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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. In fielding questions from 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.

First Things First – 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. 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. ALD has divisions for male and femal hitters for Youth, Junior, Senior, Super Senior, and various adaptive divisions. On our Rules page, we list the required drives to qualify by division. We actually adjust these from grid to grid based upon conditions.

Equipment For Getting Started

At the time of this writing, only about 30% of the hitters that have entered our tournament 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 the “Equipment” title. It should be noted that “most” long drivers compete with a different swing than they use in their golf game. Your swing needs to be coached / analyzed and matched with the right shaft and head for you. There are some great folks out there who can do this. We’re most familiar with Bobby Peterson at One Stop Power Shop. There are others that you may seek out. We met the fine folks at Shark Attack Golf at a recent qualifier in Columbia, SC. Moby 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. We will have completed 10 tournaments for 2018 (the year of this writing) and have plans that we hope will produce at least 50 for the next season. Those who are reading this post 2019 will know if we succeeded in that quest. There are currently not 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 succeed.  We currently offer a “Last Chance” qualifier just before our Wold Championship where anyone can show up and attempt to make the field. I don’t see that going away. The other obstacle is finding a 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’ll be posting schedules for ALD Championship Series events for the 2018/19 season and beyond. 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 this year (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. 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. Current WLD Masters Champion, Jeff Crittenden and many other pros work with Bobby.

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/registration/. Sign up to compete….it is the best place to start. You’ll learn a ton on your first outing. And watch for the “Membership” link coming shortly. ALD Membership will be a requirement for the 2018/19 season (begins Sept 1 2018) and will include access to videos with tips and information to improve your long drive game.

Here’s what three time WLD World Champion Sean “The Best” Fister had to say about getting started in long drive.