ALD™ Rules, Explanations, and Clarifications

   Amateur Long Drive™ Championship Series Rules and Guidelines

1.0 Eligibility

Any amateur of any age or ability is eligible for ALD™ competition.

1.1 Amateur Status

Any competitor who has competed as a professional in any golf competition, or is so deemed a professional according to the USGA,  may not compete for points in any ALD™ competition until they have regained amateur status via the USGA.  Professionals  may enter events, but points will not be awarded for any events played in Amateur Long Drive™ as a professional

Explanation: The USGA rules concerning professional competition are widely misunderstood. If one has competed as a *professional, whether or not prize money was received that competitor is “officially” a professional. If a Player has competed for cash he or she is a professional according to the USGA. The USGA considers the length of time since professional competition and prize money earned (among other factors) in determining the waiting period for reinstatement. In the case where there’s been a considerable length of time (multiple years) since professional competition…. and no prize money won, reinstatement could be immediate. If one competed last week as a professional….and won no money, the waiting period could be one year or more. For information regarding amateur status reinstatement please refer to this USGA page HERE. To speak to someone at the USGA about your specific situation, contact the USGA Amateur Status Department at (908) 326-1025 or [email protected] .

*”Competing as a professional” can be defined in multiple ways. Here are some common examples:

  1. Competing for cash. Entering a competition with a cash purse regardless of the amount. This applies whether the hitter is paid or not.
  2. Being member of a professional golf organization, such as the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) or any other “professional” golf organization. 
  3. Receiving a prize package valued at more than $750. Gift cards, pro shop credits, etc. less than $750 are not a breach of amateur status

If you have any questions regarding your amateur status, please contact the USGA at (908) 326-1025.

1.2. Ultimate Long Drive, Inc – Amateur Status Governance

We require all competitors to verify amateur status on our membership application HERE.

Realizing historical participation records relating professional long drive events is limited, mostly to WLD, we rely on the competitors to honestly verify their status. If a player’s status comes into question for any reason…and cannot be verified by Ultimate Long Drive, Inc, we will refer the decision to the USGA.

2.0 ALD™ Membership / License Required to Register for Events

All competitors must be ALD™ members and hold a current ALD™ Tour Card to register for events, accumulate World Ranking Points, League Ranking Points, and to be eligible to transfer to the World Championship. The annual Tour Card renews on September 1 each year. Tour Cards may be purchased online (HERE on this website) or at the event. Event purchases will include a temporary card and license number. Permanent cards with a unique competition number will be mailed to competitors.

2.1 Pathway To The World Championship

In September 2020, the ALD National Championship level of competition was added. All participating countries will filter their competition to and through a national championship tournament. Players will play their way to the ALD World Championship through Leagues, National Championship Qualifiers, and National Championship events. 

Competitors may qualify for the ALD™ National Championship events via World Ranking Points,  League Competition, and / or National Championship Qualifiers. The World Ranking Points leaders at the end of the current season (on or about  August 1st),  in each division will receive and invitation to their country’s National Championship. The winners of each division in each league will receive an invitation along with the winners of each division at each National Championship Qualifier. 

2.2 League Competition

ALD™ Championship Series leagues operate in multiple territories across the U.S. and abroad. Competitors will compete for regional, national, and world ranking points. Current ALD™ Leagues: North  Florida; Coastal Carolina; New England; SC Midlands; Western Carolinas; Minnesota / Iowa; Utah / Nevada; Alberta Canada; and Ontario Canada. Additional Leagues to be announced.

2.3 Major Qualifying Events

There will be multiple Regional Major Qualifiers (National Championship) qualifiers) each season. It is the intent (for the near term) to place those events in areas where leagues are not present to give as many people as possible access to the Nationals.

2.4 Divisions

ALD™ base divisions shall include Youth Male, Youth Female, Junior Male, Junior Female, Open Male, Open Female,  Senior Male, Senior Female,  Super Senior Male, Super Senior Female, and 70+

2.5 Division Ages

Youth 13 and under. Junior  14 to 17. Open (Any age). Senior 45 to 59. Super Senior 60-69, 70+

2.5.1 Effective Playing Age

The effective age for competition in any division is based upon your age at the beginning of the season. Our season runs September though August.  Your playing age is your age on September 1st.

2.6 Veteran / Military  Division

There will be an Open Veteran / Military division for both males and females at the Regional Qualifiers, National, and the World Championship Events. We encourage Military participation.  Both active and former military are welcomed. Additional Military divisions will be considered based upon participation. Military divisions at the League level will be scored as “Open” Military…male or female.  To compete in this division, competitors must be current or former Unites States Military.

2.7 Adaptive Long Drive Division

There will be an Open Adaptive Long Division for both male and female, adult and junior, competitors at the Regional Qualifiers, Nationals,  and World Championship. Additional divisions shall be considered based upon participation. Adaptive divisions at the league level will be scored as “Open” adaptive…male or female…junior or adult. 

3.0 Equipment

Golf clubs must appear on the United States Golf Association USGA® Conforming List. Clubs on the USGA® Non-conforming list will not be allowed. Golf clubs must conform to the USGA® Rules of Golf (appendix ll, 1c), which limits golf club length to a maximum of forty-eight inches (48”). All competitors are required to have their clubs inspected and cleared before competition. Clubs will be measured on a Mitchell Golf CLUBLENGTH Measuring Ruler. We have no idea how this compares to any other method of measurement. Clubs that are longer than 48″ on this device will need to be corrected and cleared before competition.

3.1 Golf Ball

Players are required to hit the golf ball provided by ALD™ at all events. Players are required to ensure their ALD™ issued balls are visible at all times on the hitting tee.

3.2 Tees

Any tee is allowed in ALD™ competition. Tees are normally not provided. Competitors are required to bring their own tees.

4.0 Scoring / Measurement / Official Yardages

Official Yardages will be determined utilizing grid workers, Leupold laser rangefinder equipment, and / or physical yardage markers. In events and qualifiers where laser range finders are utilized, grid workers positioned along the sides of the grid will mark the longest ball for each hitter in each group by standing over the ball wearing a color-matched vest. An ALD™ official will record the (laser calculated) distance from the tee box to the grid worker.

4.1 Scoring Ties

At A League Or Qualifying Event – (For Standings & Points Allocation considerations) Any two recorded drives within a division round within one foot (12”) of each other are considered a tie.

First Tie Breaker – Combined yardage of the longest drives each player in the first two rounds of competition.

Second Tie Breaker – Playoff – In the event there are two or more such confirmed yardages recorded, those tied players will hit four (4) additional balls in one minute and thirty seconds (1:30) (Playoff) to determine the final winning drive. A playoff will continue until a winner is determined. If one of the players is not present for the playoff, the player present will be deemed the winner.

At The World Championship, National Championship, or Any National or World Championship Qualifier – Any two recorded drives within a division round within One yard (36″) of each other are considered a tie. In the event there are two or more such confirmed yardages recorded, those tied players will hit six (6) additional balls in two minutes (2:00) (Playoff) to determine the final winning drive. A playoff will continue until a winner is determined. If one of the players is not present for the playoff, the player present will be deemed the winner.

5.0 Starting Time

There will be no set time for competition by division…only an order of competition at league events. Major qualifiers and world championship events will have target starting times by division posted in advance.  It is the players’ responsibility to be ready to compete when his or her division is called to the tee, and failure to do so will result in disqualification from competition. Starting times may vary based upon conditions and circumstances. 

6.0 Weather Conditions

ALD™ cannot guarantee weather conditions or constant playing conditions as the result of weather. Every effort will be made to complete all competitions while ensuring the safety of competitors. If conditions become unplayable,  ALD™ reserves the right to shorten or alter the format in effort to complete an official competition. ALD™ will not issue refunds to any player if severe weather conditions shorten or alter the competition format.

7.0 Conduct / Etiquette /Attire

Players and their guests shall conduct themselves in a responsible manner at all times. Proper golf etiquette is required during all levels of competitions. At no time will disorderly conduct, abusive language, intoxication, possession of firearms, and/or possession of any illegal substance be tolerated. Violations of this section shall be cause for immediate expulsion form ALD™ competitions and forfeiture of all monies paid, if any. ALD™ has the right to refuse service to any player or guest for improper etiquette.

7.0.1 Actions  Unbecoming of A Champion

Accepting the championship trophy for competing  in an Amateur Long Drive™ Championship Event comes with some responsibility. Players should realize that reaching this level of accomplishment brings a certain amount of notoriety. We expect our champions to handle themselves in a respectable manner. Violations of this section shall be cause for immediate expulsion form ALD™ competitions and forfeiture of all monies paid, if any.  

7.1 Attire

Attire while in competition is up to the venue hosting the event. Most competition venues are at golf courses, so one can assume normal golf attire will usually be required. ALD™ reserves the right to disallow any attire deemed unfit for competition.

8.0 Qualifying Drives

Each player will be scored based on their longest drives. Qualifying drives must come to rest inside the grid. A ball that lands outside the grid and rolls or bounces in, or lands inside the grid, rolls or bounces out, and back into the grid is a qualifying drive.

Qualifying Yardage – To qualify (at a Regional Major) for the World Championship, a “Qualifying yardage” will be established based upon conditions at that location on the day of competition.

Clarification: Drives that exceed the length of the grid shall qualify if (in the opinion of the ALD™ official) are within the established grid width using his/her best judgement. In the event two or more qualifying drives exceed the grid, and measurement of those drives are necessary to determine round transfers or wins, the ALD™ officials will use their best judgement to determine the winner. 

8.1 Lost Balls That Appear To Be In the Grid

Although extremely rare (appx 1 in 5000), occasionally balls that appear to be inside the grid are not found. Whether plugged, or otherwise hidden from view, it happens. Every effort shall be made to find and score all balls deemed in the grid, but in the case of a ball  lost in the grid, the next longest ball will be scored.

9.0 Competition Timing

Players will have two (2) minutes to attempt six (6) shots in most league and qualifying rounds. There will be certain competition and championship rounds where players will have three (3) minutes to hit eight (8) balls. Practice shots are not allowed on the tee box. Contact with the ball constitutes an attempt. A swing and a miss is not an attempt.

10.0 On The Tee Box

Players must have all balls (6 or 8) visible to the scoring officials before the clock begins and may tee only one ball prior to the starting the clock, and only one at a time during the set.

11.0 Recording Drives

Only a player’s longest Qualified Drive will be measured and recorded.

NN12.0 League / Series Format

The ALD™ Championship Series includes League / Series play, Regional Major Qualifiers, Special Events, and The World Championship.

The league / Series format allows players to compete in multiple events within an established territory (league) for World Ranking Points (WRP) applied to participating age and ability divisions. League / Series Division winners receive an invite to the World Championship.

12.1 Declaration of Home League / Series

At the beginning of the season or upon registration, all players shall choose a “Home” League / Series from options available at that time, or select “Unassigned” for the purpose of applying points accumulation to a specific League / Series performance.

League / Series points are ONLY applied to tournaments played within the player’s “Home” League / Series.

12.2 Playing In League/ Series Outside “Home”

Any player, including unassigned players may compete in any League / Series that is sanctioned by ALD™. World Ranking Points are accumulated at all events, but are not applied to the players “Home” League / Series ranking for tournaments played outside his/her “Home” League / Series.

12.3 League / Series Tournament Procedure

Before the competition, via blind draw (and / or seeding), ALD™ officials will divide the field (by division) into groups of (up to) four (4) players. Smaller fields will be accommodated. Format and groups may be adjusted according to the ALD™ official’s decision. Each group will hit at least two (2) sets of six (6) balls to determine the winner in each division. League Points and World Ranking Points will be awarded based upon the results of the final competition. Only those “claiming” the host league as their “Home” will be awarded League Points. Unassigned players (see 12.2) and those competing outside their Home League are permitted to compete in any league event, and shall receive World Ranking Points, and therefore no League Points shall be applied. At the end of the League season, the winner (most League Points) of each division will automatically transfer to the World Championship.

13.0 Regional National Championship Qualifiers

Regional Qualifiers are open to all ALD™ Tour Card members. Any player may compete in any Regional Qualifier whether or not he / she is competing in a League / Series. These events are categorized as Regional National Championship Qualifiers and pay double World Ranking  points.  

13.1 Automatic Transfer To The National Championship

There are slots allotted for all Regional qualifier division winners at the ALD™ National Championship. Division winners at all Regional Qualifiers will automatically receive an invite to the annual ALD™ National Championship. Winners will have one week after receipt of the invitation to accept and commit to the Nationals.  Invitations are sent individually at the end of the regular season. If a division winner is unable to attend the National Championship, the invitation shall be extended to the 2nd, 3rd, etc. until that allotted slot is filled.

13.2 Double Points

Regional Majors / National Championship Qualifiers pay double World Ranking Points (WRP) to assist unassigned players compete for invitation to the National Championship via WRP.

13.3 Qualifier Tournament Procedure

Before the competition, via blind draw (and / or seeding), ALD™ officials will divide the field (by division) into groups of (up to) four (4) players. Smaller fields will be accommodated. Format and groups may be adjusted according to the ALD™ official’s decision. Each group will hit two (2) sets of six (6) balls (in 2 minutes) to determine the leaders in each division. After any Additional (buy-in) Sets (see below 13.4) the top two hitters will compete to determine the division winner. Division winners are automatic transfers. It is likely that additional Wild Card positions will also receive invitations. The exact number of transfers will not be known until the end of the season. 

13.4 Additional Sets

At the end of the rounds of six (6), there will be a ten (10) minute buy-in period when any competitor may buy additional sets to better their longest drive. They may buy multiple set during the ten minute period. No buy-ins will be allowed after that period regardless of outcome. 

14.0 Invitations To The National Championship

14.0.1 The top player in each division based on World Ranking Points will transfer to the National Championship

14.0.2 The top player in each division from each League (based on League Ranking Points) will transfer to the National Championship

14.0.3 The top player in each division from each Regional Major will transfer to the National Championship. —–Competitors in the Regional will also get double World Ranking Points. ALD™ Members may compete in any or all Regional Majors if they wish.

14.0.4 Wild Card Invitations may be awarded to certain players based upon performance and participation

 

Example: The 2018 Junior Male Champion will be invited to the 2019 World Championship (Day 1) Competition Rounds. This exemption covers the invitation but, not the entry fee to the event. A current Tour Card and World Championship event entry is required.
 
 
Wild Card Explanation: Wild Card picks may be transferred to the Worlds based upon performance and participation in league / series, and other Regional tournaments. For example….players who are eligible to transfer from the Leagues and Regional Majors will have to commit by August 1st to maintain their position in the World Championship. The next player in line at the League and Regional will be the first alternate for those positions….and so on. If any of the league transfer spots are left unfilled, the ALD™ Tournament Director may add transfer spots from the LCQ or offer Wild Card spots based upon performance and participation upon approval from ALD™ Management. Availability of Wild Card spots is not guaranteed.
 
 
LCQ Clarification: Since the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) is the day before the National Championship, World Ranking Points awarded from the LCQ are inconsequential and cannot affect other National Championship transfers already determined.
 
 

15.0 ALD™ World Championship

Participation in the World Championship is earned through accumulation of World Ranking Points, and National Championship competition.

15.0.1 National Championship Division winners automatically transfer to the ALD™ Worlds

15.0.2 Wild Cards (based upon commissioners’ determination) may be available players who competed in a National Championship event and failed to transfer.

15.0.3 The highest *Overall World Ranking Points Leader (after Nationals) that has not already qualified, will earn a spot at the ALD™ Worlds.

15.0.4 The World Championship Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) is only open to competitors who qualified for or participated in the ALD National in their respective country. 

*We recognize WRP winners in each division, but this transfer spot only applies to “overall” points.

15.1 Division World Championship Format

Division World Championship are awarded to the winners of each ALD™ division competing in the tournament.

15.2 Competition Rounds

Day one of the World Championship begins with eliminations call Competition Rounds. All players that have earned their invitation to the World Championship will proceed through the Competition / Elimination Rounds to determine who transfers to the Championship Rounds on day two.

15.3 Championship Rounds

Championship Rounds begin in the afternoon of the second day of World Championship competition. Those who have transferred into the Championship Rounds will be competing for their “Division” World Championship.

15.4 Competition & Championship Rounds Format

Before the competition, via blind draw (and / or seeding), ALD™ officials will divide the field (by division) into groups of (up to) four (4) players. Smaller fields will be accommodated. Format and groups may be adjusted according to participation and the ALD™ official’s decision. Players will compete in up to two (2) Competition Rounds and/or at least one (1) Final / Championship Round based upon total participation in each division. Transfer from Competition Rounds to the Championship Rounds will normally include up to four (4) competitors. Adjustment may be made based upon participation of larger divisions.  Competition format (at the ALD™ official’s discretion) may include hitting up to two (2) sets of 6 balls in two (2) minute sets or single sets of eight (8) balls in three (3) minute sets. The Championship Round winner in each division will be crowned (Year) ALD™ Division Champion.

 

16. World Ranking Points System

16.1 ALD™ full competition membership (Tour Card) is required to receive competition points
16.2 Points are only awarded at ALD™ Sanctioned Events
16.3 ALD™ World Ranking resets at the beginning of each season (no points are carried over from season to season)

 

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