- September 4, 2020 at 9:22 am #48572Chris SternerParticipant
Scott or Ryan, I was wondering if you could explain the process the World Am goes through in determining which courses are included in play, and which are excluded.
I know that this year was stranger then years past, with needing to adjust the # per flight/number of golfers/# of courses, etc… so let’s ignore 2020 as the outlier it will be.
Does the World Am do any scout work in the weeks prior and ever determine that courses are not in respectable shape? Or is the World Am in need of every course willing to allow play?
Every golfer I’ve played with in my 6 years has been able to look at our course assignment and pick out the “dog track” course. In some years the course has a worse reputation then it deserves, and is actually playable! In other years, not so much. Surely the World Am recieves feedback from the golfers on those occasions, and can identify courses golfers do not want to play. How much does the World Am take that into consideration when setting up the tournament?September 4, 2020 at 9:38 am #48574Scott T. – World AmKeymaster
Glad you asked. It’s an extensive process. We actually wrote an article about it.
Course conditions are shared by consumers constantly. We strive for everyone to get the “A,B,C,D” method even though we don’t believe we have any “D”s. Occasionally courses are not up to standard but goal #1 is everyone plays a set of 4 with equal quality, driving distance and attempt to not have you on the same courses as years prior.
As far as which courses, if we have ample notice for a problem we can replace a course. But we’ll utilize any course which is part of our membership group and can maintain a certain level of standard. Sometimes those standards get past us and becomes out of our control.
Article for reference:
https://myrtlebeachworldamateur.com/trust-the-process/September 4, 2020 at 9:55 am #48577James CarterParticipant
Scott. Thank you for your reply. I will specifically reference Lion’s Paw. I know that the area has gotten lots of rain over the last few weeks, but this course should have not been used. There was actual casual water on 4 different greens. I know the pro said it was hard to mow the fairways because of all the rain, but there shouldn’t be raised areas of uncut grass in the fairways. Having lift, clean and place helped some, but I really feel the course was not up to play this year. Not sure how the other “Big Cats” are doing, but Lion’s Paw needs to be pulled. Thanks for another great overall tournament.September 7, 2020 at 8:19 pm #48646
If Lions Paw was bad…then Panther’s Run was terrible. I have played in 33 consecutive World Am events and Panther’s Run was the worst course condition I have ever encountered…and yes I had played Wedgefield before. Wedgefield was not this bad. I would rate Panther’s Run as the worst condition course I have ever played and I have been playing golf for 52 years. Played it on my last day, Thursday. I should have taken pictures to submit about the condition. Horrible!!!September 8, 2020 at 10:51 am #48653John DecaturParticipant
That sucks that you all had to experience those two horrible conditioned courses and they are part of the same facility. Scott is famous for saying if they are a dues paying member of our organization and want to participate in the World Am we will allow them. That response is weak at best and the management/board of Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday need to wake up and realize they have a fiduciary liability to us as paying customers. We pay a lot of money to play in this tournament, pay hotels, pay for food and support the area. You notice they didn’t put Brian Katrek on one of those dog tracks. They want him playing on the best courses so he can rave about the tournament on his Sirius radio show. I will admit I have been very critical of Crown Park which I have drawn now three times in the past 7 years but I will say it is showing minor improvement, yes it will always be a D course but it was in far better shape than the photos I saw of Lions Paw and Panthers Run. At least Crown Park is far in what they charge for a practice round. I paid it once but won’t pay it again. For the Cats to charge what they are charging they need to face reality. Either fix the courses or sell them or shut them down. The reviews on Golf Now will make sure people stay away from the Cats and it is sad as they were once great courses. Scott as tournament director knew in advance of the horrible conditions of the big cat courses he should of moved the players to a different track. His response is awful at best and he and the owners of the big cats deserve the abuse they are getting by the players. By not addressing the problem shows the ignorance and Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday needs to remember who pays their salaries. Without participants the tournaments don’t exist.September 8, 2020 at 1:27 pm #48656Ron ZietakParticipant
My 4 tournament courses & my round at Tidewater on Friday were perfect, but the skins game Sunday @ Caledonia was a disappointment with their greens. Beautiful layout, but the greens were about 7-10 days from what was expected from the players. All in all I was very happy with conditions.September 8, 2020 at 6:53 pm #48670Scott T. – World AmKeymaster
Yes, we should have pulled Ocean Ridge. Hindsight is 20/20. We were made aware of the severity on 8/21 at which time we spoke to the courses and they informed us improvements would be made by tournament week. The same way courses can get in bad shape is the same amount of time a course can become brand new. That was not the case here and fault on me for not taking action into my own hands. Even still replacement course availability was doubtful. But to imply we knew and stood idle is not accurate.
The initial topic discussion was that we make the 4 set of courses equal across the board to the best of our ability based on each of our perceived quality. We argue among ourselves for two full days trying to get an equal set for all players while balancing new courses not played by those flights in years past. That’s why it takes two days.
Every year though, host courses drop out and need replacing at the 25th hour and we have to scramble. I remember when Tiger’s Eye took themselves out of the rotation a few years back and it was just days before the event. Thankfully, we found a replacement that time. This year we had 3 courses remove themselves as late as August 14th.
To John in reference to loyalty- you know I know I have a job because of this event, which I am grateful for. But I don’t think you’d be coming back to each event if you didn’t believe we, more often than not, put out a good product and handle the curveballs we get thrown. This year more than ever. Sometimes we miss, no excuses. But I take A LOT of pride in what we were able to do this year and hope we can continue to deliver the best tournament on the planet.
Finding the positive here and think we should talk about a player conditions panel. Get local participants to advise us on current conditions. We cannot be in 80 places at once but we do have you all as a resource. So let’s move forward with constructive feedback, it does not go unnoticed.September 9, 2020 at 8:21 am #48682James CarterParticipant
Hi Scott. I appreciate your response and think that a player’s condition panel would be a great idea. Also taking the responses that will come through the survey as an indicator of what courses need to be looked at closer. Again, so thankful that you guys were able to pull off the event this year. See you in 2021.September 9, 2020 at 9:07 am #48684Mark HancockParticipant
Scott: As always, thank you for your candor. You guys really work hard and do a great job on the tournament each and every year.
I have played in enough World Ams to know about the ABCD intended rotation and the geographic diversity that you guys try to provide.
My only comment this year is the geographic diversity wasn’t in play as I had to drive to Meadowlands, in North Carolina, Crown Park, in Longs SC (at the NC border), Grande Dunes in North Myrtle Beach, and finally River Club in Litchfield. We stay at the same home on the beach in Surfside, so I had a lot of driving.
As for the quality of my courses, I thought overall they were really good enough though the selection lacked a high quality A (TPC or Caladonia), but I thought the lower courses were in really good shape. I have played on much worse at the World Am than Meadowlands & Crown Park.
Grande Dunes – A-
River Club – B+
Meadowlands – C
Crown Park – CSeptember 9, 2020 at 3:20 pm #48688
I love the fact that generally we draw courses up in North Carolina and south down towards Pawleys Island along with a couple of courses mixed in elsewhere. Having 4 courses in the same general vicinity would be boring. There is great diversity in courses all over the Grand Strand so headed to a different geographical area each days makes this event even more fun.September 9, 2020 at 4:57 pm #48689
Scott, in case you are not familiar with it, there is a web site titled “Myrtle Beach Golf Talk Forum”. It is run by Brian Noblin, a golf trip director that I have used for many years. The web address is http://www.myrtlebeachgolftalk.com Click on the “forum” tab and you can always find reports from a number of golfers about courses they just played. They are very good at giving frank, honest opinions about what they experienced. You might want to assign one of your staff to monitor that site for a couple of weeks prior to making your course assignments. Once I received my course assignments I immediately went to the site to see if there were any reports on my courses. The only course of mine that had any reports was Indigo Creek and several people really trashed it, saying the fairways had not been cut in “weeks”. I found that hard to believe and since I hadn’t played it in a while I decided to play it as one of my 2 practice round courses. I played on Friday before the Monday start and guess what…2 inch long grass in the fairways. I couldn’t believe it. On several occasions I actually had to search a couple of minutes to find my ball IN THE FAIRWAY..!! They wound up cutting the fairways before Monday’s opening but they were not cut close by any means. When I played it on Tuesday I was in an 8:09 group and we had a very heavy dew that morning so when I reached my first drive I found it covered in mud and 1 inch long grass clippings. And the pro had told us before we teed off that “the course is in great condition and you’ll be playing the ball down”. Scott, we had SIX players shoot a NET score in the 70’s. Everyone else was in the NET 80’s and 90’s. We should have never played Indigo Creek, even if they had allowed lift, clean and place, there was no where to place the ball. Hope the Golf Talk Forum site is beneficial to you. I’ll still see you next year for my 24th time.September 13, 2020 at 7:31 pm #48704
Louie, I have not played Indigo Creek for several years now but when we played there we got the same song and dance about how good shape it was in and the only reason we were playing lift clean and place was because it had rained the night before. I really wanted to tell him if that was what he called “good shape” he must no have been anywhere else in quite some time. Lift clean and place helped some but the course was just not very well maintained.September 13, 2020 at 9:07 pm #48705
Rick, I’m glad you at least got to lift, clean and place. We didn’t have that opportunity but as I said due to the conditions it probably wouldn’t have helped. You know, the majority of the courses used in the World Am are normally not in “play the ball down” condition…if you’re playing a casual round you’re usually rolling the ball in the fairway. A thought just crossed my mind…I just realized that the last 2 or 3 years I can’t remember having any course give my flight a lift, clean and place option, and we have had rainy conditions prior to the World Am that left many courses in borderline conditions. Are the World Am people directing the courses to not allow this unless absolutely necessary? I would say in the last 3 years, playing 12 different courses, the option should have been effect at least 2 or 3 times…just thinking out loud here…who makes the decision..the club pro or the World Am…Scott, any comments…??September 14, 2020 at 4:10 pm #48708Denny BurchParticipant
Louie, the tourney folks are not out at every course on a given day, so the course pro needs to make the call. This year was tiresome as every course we played was wet and we played it down all 4 days. Two of the courses were not too bad, but two of them were. Farmstead in particular was soaked on Wednesday. Not sure why, but maybe they had a local downpour the night before. In any case, I had mud on EVERY ball all day. It was a shame, as the course was actually in good shape, as it usually is. Lift, clean and place (or drop) should have been in place. In our flight (handicap 9.0 – 9.6) no one broke 80, a rarity for us. These decisions drove up overall scores in our flight, which put us at a disadvantage against other flights who got relief. By disadvantage I mean in the pairs competition. I mentioned this in my survey, and suggested that the courses should lean toward giving relief if the decision is close. The WA advertises itself as a tournament experience, so we should not have to unnecessarily cope with adverse conditions that professionals would never have to deal with.September 14, 2020 at 4:49 pm #48709
Denny, what I’m wondering about is what kind of pre-tournament instruction is the World Am giving the pros? Are they saying “play it as it lies” is the World Am’s preferred option and not adding an option for the pro to make a decision? Shaftesbury Glen was my opening course on Monday and I played a practice round there Sunday. I had mud balls all day long and saw the assistant pro marking penalty areas. I told him about the mud balls and he said he would report it to the head pro but we still played it down on Monday and there was still plenty of mud on the ball. This is not The Masters….most of the courses we play are just not in good enough shape, especially after an evening rain, to play it down all the time.
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