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Long Drive – Getting Started

If you’ve asked or searched the question, “How to get started in long drive,” we’re going to help with this article.  Sometimes we overlook the most obvious need for information. When engaging prospective long drivers, we get lots of questions….usually about where to qualify, or where to get information about equipment. Brian from Philadelphia asked me three times about where to find information about getting started in long drive. I thought I answered him…and then It finally hit me! Thank you Brian for the wake up call. We can’t assume that everyone knows these things. I appreciate the enlightenment. There are only three steps! Step 1. Get your ALD™ Tour Card HERE Step 2. Register for Events HERE. Step 3. Go Play!

Do I need To Start At The Beginning Of The Season?

The short anser is, NO. The ALD™ Season runs from September 1st through the world championship each year. We have created multiple pathways to the Worlds. so, you can start anytime during the season and still have a great shot at getting into the ALD™ Worlds. 

How Far Are Competitors Hitting The Ball?

You do not have to hit the ball 400 yards to compete in long drive. As Sean Fister said in an interview (see below) on our network, if someone has has told you that you’re a long hitter, you should consider long drive. If you out drive most of your friends…you should consider long drive. It is a great sport full of great people, all willing to help you along your way to whatever height you wish to achieve. Aspirations to become a professional long driver are not required either. Long drive can be enjoyed at the amateur level for the rest of your life. ALD™ has divisions to ensure that. Ground conditions, weather, wind, elevation, and the grid slope will all affect distance…from grid to grid. AL™ has divisions for male and female hitters for Youth, Junior, Senior, Super Senior, 70+, and various adaptive divisions. On our Rules page, we provide much more detail regarding tournament format an other facts. On our FAQ page, we answer the most asked question. Please visit those pages after this read for more information.

Equipment For Getting Started

At the time of this writing, a small percentage of the hitters that have entered our tournaments have specialty equipment, but that number is climbing. Most of them are hitting their playing drivers, and that is perfectly okay. For more information on what is allowed, please read our Rules page under “3.0 -Equipment” heading. It should be noted that “some” long drivers compete with a different swing than they use in their golf game. Some adjust ball position and stance based on their swing. Your swing needs to be coached / analyzed and matched with the right technique and equipment for you. Just because you know someone who hits a xx shaft with a 5.5 degree head doesn’t mean that’s where you’ll get the most distance. We’ve seen guys with 9 degree heads out-driving guys with 6 degree heads. So, don’t assume you have to hit the same spec as anyone else. There are some great folks out there who can get you properly fitted. Bobby Peterson at One Stop Power Shop is the most recognized and accomplished coach in the industry. There are others you may seek out. The fine folks at Shark Attack Golf (Matt, we call him Moby Ellenburg) can hook you up with the right equipment as well. So, don’t worry so much about your equipment on your first attempts. You still have some technique development to accomplish. Nothing is better than competing to see what you’re up against. Go hit!

Where To Practice and Where To Compete

This is the biggest problem in the sport….and we’re tackling that as fast as we can. Historically there have not been enough on-the-tee competitive opportunities for aspiring long drivers. Attempting to make a WLD event is an awesome experience, but few (not sure any) first timers have succeeded in getting through a qualifier onto a televised event.  Our League and Majors schedule produces dozens of tournaments each season…with aggressive growth planned for each coming year.  The other obstacle is finding a practice range long enough to hold your drives. Some ranges get annoyed when you hit their balls out of the range, so part of our quest here at ALD™ is to begin a directory of long drive ranges. We’re searching daily for adequate space for you to hone your skills. We post schedules the for ALD™ Championship Series events HERE. Most of the venues we use will have practice facilities long enough for your practice.

Coaching

We’ve heard great stories about more accomplished long drivers helping newcomers. I personally saw this in Greensboro at the Bryan Park Qualifier back in 2018. Kurt Osterman offered great advice to the newbies, loaned his driver to one, and (I think) sold a driver to another. As I mentioned earlier in this article, this sport is filled with awesome folks willing to help grow the sport they all love. One of the competitors at the Columbia, SC ALD Qualifier said three time WLD World Champion Sean “The Beast” Fister had been advising him. 2017 WLD Masters Champion, Jeff Crittenden shows up at several ALD™ events, and is always offering great advice. (recent update to this article) He traveled to Mexico City in 2019 to coach ALD™ Team USA at the Latinoamerica Championship.  I’ll mention Bobby Peterson here again, he has a range, all the right analytic equipment, and the pedigree to get you on the right track. Maurice Allen, Jeff Crittenden, Sandra Carlborg, Kyle Berkshire, Paul Howell, Will Hogue,  and many other pros work with, and have worked with Bobby throughout their careers.

The Bottom Line

If you’re reading this article, you’ve taken a good first step in getting started in long drive. The next step….click this link today https://amateurlongdrive.com/get-your-tour-card//. Sign up to compete….it is the best place to start. You’ll learn a ton on your first outing.  ALD™ Membership (Tour Card) is a requirement to register for our events.

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2019 World Long Drive Champion, Kyle Berkshire

The Fastest Woman In The World – Kanani Lodge

2017 & 2019 WLD Masters Champion, Jeff Crittenden coaching ALD™ Team USA in Mexico City in February 2019 at the Latinoamerica Long Drivfe championship.

Bobby Peterson and five-time WLD World Champion Sandra Carlborg

Three-time WLD World Champion Sean “The Best” Fister

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