New Event to Feature Military Service Members Competing Alongside World Long Drive Athletes in Fort Jackson (S.C.) in May
(ORLANDO, Fla.) – The World Long Drive Association (WLD) announced its 2019 schedule today, featuring an increased number of televised events airing live on Golf Channel: six, as well as more than a dozen qualifiers around the world offering exemptions into the season-ending Volvik World Long Drive Championship (Aug. 30-Sept. 4). In 2018, WLD posted its most-viewed season ever, with 8.3 million unique viewers (+23% year-over-year) according to data released by The Nielsen Company.
A new highlight of the 2019 WLD schedule will be the inaugural Celebrating Service: Fort Jackson event, presented by The Exchange and American Greetings. The event will feature a division represented by military service members competing alongside World Long Drive athletes, and will contribute to a stretch of televised WLD events airing live on Golf Channel each month from April-September:
2019 World Long Drive Association Events Airing Live on Golf Channel:
April 16 Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun (Maricopa, Ariz.)
May 7 Celebrating Service: Fort Jackson (Fort Jackson, S.C.)
June 5 Atlantic City Boardwalk Bash (Atlantic City, N.J.)
July 24 TBA Event
Aug. 12 Tennessee Big Shots benefiting Niswonger Children’s Hospital (Kingsport, Tenn.)
Sept. 3-4 Volvik World Long Drive Championship (Texas/Oklahoma border)
“The momentum and growth WLD is experiencing is a testament to the dynamic personalities and extraordinary talents of our competitors, driving the sport’s most-viewed season, as well as global engagement to an international audience across 66 countries in 2018,” said Matt Farrell, executive director, World Long Drive Association. “With the support of our partners in 2019, viewers will be able to connect with our competitors on an even deeper level, with events airing on Golf Channel each month beginning in April and leading up to the Volvik World Long Drive Championship.”
Celebrating Service: Fort Jackson to Highlight Service Members: The Celebrating Service: Fort Jackson event will be staged in partnership with AAFES (Army & Air Force Exchange Service) and IMCOM (United States Army Installation Management Command). The military division will consist of those having advanced from 12 preliminary qualifying events at U.S. Army bases around the country (March-April) leading up to the Fort Jackson event in May. Qualifying is open to all active, reserve and retired Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy service members. The winner of the military division in Fort Jackson also will earn an exemption into the field at the 2019 Volvik World Long Drive Championship.
“The Exchange is truly honored to partner with the Army’s Installation Management Command to support this event,” said Tom Shull, Executive Director/CEO, Army & Air Force Exchange Service. “The Exchange and IMCOM go hand-in-hand, supporting Quality-of-Life programs in military communities worldwide to ensure service members stay ready and resilient.”
“On behalf of the United States Army and Installation Management Command, I’m excited for the opportunity this event provides for our Service Members,” said Lieutenant General Bradley A. Becker. “The Soldiers of America’s Army are rugged professionals with a wide variety of talent they develop to make our Army the best in the world. In this event, a few special Soldiers will get to demonstrate the focus, timing and discipline it takes to compete alongside the best in the world, and to showcase Fort Jackson, one of the places where we start the process of training citizens to become Soldiers.”
Qualifiers Offer Spots Into Volvik World Long Drive Championship Field: In addition to the Tour events, nine official Volvik World Long Drive Championship qualifiers will take place throughout North America, offering exemptions into the World Championship for those aspiring to compete alongside the sport’s longest hitters. Showcasing the truly global nature of World Long Drive, several additional qualifying events will be staged in 2019 through officially sanctioned WLD international partners, including stops in Australia, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Thailand and the United Kingdom.