The ALD Midwest Qualifier presented by EK Golf took place Saturday July 21st at Willow Creek Golf Course between 5 PM and 7:30 PM. The field of competitors included entries in Adult Male, Senior Male, Youth 12 and Under Female and Youth 12 and Under Male. Competitors came from Canada, Texas, Minnesota, Colorado, and Iowa to attempt to make their way into the 2018 Amateur Long Drive™ World Championship August 16-18th at Barefoot Resort and Golf Club in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Each competitor hit two set of six balls to score their longest drives into a stiff headwind. The following hitters are qualified for the 2018 Amateur Long Drive™ World Championship:

Youth 12 and Under Female

Kendall Curran – 109

Youth 12 and Under

Dru Mushumanski – 204

Senior Male

Curt Rice – 284

Jim O’connor – 203

Adult Male division

Jake Redlinger – 334

Rob St. Sauver – 317

Brett Steinwagner – 307

Drew Sikkema – 295

Aaron Cawthorn – 295

Joel Anderson – 294

Patrick O’Connor – 291

Nick Dawdy – 290

Chuck Rios – 285

Mitchell Hauge – 285

Travis VanDerHart – 280

Sean Geelan – 277

Mike Ross – 275

Dony Heisler

John Westberg – 265

Brad Prothero – 229

The numbers posted were the longest drives that came to rest in the grid. As usual, we saw some bombs that ended up out of bounds. The prevailing North / Northwest wind and a grid that was slightly up hill made long numbers impossible Saturday. Jake Redlinger was longest with a drive of 307 in his first set and 334 in his second set. Rob St. Sauver had the second longest drive of the event when he went 317 with a low-stinger / wind-beater strategy that worked beautifully. Brett Steinwagner was third longest of the day with a drive of 307 in his first set and 303 in his second set. Drew Sikkema (295), Joel Anderson (294), Patrick O’Connor (291), Nick Dawdy (290), Chuck Rios (285),  and Michael Hauge (285) were impressive as they all managed to figure out how to deal with the wind that seemed to increase as the event progressed. Curt Rice in the Senior Male division was consistently in the grid and mastered a 284 yard bomb in his second set. All these hitters are capable of bigger numbers in more favorable wind conditions. We predicted that 325 might be the longest earlier in the day. Obviously, Jake Redlinger took that as a challenge. Young Dru MUshumanski traveled 13 hours from Manitoba, Canada to compete in the Youth 12 and Under Male division and managed a drive of 204. Dru had been much longer in practice….we know he has more in the tank for the World Championship. Ten year old Kendall Curran stole the show in the Youth 12 and Under Female division.

We are extremely pleased with the turnout of competitors and spectators for this inaugural Des Moines ALD event. The venue at Willow Creek golf course played host to professional long drive events in years past. With 500 yards of potential grid space this place will hold any long driver we’ve seen. The support from the team at EK Golf and the preparation provided by Willow Creek Golf Club made this an awesome event. We’re hoping to reach an agreement with a tournament director in the Des Moines area to conduct a series of events in the 2018 / 2019 season that begins September 1st. Stay tuned for an update on that subject. We definitely want to cultivate the long drive interest in the Des Moines area.