By Chris King
Brisbane, Australia is more than 9,000 miles from Myrtle Beach, but when Steve Muller was in search of an amateur golf tournament to play in, he never gave the distance a second thought.
Muller was Googling for possible events, and you can guess what a search of the words world and amateur turned up. He clicked on the PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com World Amateur’s website and it didn’t take Muller, a frequent traveler for business, long to decide he wanted in.
He read a couple online reviews and inquired with some friends who had heard of the event but hadn’t played, and his mind was made up.
“Honey, we are going on holiday,” a smiling Muller told his wife, Karen.
He booked his plane tickets – travel time was 24 hours door-to-door – in February, before entry was open, and he signed up almost immediately when the tournament began accepting registration.
The trip will be a 17-day holiday, and Muller and his wife, who lived in Cleveland from 2014-16 (though he had never previously heard of the World Am or been to Myrtle Beach), are also using the trip to catch up with old friends.
When Muller told his friends in Cleveland he was playing in the tournament, they said, “Great, we are coming down for a holiday.”
While Muller spends his day on the golf course, Karen and their friends from Cleveland spend time at the beach and the couples hang out during the evening hours.
(The enterprising Muller secured 19th Hole passes for his guests in part by trading hats from his home course – Carbrook Golf Club. Carbrook is most known as the home of a lake full of bull sharks – yes, you read that right, bull sharks! Watch the video.)
Muller is on track for a middle-of-the-pack finish, but his first trip to the World Am has certainly met expectations.
“The people I’ve met are fantastic,” he said. “If I win something great, but that’s not why I came. Success is being here and enjoying it.”
After concluding tournament play, Muller and his wife are going to spend the weekend in New York, and if he has his way, they may be back next year with some Aussie friends in tow.