ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 25, 2017) — 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 at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, 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 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 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 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.”
WinStar will also host a qualifying event May 18-19.
2017 WORLD LONG DRIVE ASSOCIATION SCHEDULE:
DATE EVENT LOCATION
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.