MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Grand Strand is crawling with golfers as the 30th Annual World Amateur Handicap Golf Champion gets underway. More commonly known as the World AM, this year the golf tourney has brought in more than 3,000 golfers.
The golfers are from 46 different states, and 27 different countries, bringing the spotlight to the Myrtle Beach golf scene.
"Over the years it has progressed immensely," said Chris King, with Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday. "We've got people here from China, Japan, India, all over Europe. You know it's just this event is really a one-of-a-kind type of deal."
It's a big deal for the 64 hosting golf courses, because head golf pros really count on the event to give them business. Fall is the peak of the golf season. This year, things seem to be on the upswing: organizers say there's an eight percent increase in the number of golfers at the beach for the tournament.
This could mean the area is heading into a good year, because some courses tell WMBF News they're already seeing it in the books.
"Our advance bookings for the fall do seem to be a little bit better than what they were last year," said Eddie Dennis, the Head Golf Pro for Arrowhead Golf. "So, we're encouraged by that, and we're looking forward to having a good fall season."
The benefits are spreading far past the greens. Participating golfers usually bring their families, who stay in local hotels, and enjoy other attractions and restaurants in the Grand Strand. This year, the World AM is taking place between August 26 and August 30.