made and the opportunity to meet and make new friends, something that you can’t put a price on. I actually consider some of the WA staff to be great friends and really nice people. I hope that they are doing the best that they can, and you cannot please everyone no matter how hard you try. Even on a bad course, I think it is a beautiful day outside, I am on a golf course at a great city, I drink a beer and thank the good Lord for a wonderful day and good friends. Afterwards a swim and off to the 19th hole. I wish they hadn’t gotten rid of the karaoke as the place was usually packed and everyone seemed to have a great time. Hopefully many will voice their displeasure and they will bring it back. I look forward to seeing old and new friends. Just my 2 cents worth.

    #50687
    Rick Kimbrell
    Participant

    David Baker…well said. After my first year here, 1988, I started telling others about the WA. They have come and they have told others. I think all in all, maybe 35+ people are coming this year as a result of my telling them or others about the WA. It is great for those guys/gals to come. But, along the way, I have met people I only get to see here every year and I look forward to seeing them. Most of us don’t even play in the same age bracket or flights but we still look for each other in the Convention Center every year. I have met many of the past and current WA staff and they are great people in an almost thankless job. Yes, some of the course conditions are truly beyond terrible. But you nailed it…the true value is the friendships. Take care and see you in August most probably at the CC.

    #50691
    Billy Burwick
    Participant

    Definetly not the end of the World Am.
    I am new and there will be others like me so as some drop off others will come for the 1st time.
    I have multiple friends already interested in next year. If I have a good time and I am sure I will, I will be returning with friends

    I am also recruiting on the Golf message board I am active on which multiple people have played in the World Am in past years so getting good advice there.

    Looking forward to meeting people and having a fun week of golf.

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