Golf Channel Featuring Long Drive Themed Programming
Across News, Instruction and Digital Platforms Throughout the Month
Swing speeds in excess of 140 mph and drives that eclipse 400 yards will be par for the course, as Golf Channel once again will celebrate “Long Drive Month” in October. The month of programming will be highlighted by back-to-back nights of the World Long Drive Championship, Tuesday-Wednesday, Oct. 20-21, live and under the lights from WinStar World Casino and Resort. Throughout the month, Golf Channel also will integrate the long drive theme into its instruction, news and digital programming to celebrate the long ball.
2015 WORLD LONG DRIVE CHAMPIONSHIP: The cornerstone of Long Drive Month will center around the World Long Drive Championship, with Golf Channel airing live coverage across consecutive nights to ultimately crown the longest golfer in the world. The 64-man match play bracket – being implemented this year for the first time – will play out during Golf Channel’s coverage featuring the round of 16 being narrowed down to eight competitors on Tuesday, Oct. 20, and the remaining eight dueling for the first place prize and $250,000 purse on Wednesday, Oct. 21. Golf Channel’s expanded coverage of the Championship also will include news and results of the qualifying rounds, Oct. 14-19, leading up to live coverage on Oct. 20-21. New to 2015, competitors will have 2 minutes, 45 seconds to hit their drives in each round, and the player who is trailing in the match will have an opportunity to hit one final ball past their opponent’s to try and advance to the next round in the bracket.
BROADCAST TEAM: Golf Channel’s Ryan Burr will provide play-by-play; Michael Breed, host of The Golf Fix, will serve as analyst; and Angela Hamann will handle interviews. Art Sellinger – long-drive pioneer, two-time national long-drive champion and founder of the Long Drivers of America – also will be on hand to provide an analyst perspective and offer additional background on the competitors.
LONG DRIVE MONTH THEMED PROGRAMMING: Golf Channel will integrate the long drive theme across its instructional and news programming featuring long-driving tips and other dedicated segments throughout the month. The shows also will welcome Long Drive competitors to share their secrets:
- School of Golf, Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. ET–Co-hosts Martin Hall and Blair O’Neal will demonstrate how viewers can learn from Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Jason Day and the PGA TOUR’s longest drivers and apply it to their own game.
- Playing Lessons, Monday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. ET: Shot in Southern California, World Long Drive champions Joe Miller and Jamie Sadlowski will join host Charlie Rymer to offer insight on how to hit it long, tips on increasing your distance.
- The Golf Fix, Monday, Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. ET: Show host Michael Breed (and Long Drive Championship analyst) will be on-site at WinStar World Casino and Resort and will be joined by Long Drive competitors in the field. The show will focus on the simple adjustments amateur golfers can make to add distance to their drives and uncover what the longest hitters on the PGA TOUR have in common.
- Champions Tour Learning Center, Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 5:30 p.m. ET: Two-time Long Drive champion Art Sellinger will join the legends of the game on a special edition of Champions Tour Learning Center. Sellinger will interact with Champions Tour players and share his secrets to hitting it long off the tee.
- Morning Drive: Morning Drive will feature dedicated segments on hitting the ball longer, and welcome Long Drive participants on the show ahead of the World Long Drive Championship. Over the past several weeks, Long Drive competitors Jeff Flagg (2014 champion), Jeff Crittenden (2014 runner-up) and Tim Burke (2013 champion) have joined the program to discuss how they are preparing for this year’s event. Angela Hamann also will provide live updates on-site during the week of the Championship.
- Golf Central: Golf Channel’s evening news program will feature segments focusing on the longest drives of the week on Tour. Golf Central also will feature an exclusive interview with 2014 Long Drive Championship winner Jeff Flagg leading up his title defense on Oct. 20-21.
- Golf Channel Academy Mobile App: During the final six days leading into Golf Channel’s coverage of the World Long Drive Championship Oct. 20-21, the Golf Channel Academy instruction mobile app will debut a new Long Drive tip, with three tips from Hall and O’Neal, and three tips from Breed.
With Golf Channel’s commitment to showcasing one of golf’s most dynamic aspects and its elite Long Drive competitors, the network will add the World Long Drive Championship and Long Drivers of America to its family of golf lifestyle businesses. With this addition to Golf Channel’s portfolio, the network will continue to partner with Art Sellinger to develop new event and programming initiatives.
“Hitting it long is arguably one of the most fascinating shots in golf, and these athletes who spend 365 days a year training to compete at the highest level each have fascinating stories themselves,” said Tom Knapp, senior vice presidents of programming, Golf Channel. “Our viewers can’t get enough live golf, and events like these put a Championship belt on the line in primetime, under the lights in a spectacular pressure-filled setting.”