ALD™ Rules, Explanations, and Clarifications

YAmateur Long Drive™ Championship Series Rules and Guidelines

Please note: Changes were made (and clarifications were added) to these rules and guidelines on:

September 1, 2018 regarding eligibility, licensing, division ages, and qualifying…and September 28th regarding Trial Memberships.

Updates to the World Championship format and clarification of World Ranking Points were made on march 27th, 2019.

Rule 2.5.1 Effective Age was changed on March 1st, 2019. 

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 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. 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] .

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

Competitors may qualify for the ALD™ World Championship via World Ranking Points,  League Competition, and / or Major Qualifiers. The World Ranking Points leaders on August 1st, 2019,  in each division will receive and invitation to the World Championship. The winners of each division in each league will receive an invitation along with the winners of each division at each Regional Major Qualifier. In addition to those three main Pathways to the Worlds, players in each division with the highest Competition Points Index (CPI) will be invited. CPI is simply the number of events entered multiplied by total World Ranking Points earned. There will also be Wild Card spots up for grabs based upon transfer commitments from all invitations. (See 14.0-14.7 for more detail)

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 four (4) to six (6) Regional Major 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 Worlds. 

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 Age / Playing Age (Note: Changed for 2019/20 season)

The effective age for competition in any division is based upon your age on September 1st. Note: This rule was goes into effect after 2019 Worlds. The previous “Effective Age” rule was established prior to the the creation of the ALD™ Championship Series and caused confusion. 

2.6 Veteran / Military  Division

There will be an Open Veteran / Military division for both males and females at the Regional Qualifiers and the World Championship Event.  Additional Military divisions will be considered based upon participation. 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 competitors at the Regional Qualifiers and World Championship. Additional divisons shall be considered based upon participation. 

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 six inches (6”) 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 – Any two recorded drives within a division round within six inches (6”) of each other are considered a tie. 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.

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.

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. The ALD™ has the right to refuse service to any player or guest for improper etiquette.

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.

12.0 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 Major Qualifiers

Regional Major Qualifiers are open to all ALD™ Tour Card members. Any player may compete in any Regional Major Qualifier whether or not he / she is competing in a League / Series. There are four (4) events that are categorized as Regional Major Qualifiers. They are the Eastern, Central, Western, and Last Chance Qualifier.

13.1 Automatic Transfer To The World Championship

There are slots allotted for all Regional Major division winners at the ALD™ World Championship. Division winners at all Regional Major Qualifiers will automatically receive an invite to the annual ALD™ World Championship. Winners will have one week to accept the invitation and commit to the Worlds.  If a division winner is unable to attend the World championship, the invitation shall be extended to the 2nd, 3rd, etc. until that allotted slot is filled.

13.2 Double Points

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

13.3 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 to determine the winner in each division.

13.4 Additional Sets

Players who are attempting to qualify at Regional Major Qualifying events and fail to qualify in their first attempt may attempt additional qualifications (time permitting) by completing and (paying for) an additional set ($50) after their initial (or last) attempt and prior to another qualifying attempt. Players may attempt up to qualify as many times as as time permits. The ALD™ official on site will determine the time limits. This option is not available at League / Series Tournaments or in World Championship Tournaments.

*Trial Memberships do not apply to for Regional Majors.

14.0 Invitations To The World Championship

14.1 The top player in each division based on World Ranking Points will transfer to the World Championship
14.2 The top player in each division from each League will transfer to the World Championship
14.3 The top player in each division from each (Western, Central, Eastern and Last Chance Qualifier) Regional Major will transfer to the World 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.
 14.4 Players in each division with the highest CPI (Competition Performance Index) will transfer to the World Championship
14.5 Wild Card Invitations may be awarded to certain players based upon performance and participation
14.6 Players from internationally sanctioned events will transfer based upon individual sanctioning agreements.
14.7 Reigning Division World Champions shall receive an invitation to the following year’s World Championship. 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 Car Explanation: Wild Cards may be transferred 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.
LCQ Clarification: Since the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) is the day before the World Championship, World Ranking Points awarded from the LCQ are inconsequential and cannot affect World Championship transfers already determined.

15.0 ALD™ World Championship

Participation in the World Championship is earned through accumulation of World Ranking Points, League competition, and Regional Major competition. (See 14.0 – 14.7)

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 (Trial Members do not receive 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)
The system awards bonus points to top 10 in each division and shall be weighted based upon “Strength of Field” after 10 tournaments have been completed (globally). Note: There must be at least two (2) players in any division to receive bonus points.

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