The World Long Drive Championship will return to WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, OK. for a third consecutive year, following a multi-year extension as the World Championship host site.
The “Rock N Roll” golf event essentially swaps the mantra of “drive for show and putt for dough” for “grip it and rip it” as officials encourage the packed house to stand up and cheer as of they are at a football game. I covered the 2016 WLD finals when Joe Miller was given the championship belt after a booming drive that went 439 yards!
Yes, 439 yards! That was on top of hitting a 427 yard drive in the semi-final round!
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.
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) October 13, 2016
“At WinStar we strive to provide memorable and unique experiences for our loyal patrons,” said Wayne McCormick, WinStar’s general manager. “The opportunity to continue a working relationship with the World Long Drive Association and the Golf Channel presented itself and based on the success of World Championship events that have been held at WinStar in the past, we felt this was a beneficial partnership for all parties. We look forward to once again hosting the athletes and providing a one-of-a kind experience for fans.”
The Golf Channel will air back-to-back nights of live World Long Drive Championship coverage on Sept. 5 and Sept. 6. For the first time ever, the Women’s Division will be showcased live during two of the qualifying events and the World Long Drive Championship.
“The increased television exposure for Long Drive speaks to the investment from sponsors helping to fuel its momentum, coupled with Golf Channel’s belief in the long-term potential for this unique aspect of golf and its athletes,” said Phil Piazza, senior vice president, programming for Golf Channel. “Last year the World Long Drive Championship was distributed in 62 countries across the globe, and by tripling the number of televised events in 2017, and showcasing the Women’s Division live on Golf Channel for the first time, viewers will have more opportunities than ever to engage with one of the most electrifying segments of the sport.”
The WLD qualifying begins its eight stops March 24-27 in Huntington Beach, CA. WinStar World Casino and Resort is also the site of a qualifier, with the WinStar Classic on May 18-19th.