NXTbets Inc

World Long Drive - Ultimate Guide Article

World Long Drive – Ultimate Guide

The World Long Drive Championship may be a familiar event to golfers and enthusiasts but not beginner sports lovers. It’s also possible that even for those familiar with the championship, some may not understand certain aspects, which we intend to change. Long drive events add some flair to normal golfing, making it more intense and thrilling. Instead of primarily focusing on scores, players are ranked based on their ability to grip, rip, and hit, creating room for extraordinary swings and drives. Another exciting aspect is that platforms such as NXTbets offer real-time long drive betting action, data, insights, and picks, allowing you to profit from long drive events and championships. Let’s introduce you to the thrilling world of World Long Drive competitions through this in-depth exploration.

Overview of Long Drive

Long drive is a fast-growing, less formal, and more fun version of golf premised on long-distance driving instead of shot accuracy. This exciting golf spin-off has several events with varying experience intensity, ranging from local golf driving range competitions to the World Long Drive Championship, the most renowned long drive competition globally. It particularly interests new audiences due to its laid-back and fun approach. As participants step up to the tee box and swing as hard as they can to belt the ball to the farthest possible distance, onlookers cheer, enjoy the background music, and have fun. Some organizers also treat attendees to guest performances, creating an intensely thrilling party atmosphere. Let’s return to when and where long drive competitions began.

History of Long Drive Competitions

Although the first ever long drive competition was held during the 31st Professional Golfers’ of America (PGA) championship of 1949, it wasn’t until 25 years later, in 1974, that the World Long Drive became an independent event, soon giving rise to icons such as Evan “Big Cat” Williams. The new separate championship started gaining massive attention and, two years later, attracted its first sponsor, Volvik, the renowned South Korean golf manufacturer. 

Volvik sponsored the first annual World Long Drive event, helping the sport grow into what it is today.  In conjunction with the PGA, it scheduled long drive events during the 1976 PGA Championships early in the week to popularize the spin-off. 1995, the Long Drivers of America (LDA) was established and took over the sport. They introduced a Masters Division the following year for participants aged 45 and above, and four years later, in 2000, founded the Women’s division, making the sport as inclusive as possible. 

The LDA was responsible for the annual World Long Drive Championships for nearly two decades until NBC Sports’ Golf Channel took over in the mid-2010s. It broadcasted long drive events and competitions, increasing the sport’s popularity. Comcast purchased the franchise a few years later and relocated the championship from Nevada to Oklahoma. However, following the COVID-19 pandemic (2020), it shut down the World Long Drive Association and canceled the World Long Drive Championships, prompting coaches, long drivers, and other professionals to form the Professional Long Drivers Association (PLDA) and take over the competition. GF Sports and Entertainment acquired the PLDA in late 2022, followed by the World Long Drive’s assets in January 2023. It merged the PDLA and the World Long Drive into one organization, the World Long Drive.

Notable Wins

In the 31st PGA Championship of 1949, Chick Harbert secured the first-ever long drive win with a 305-yard drive, setting the pace for several remarkable wins, including Evans “Big Cat” Williams’ 366-yard 1974 win, Jason Zuback’s 412-yard 1997 win, David Mobley’s 459-yard win of 2011, and Maurice Allen’s 2018 483-yard win. We must also mention Justin James’ 2017 435-yard drive, which secured him victory over Canadian pro golfer Mitch Grassing.

Impact of Technology on Long Drive's Growth

We can’t overlook the role of technology in the long drive’s growth and popularity ever since its official incorporation in 1974. By increasingly broadcasting long drive events, the Golf Channel made the golf spin-off accessible to millions of viewers, increasing its popularity. Technological advancements such as rangefinders have also enhanced the sports’ accuracy, while simulators allow some franchises to organise year-round long drive events, keeping fans and competitors engaged. Here are additional impacts of technology on long drive competitions: 

  • Technological advancements have enabled the creation of foul-weather gear and footwear, protecting long drivers from harsh weather elements and course terrains. 
  • Electric trolleys have made it easy to move during long drive competitions. 
  • GPS apps have made tracking game stats easier for long drive athletes. 
  • Club-fitted real-time game tracker technologies have made it easier to record swing speeds and distances and track hitters’ shot positions and miss tendencies. 
  • Launch monitors have helped optimize swing analysis. 
  • Technology, through online tutorials, has made skill development easy. 
  • Data-driven insights have enhanced Long Drive training by facilitating the development of personalized training programs. 
  • Improved golf ball technology has boosted yard distance, fostering the breaking and setting of records.

Techniques for Powerful Drives

It mostly takes 350-450+ yard swings to win a professional long drive competition, begging the question, how do professional long drivers achieve such powerful drives? Here are a few notable strategies:

Golf Swing Mechanics

Golf swing mechanics refers to the execution of a golf swing. To deliver drives that can travel 300+ yards, golfers must consider their takeaway, backswing, transition, downswing, impact, and follow-through.

The Takeaway

The takeaway refers to the beginning of the swing. It should be as boring as possible to avoid additional motion, i.e., the shoulders should be turned away from the target, the hands quiet, and the lower body stable.

The Backswing

The backswing is the duration between lifting the club into position and finishing the shoulder turn. Athletes must focus on their lower bodies during the backswing to avoid sliding away from the target. This requires keeping the weight stacked on the legs and avoiding turns that can make them slide out of position. Focusing on body balance during the backswing allows them to hit the ball as hard as possible.

The Transition 

The club’s change of direction in golf refers to transitioning from backswing to downswing. For a quality shot, the player must focus on their lower body’s motion during the transition. As the club approaches the top of the swing, the lower body should start rotating towards the target, putting everything into position for a clean shot. 

The Downswing and Impact 

Golfers refer to the downswing as the moment of truth since it is when the club makes contact with the golf ball. Long drive athletes must assume an excellent impact position during the backswing by positioning their hands past the ball pre-impact. Instead of squeezing the club too tightly, they should relax their grips before the swing and let the club flow freely from the transition to the impact. Holding tight enough but not too tight is advisable, as one still needs to maintain control of the golf club. 

The Follow Through 

An excellent golf swing doesn’t end at the downswing; therefore, athletes must focus on their swing technique post-impact. They should be nicely balanced on the left leg (for right-handed golfers) or right leg (for left-handed golfers), which should be easy unless there was an earlier mistake. Holding a balanced finish until the ball hits the ground is also important.

Strength and Conditioning for Long Drive Athletes

Besides perfecting their golf swing mechanics, long drive athletes must engage in strength and conditioning exercises to stay fit and develop muscles for power-hitting. Activities such as squats, presses, deadlifts, and rows help build general strength and create more force within the muscles. Long driving also heavily depends on core strength. By building a strong midsection, athletes can easily transfer the energy generated by the legs into the rest of the swing. Exercises such as Chinese planks, force barbells, paloff-hold/ press, and suitcase hold+ carry are great for core training. 

Long-drive athletes must also condition their bodies to produce force at a higher rate, which calls for power training, which can be achieved through simple exercises such as faster low-weight barbell movements. Plyometric exercises such as the box jump, medicine ball chest pass, medicine ball slam, and medicine ball shot put rotation are also recommended.

World Long Drive Championship Rules

Now that you understand how long drive athletes achieve powerful swings that clock up to 450 yards, let’s look at the World Long Drive Championships’ format, scoring, and eligibility criteria.

Format and Scoring

The World Long Drive Championship has a 2-step qualifying process: local and regional:

Local Qualifiers 

You must attend and ace a local qualification event for a shot at the World Long Drive Championship. The total number of paid tries at the local level determines the number of competitors that advance to the regional qualifying event, i.e., every seven paid tries per qualifying event begets a regional qualification spot, capped at seven. Those wishing to increase their chances of qualifying for the World Championship are encouraged to enter as many local qualifiers as possible and compete in more than one regional championship. The first try costs $75 and has a community membership, while subsequent tries cost $50 for six balls. 

Regional Qualifiers

Local champions with an amateur or pro membership pay $250 to proceed to the regional championship. They must pre-register for the regional event on the World Long Drive website. The top competitors from every regional event move to the World Championship for a chance to be “Golf’s Biggest Hitter.” It’s worth noting that competitors foot their travel and accommodation costs during the regional event. 


In each World Long Drive Championship round, participants are grouped into groups of 16 based on current world rankings and given two and a half minutes each to hit six balls, commonly called a “set.” Each round has five sets, and participants’ group standings are based on their longest set drives. Shots are only counted when they land in the grid, a long drive scoring zone that measures 40-60 yards wide and extends to 450+ yards long. 

The first round is played in the first two days of the championship, with only the top eight golfers from each group proceeding to Round 2. The second, third, and fourth rounds are played in the next two days, following the same format, reducing participants to 32, 16, and finally, eight. The remainder of the championship, starting with the quarter-final, is played on the final day. The format shifts after participants are cut to eight, as things start moving faster. They are split into two groups of four each and allowed to hit a total of six balls each. Participants with the two longest balls from each group proceed to the finals to determine the winner.

Eligibility Criteria

Anyone can compete in the World Long Drive events with an active membership ID. Here are the memberships:

International Membership 

For $100/ year, the World Long Drive allows you to play in all its internationally sanctioned Open Women’s or Master’s Division events for ranking points using its international membership. 

Amateur Membership 

The Amateur membership is open to every non-professional who wants to compete in World Long Drive competitions. It costs $150 yearly and has several benefits, including access to early bird registrations, community member benefits, and the ability to compete in the Amateur Division in Tour Event competitions. 

Pro Membership 

Although expensive ($250 annually), the World Long Drive Pro membership has several benefits. It is open to anyone willing to participate in any World Long Drive tour events or its annual championship. Advantages include access to early bird registration based on world ranking, all community member benefits, and PIVOT travel discounts on rental cars and hotels.

Notable Long Drive Champions

Here are a few athletes with successful long drive careers:

Chick Harbert 

Chick won the first-ever long drive competition in 1949 with a 340-yard swing. He is one of the pioneers of the sport. 

Evans Williams 

Evans Williams is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in the World Long Drive Championships. Nicknamed “Big Cat” Williams, the towering 6.6-inch golfer won the World Challenge Long Drive Contest of 1974 by 366 yards, beating revered drivers like Jim Dent. He contributed significantly to the sport’s popularity and won several long drive titles in Australia, the United States, and Bermuda. He’s been inducted into the Long Drivers of America Hall of Fame. 

Art Sellinger 

Art Sellinger participated in four United States National Long Drive finals and won two. He also formed the Long Drivers of America in 1994,  single-handedly controlling long drive competitions for over two decades before selling the franchise to the Golf Channel in 2013. 

Frank Miller 

The World Long Drive Men’s Senior Division has produced notable drivers like Frank Miller, a talented 6.6-inch former football and basketball star. Miller won the 1990 US National Long Drive Championship in Boca Raton, Florida, and ended his long drive run with a 393-yard drive win at the Palms Golf Club, Nevada, in 2007. Three years later, he won a super senior division crown at the Mesquite Sports Complex in Nevada, bringing his world championship titles to three. He was inducted into the LDA Hall of Fame in 2012. 

Stacey Shinnick 

Stacey is the biggest name of the World Long Drive Women’s Open Division. She won three long drive competitions between 2000 and 2005, making her one of the few long drive athletes ever to dominate the sport. Stacey also has other impressive titles and accolades, including the Long Drivers of America’s Women Tour Champion of 2002, Callaway Sponsored Staff Professional, two on the LDA 2004 tour titles, the 2004 LDA’s Women’s Division Money Winner, and the LDA’s Women’s Division Player of the Year (2004). 

Jason Zubak

As soccer fans get into heated arguments about who between Ronaldo and Messi is the Greatest of All Times (G.OA.T), long drive fans know that Jason Zubak, “Golfzilla,” is the greatest long drive athlete ever to walk the earth. With five open divisions and one Masters Division championship title, the Canadian golfer is the most successful Long Drive athlete. He was the first player to win two consecutive titles since Wedgy Winchester’s 1985 and 1986 wins. He even broke Evans “Big Cat” William’s record in his second championship of 1997 by delivering a 412-yard drive.

Records and Milestones

Here are a few Long Drive records and milestones worth noting: 

  • Kyle Berkshire’s 2023 579-yard drive record at the Rochelle Ranch in Wyoming. However, this was during a separate event, not an official championship. 
  • Jason Zuback’s four consecutive Open Division World Long Drive Championship titles in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999. He won another championship in 2006, making him the long drive athlete with the most titles. 
  • Justin James’ 435-yard victory in 2017 was the second-longest recorded distance in Long Drive’s history. 
  • Evans “Big Cat” Williams’s 1974 366-yard record remained unbroken for over two decades until Jason Zuback set a 412-yard record in 1997. 
  • Stacy Shinnick’s Women’s Long Drive Championship titles of 2000, 2002, and 2005, making her one of the very few players to dominate the competitions

Importance of Spectator Engagement

Among other reasons, World Long Drive events are becoming increasingly popular because of their spectator engagement strategies. Organizers make the competitions as fun as possible to give attendees an unforgettable experience and attract new audiences, especially the fun-loving millennials and Generation Z. Long drive events are also broadcast live to enhance viewer experience in power golf. Let’s find out more.

Fans Experience in Long Drive Events

World Long Drive events create a memorable atmosphere for an enhanced fan experience. First, the audience gets to witness the power and skill of different professional competitors as they try to outshine one another, which is thrilling and highly captivating. Technologies used during the events, such as rangefinders and ball trackers, also enhance fans’ understanding of the game, fostering a deeper connection. Additionally, some events incorporate meet-and-greet sessions, allowing attendees to interact with former champions and take photos and autographs. Others also invite guest artists, treating the audience to live stage performances. Sponsors selling their merchandise or goods during the event help decorate the venue, further creating a party atmosphere.

Media Coverage and Broadcasts

Television coverage and online streaming of long drive events and championships cater to those at home. Besides media coverage, most popular golf channels livestream World Long Drive events, making them available online for millions of streamers. The World Long Drive also has Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram handles, allowing fans to air their views and a website with a fan zone where fans can watch championships and events or obtain relevant news.

Sponsorship and Commercial Aspects

The World Long Drive has grown and expanded into what it is today by partnering with several sponsors and hopping on merchandise and apparel trends. Here is an in-depth discussion:

Corporate Sponsorship in Long Drive

The most notable brand associated with the World Long Drive is Volvik. This South Korean golf equipment manufacturer sponsored the first-ever annual long drive event, laying the foundation for the World Long Drive yearly championships. It still sponsors championships today. The franchise has also changed ownership over the years, attracting brands such as NBC Sports, Comcast, GF Sports and Entertainment, and PIVOT Agency.

Merchandising and Apparel Trends

Golf apparel has significantly changed over the years. Initially, golfers wore knickers and ties before adopting cotton polos and pleated pants, and currently, hoodies, joggers, and mock-necks. Besides making golfers more comfortable, these fashion trends have been a huge income source for golf players, franchises, and associations. Professional and amateur long drive players, coaches, manufacturers, and tour operators make huge profits by selling trending golf apparel to golfers, long drivers, and millions of fans through physical shops and online selling platforms such as Pro Long Drive. Attendees also buy printed fan merchandise for long drive events to show their love, support, and allegiance or for proof of attendance.

Community Impact and Outreach

Most professional teams and sports have charity initiatives and grassroots development programs to give back to different communities and fans. Here are a few long drive-associated charity initiatives and social responsibility  programs:

Long Drive for Heroes Tour (LDH4)

Long Drive for Heroes is a fundraising program to connect professional or veteran long drive competitors with local golf communities. Although it’s open to raising money for other charities, it partners with the John Daly and Meja Edward Pulido Foundation and Folds of Honor to support military and paramilitary veterans with PTSD. 

Charity Golf International 

The Charity Golf International was founded in 2012 to make charity golf events entertaining and help nonprofits raise revenue at events with zero risk or out-of-pocket costs. The organization brings a World Long Drive golf professional to entertain event attendees with 400-yard drives and impressive trick shots provided the organizer sources a minimum of 72 players.

Environmental Sustainability in Golf

Long drive competitions are increasingly adopting sustainable practices and organizing eco-friendly long drive tournaments following widespread concerns about golf courses’ high water, pesticide, and fertilizer consumption. Let’s explore some strategies for carbon footprint reduction in power golf.

Green Initiatives in Long Drive Events

Here are some green initiatives used in professional sports events, including long drive competitions, for environmental sustainability: 

  • Powering events with renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. 
  • Investing in carbon offset programs to minimize event-related carbon footprint. 
  • Encouraging proper waste disposal and recycling during events
  • Sourcing products locally to reduce transport-related carbon footprint. This also promotes the local economy 
  • Promoting sustainable transportation by encouraging event attendees to use public transit, carpool, or use eco-friendly vehicles. 
  • Educating competitors, spectators, and the local community about environmental issues and sustainable practices. 
  • Implementing water conservation measures and practices. 
  • Partnering with environmentally conscious brands and sponsors
  • Supporting tree-planting initiatives and reforestation programs for carbon emission reduction and environmental conservation.

Eco-Friendly Golf Equipment

The adoption of eco-friendly golf equipment has improved long drive competition sustainability efforts. Innovations in eco-conscious golf gear have fostered the introduction of biodegradable golf products and equipment, such as bamboo golf tees and sustainable golf balls, cleaners, towels, and apparel.

Social Media Presence and Influencers

We can’t deny the role of social media and influencers in popularizing long drive events, competitions, and championships.

Impact of Social Media on Long Drive

  • It allows fans to contribute to long drive discussions through relevant hashtags, bringing them closer to the game.
  • It fosters an increased sense of connection by bridging the gap between fans and long drive athletes. 
  • It allows long drive professionals to build personal brands and tell their stories. 
  • It helps popularize long drive events and competitions.

Long Drive Influencers and Personalities

The intersection of social media and sports has led to the rise of sports influencers and personalities. Power golfers such as Bryson Dechambeau have managed to advance their brands by leveraging their social media presence. Influencers and personalities popularizing golf include Blair O’Neal Keiser, Erik Anders Lang, Mike Bury, Stephanie Gibri, and Evan Schiller.

Technological Insights into Long Drive Training

Long Drive has come a long way, considering there were no major technological advancements during and long after its conception. This has dramatically changed thanks to scientific advances, machine learning, data analysis, and cloud technologies. Let’s explore how data analytics and virtual reality have enhanced golf training.

Data Analytics in Golf Training

The data revolution in golf can be traced back to the early 2000s when the ShotLink, an advanced ball-tracking system, was developed following a partnership between the PGA Tour and CDW. ShotLink facilitated extensive swing and stroke analyses, making analyzing player statistics for power golf improvement easier. Besides helping players improve their game, the new technology was intended to increase golf’s accessibility to modern players and fans. ShotLink has dramatically improved over the years and can now laser map every golf course, create a digital image of every hole, and calculate exact locations between different coordinates. Golf data ecosystems have also increasingly adopted it through devices, apps, software, and consultancy agencies.

Away from ShotLink, putters and most golf wearables have sensors that capture data on putting strokes and record variables such as impact speed, face angle, and stroke path. The data obtained from these and many other technologies are usually analyzed to identify areas for improvement in players’ swing and putting mechanics, helping golfers refine their techniques and improve their overall consistency. Other ways data analytics has advanced golf training include:

  • It allows players to compare their performance with historical data for progress tracking, facilitating realistic goal-setting, improvement measuring, and appropriate training adjustments. 
  • It allows players to analyze their performance on different types of golf courses, helping them understand their scoring patterns and performance with various clubs and in specific weather conditions. 
  • Analyzing swing-related biomechanical stress on players’ bodies helps identify potential injury risks and develop safe training programs.

Virtual Reality Training for Golfers

Significant technological advancements have made VR training in power golf possible. Virtual reality offers players a realistic simulation of golf courses worldwide, familiarizing them with different course terrains, layouts, and challenges and fostering an immersive training experience. Most virtual reality platforms offer real-time feedback on players’ swing mechanics, helping them identify and correct their flaws for consistently effective swings. Other ways VR has enhanced golf training include:

  • It allows players to consistently repeat specific drills and scenarios for muscle memory development, reinforce swing mechanics, and improve overall technique. 
  • It helps analyze players’ performance data and customize training programs to their needs. 
  • It eliminates weather and course restraints, allowing players to practice anywhere and at any time, leading to consistent and frequent training. 
  • It helps coaches create personalized training programs based on players’ specific needs and strengths for training session effectiveness. 
  • It can create high-pressure situations, helping players develop mental resilience and adapt their strategy to different scenarios for improved performance. 
  • It helps golfers test several clubs and visualize their performance impact for better selection and strategic decision-making. 
  • It allows golfers recovering from injuries to train without enduring the physical demands of golf course training.

Legal Aspects of Long Drive Competitions

We can’t fully discuss long drive competitions without focusing on their legal aspects. Let’s discuss intellectual property, trademarks, liability, and insurance.

Intellectual Property and Trademarks

Copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets are usually used to protect intellectual property. A trademark is any symbol or word (words) legally registered or established to represent a product or a company. The World Long Drive has trademarked its name and logo to make its events unique and prevent unauthorized use by other entities. It has also copyrighted its official video content, images, and media assets. Other intellectual property rights claimed by Long Drive competitions include the rules, format, guidelines, scoring systems, and branding.

Liability and Insurance for Long Drive Events

Several insurance companies are insuring golf events to offer organizers peace of mind. Common coverage is the prize indemnification cover, which offers unlimited prize restoration for hole-in-one contests up to a certain capped amount besides covering events’ liability. Other providers also provide coverage for multiple prize holes, multiple-day tournaments, and charity payouts.

Training Programs for Long Drive Success

Long drive athletes must train frequently and consistently to succeed owing to the power and skill level required for long drive success. This normally calls for specialized coaching, fitness, and nutrition.

Specialized Coaching for Power Hitting

Long drive coaching significantly affects athlete performance. To help players improve their power and speed, golf coaches develop personalized training programs and use select coaching methodologies to help them power up their game (such as warm-up stretches), lengthen swings, add distance to drives, maximize speed, and achieve perfect balance and rotation. Coaching programs and methodologies are also tailored to players’ needs, strengths, and weaknesses for enhanced success.

Fitness and Nutrition for Long Drive Athletes

Fitness and nutrition go hand in hand. Besides fitness training, long drive athletes should cultivate a healthy eating pattern to stay fit, lean, and energetic. This requires eating plenty of lean proteins for muscle repair and recovery and quality carbohydrates for enhanced metabolism. Fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and whole grains are also encouraged for healthy fats and essential vitamins and minerals. Nutritional requirements vary depending on training goals, specific athlete needs, training load, and body composition goals.

Long drive athletes should also stay hydrated to minimize fatigue, impaired focus and concentration, heat stress, and reduced skill performance. However, it’s important to consider factors such as size, gender, play duration, and environmental conditions when determining fluid requirements. Eating a healthy meal and drinking enough fluids before a game is advisable for steady blood sugar and energy levels.

Challenges in Long Drive Competitions

Despite their increasing popularity, long drive competitions have faced and still face some notable challenges, including the following:

Environmental Factors

Environmental challenges in power golf often vary from one region to another. However, there is one constant factor: weather. The impact of weather on golf drives is immense. For example, air temperature often affects ball flight, as seen from yard distance differences on warm and cold days. Shots also travel shorter distances on rainy days than dry, sunny days, as golf balls tend to stick more on soft grounds. Wind and its effects on long drives are also worth exploring, as maintaining balance during a golf swing is challenging on a windy day and usually calls for tactful play.

Mental Challenges for Long Drive Athletes

Long drive is a highly competitive sport, with athletes breaking records day in and day out. This often pressures competitors to train hard, enhance their skills, and excel in competitions. Long drive athletes also have to balance power and precision consistently to make the ball travel longer distances while remaining in play, which can be mentally challenging. Other factors that make this sport mentally exhausting include its technical complexity, personal, coach, and fan expectations, fatigue, unfavorable weather conditions, adapting to rule changes, and balancing intuition and technique.

Future Trends in Long Drive Competitions

Long drive competitions are constantly evolving. Here are a few things to expect in the near future:

Technological Innovations

Technological innovations such as ShotLink and wearables have significantly revolutionized the face and feel of long drive competitions. As sport-focused technological innovations increase, we expect further advancements in long drive equipment, training, and competitions. For example, golf competitions and franchises increasingly adopt virtual reality for interactive gameplay and the virtual looping of highly acclaimed layouts,  signaling a brighter future.

Global Expansion of Long Drive Events

Power golf is increasingly getting attention for the right reasons. As more and more golf lovers become interested in long drive competitions, markets expand. Some franchises have started hosting international long drive competitions, a trend set to continue. Thanks to long drive competitions, we will likely witness a rapid growth of power golf globally.


Long Drive competitions are exhilarating and worth exploring if you love power golf. They focus on driving power instead of shot accuracy and create a party atmosphere for thousands of attendees and viewers. Check out NXTBets if you would like to stay informed about long drive events and make extra money by betting on them responsibly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Long drive athletes compete on who can drive a golf ball the farthest within a specified grid. To win, the ball has to travel hundreds of yards from the tee and land within designated grid boundaries.

Yes. World Long Drive events have different categories that cater to various age groups and genders. There is a Women’s Division for women, a Master’s Division for men aged 45 and above, and a Men’s Open Division for men below 45. The women’s division has no age limit. 

Long drive athletes mostly use wood for maximum speeds and distance due to their large heads, low lofts, and long shafts. The clubs must be USGA-approved with a maximum length of 48 inches and a club head width of 460cc or less.

Yes. All Long Drive participants use Volvik golf balls for USGA compliance and brand and model equality. This ball has a low spin rate and a compression of roughly 110, 30-40 higher than the normal golf ball. The extra compression reduces spin, allowing the ball to travel longer.

Owing to the high impact associated with powerful swings, long drive athletes mostly suffer from muscular strain in the back and shoulders. Overuse injuries such as tendonitis are common due to repetitive practice and competition. To minimize such injuries, they should engage in comprehensive strength and flexibility training, incorporate exercises targeting specific muscle groups, observe regular rest intervals, have proper warm-up routines, and analyze the biomechanical aspects of their swings.

Yes. The World Long Drive Championship is open to amateurs and professionals who must undergo the two-step qualifying process discussed in this article.

Yes. The maximum golf club length allowed in long drive competitions is 48 inches.

Yes. However, the minimum distance requirement normally depends on the league and division.

The average distance for Long Drive competitions has significantly increased over time. Currently, players average around 356 yards.

No. World Long Drive Championships have different divisions for men and women to promote fair play.

Golf balls with high compression have low spin rates and can travel longer distances easily. 

Long drive athletes go the extra mile when training for events. They mostly engage in strength and power exercises such as plyometrics and weightlifting. They also have extensive practice sessions on driving ranges to refine their techniques and consistency and undergo biomechanical analysis for optimizing swing mechanics. Other preparations include customized driver fitting, mental conditioning, and visualization techniques.

To improve their golf swing speeds, Long Drive athletes are usually encouraged to incorporate the following drills in their training regimen: 

  • Resistance training using weighted clubs and resistance bands for enhanced strength and power in key muscle groups 
  • Focused plyometric exercises, e.g., medicine ball throws 
  • Initiating the downswing by stepping forward with the lead foot repeatedly  
  • Swinging a lightweight club or a speed-focused training aid

Here are some ways organizers ensure fair play in long drive competitions: 

  • Ensuring that all athletes observe standardized equipment specifications. 
  • Distance measurement technologies such as launch monitors and range trackers are used for accurate and unbiased drive tracking. 
  • Conducting random equipment checks to ensure compliance 
  • Having officials monitor participants for rule violation prevention 
  • Establishing clearly defined landing area grids to promote fairness
  • Conducting drive assessments using predefined criteria for fair evaluation.

Avoiding the following mistakes can help you improve your drive length significantly: 

  • Excessive backswing
  • Poor body-target alignment 
  • Neglecting core muscles when working out 
  • Incorrectly positioning the ball 
  • A faulty grip 
  • An unbalanced and uncontrolled tempo 
  • Failure to fit equipment properly 
  • Erratic motions 
  • Lack of mental focus

Although taller athletes may have an added driving advantage due to longer lever arms, long driving success depends on technique, skills, strength, and flexibility.

To become a long drive champion, your golf swing speed should average the mid-140s, which requires extensive skill, power, and strength training.

Hitting a ball out of bounds may attract a distance penalty or round elimination, depending on the competition’s rules and formats.

Caddies play different roles in long drive events than traditional golf, as they are mostly concerned with motivational and logistical aspects. Depending on the event, they may help set up the tee, ensure athletes are ready for their turns, and offer encouragement and feedback on factors such as wind direction.

The main difference between traditional golf and long drive competitions is that long drive only focuses on driving the ball as far as possible off the tee without leaving the grid. In contrast, traditional golf requires athletes to play the shot after the drive.