Women’s Division in 2017 to be Seen Live on TV for First Time, and be Represented at Sanctioned Events for First Time in 13 years
(ORLANDO, Fla.) – The sport of Long Drive will expand its presence on television in 2017 with three televised events on Golf Channel, including the season-culminating World Long Drive Championship over two nights in primetime in September, and two additional televised events airing on Golf Channel in June and July. For the first time ever, the Women’s Division will be live on TV, airing on Golf Channel at each of the three televised events, and it marks the first time in 13 years that the Women’s Division will be represented at scheduled Long Drive sanctioned events.
The 2017 Open (Men’s) Division schedule consists of eight qualifying events, with four competitors from each event advancing to the World Championship, which will feature a 96-man field competing for a $270,000 purse. The World Championship will return to WinStar World Casino & Resort (Thackerville, Okla.) for a third consecutive year, following a multi-year extension as the World Championship host site.
“We are thrilled to have the World Long Drive Championship and Golf Channel return to WinStar for a third consecutive year," said Wayne McCormick, WinStar's general manager. "At WinStar, we strive to provide a memorable experience for our loyal patrons and the World Long Drive Championship offers just that. Golf fans from all over the country can come out and enjoy a unique televised event that showcases phenomenal athletes."
2017 WORLD LONG DRIVE ASSOCIATION SCHEDULE:
March 24-27 - Endless Summer Invitational - Huntington Beach, Calif.
April 21-23 - East Coast Classic - West Columbia, S.C.
May 18-19 - WinStar Classic - Thackerville, Okla.
June 3-6 - TBA (*Golf Channel*) - TBA
June 23-25 - Bluff City Shootout - Memphis, Tenn.
July 6-8 - Rockwell Blast - West Bountiful, Utah
July 22-25 - Mile High Shootout (*Golf Channel*) - Denver, Colo.
Aug. 4-6 - Catawba Classic - Hickory, N.C.
Aug. 31-Sept. 6 - World Long Drive Championship (*Golf Channel*) - Thackerville, Okla.
Points System used to Determine Ranking
All WLDA sanctioned events for the Open Division in 2017 will utilize the Official World Long Drive rankings, with competitors earning an opportunity to accumulate points toward their ranking at each event they play. Events will feature a 32-person field based on the current world ranking.
The eight sanctioned events will award point totals toward official rankings, and those advancing to the World Long Drive Championship will compete under a format that can be viewed by visiting http://www.worldlongdrive.com/2017-world-long-drive-championship/
Rule Change for All Sanctioned Events in 2017
Recently, the WLDA announced a rule change as it relates to club length for all sanctioned events, which states that all clubs used in competition must conform with the USGA Rules of Golf (Appendix II, 1c) which limits club length to a maximum of 48 inches. The rule will be upheld at all sanctioned events through the use of a CLUBLENGTH Ruler Measuring Tool that conforms to the USGA method for measuring club length. The rule in effect was implemented to allow Long Drive competitors to be held to the same standard of competition as Tour professionals in accordance with the USGA.