Earlier this month golf's top ranked player, Dustin Johnson, hit a 439-yard drive at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. While the majority of the links world struggled to pick their jaws up off the floor following this Ruthian-blast, the athletes of the World Long Drive Association shrugged and wondered what the fuss was all about.
Golf is often a subtle, artful pursuit, and sometimes that's the problem. The old adage goes, "drive for show and putt for dough," after all, and while watching Jordan Spieth jar a double-breaking 40-footer has its discreet charms, there is nothing to compare the sight of a Titleist ProV1 being mashed unmercifully into the stratosphere.
For those who prize the long ball over the flop shot, the World Long Drive Association has been holding events since 1995, generating a loyal following, a partnership with Golf Channel, and a reputation for rebelliousness and irreverence in the process. If you've yet to experience the WLDA in all of its high-octane, awe-inspiring glory, this upcoming weekend provides an ideal opportunity to hop aboard the ride.
The Volvik World Long Drive Championship, presented by Performance Inspired, begins today and will run through September 6th. An utterly singular, adrenaline-fueled extravaganza, the championship is the culmination of a six-month season of intrigue, and will feature the world's biggest hitters under the bright lights of Golf Channel, broadcasting live from the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
The Open Division field is led by current No. 1 in the world and multiple-event winner in 2017, Maurice Allen, along with other top-ranked competitors and 2017 WLDA event winners, including: Ryan Reisbeck (No. 2); Justin James (No. 3), Tim Burke (No. 5) and defending World Champion Joe Miller (No. 9). On the Women’s side, Phillis Meti will look to defend her 2016 World title, alongside 2017 event winners Chloe Garner and Troy Mullins, in addition to four-time former World Champion Sandra Carlborg.
With a $270,000 purse on the line, live coverage from Golf Channel and a post-competition performance by former pro turned renegade rapper Colt Ford, the Championship promises to be an unforgettable spectacle - part bombs away, brute force exhibition and part last-days-of-Summer pleasure-soaked pageant. Make your way out if you can swing it. Otherwise tune in to watch the fireworks.