Golf Channel Posts Four Best Years in Network History with Highest-Rated and Second Most-Watched Year Ever

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJanuary 6, 2015, 2:15 pm

Golf Channel Is No. 1 Most-Affluent Ad-Supported Network

in All of Television for Both Total Day and Primetime

 

Golf Channel Digital Scores Best Year Ever Across All Platforms

Including GolfChannel.com, Golf Live Extra Streaming,

Mobile Apps and Social Media 

 

Golf Channel Engages Record Number of Golfers through Suite

of Digital Lifestyle Brands, Encouraging More Golfers to Play More Golf

Since joining NBC Sports Group in 2011, Golf Channel has scored its four best years ever and has increased ratings +57% and total-day average viewership +40% over that span. In 2014, Golf Channel matched its highest-rated year (.11 HH Cvg Rtg, 24-hour Total Day 6AM-6AM), and posted its second most-watched year (98,000 average viewers, 24-hour Total Day 6AM-6AM), surpassed only by 2013. Additionally in 2014, Golf Channel was the No. 1 most-affluent ad-supported television network in both total day and primetime, with both the highest median income and percentage of audience earning more than $100k, according to data released by The Nielsen Company.

In 2014, NBC Sports Group reached an unmatched 79 million viewers via Golf Channel on NBC broadcasts and Golf Channel, which provided more live tournament golf coverage than all other U.S. television networks combined and garnered the most Sports Emmy nominations in network history. Additionally, more than 54 million golf fans visited Golf Channel Digital platforms, which saw best-ever results in key metrics for GolfChannel.com traffic, Golf Live Extra streaming, mobile app usage and social media followers. Golf Channel also helped connect more golfers to the game via its suite of digital lifestyle brands such as GolfNow, which utilizes technology to encourage more golfers to play more golf.

Golf Channel, which was co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 as the first single-sport cable network, will celebrate its 20th anniversary on January 17. Over that span, Golf Channel has experienced tremendous growth, which has increased significantly since the network joined NBC Sports Group in 2011.

TOP FOUR YEARS IN GOLF CHANNEL HISTORY SINCE JOINING NBC SPORTS GROUP:

 

Household Cvg Rating

% YOY

% vs. ’10

Average Viewers

% YOY

% vs. ’10

2014

0.11

Even

+57%

98k

-9%

+40%

2013

0.11

+10%

+57%

108k

+14%

+54%

2012

0.10

+11%

+43%

95k

+6%

+36%

2011

0.09

+28%

+28%

90k

+29%

+29%

In 2010, Golf Channel posted a .07 household coverage rating and averaged 70,000 viewers.


“Golf Channel features high-quality golf content – from showcasing the world’s best competing around the globe to improving the experience of golfers at their local course. Over the past four years, Golf Channel has built viewership momentum with a focus on unprecedented live tournament coverage and daily news and analysis, as well as a primetime lineup featuring award-winning original and instructional programming,” said Mike McCarley, president of Golf Channel. “The loyal Golf Channel audience also extends to other platforms, propelling Golf Channel Digital to its best year ever in 2014 for online, mobile, streaming and social media. We are pleased to continue to engage with the golfer beyond traditional media, using technology like GolfNow, which helps golf course operators run their businesses more efficiently and aids golfers to better enjoy the game.”

2014 GOLF CHANNEL VIEWERSHIP HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Highest-Rated and Second Most-Watched Year Ever (24-hour Total Day 6AM-6AM):
    • Tied highest-rated year ever with .11 household coverage rating, sixth for sports networks
    • Second most-watched year ever by averaging 98,000 viewers, sixth for sports networks
    • Most-Affluent Audience in All of Ad-Supported Television for Total Day and Primetime:
      • Total Day: No. 1 most-affluent ad-supported television network for median household income and percentage of $100k+ household income audience delivery ($75.5k; 38%)
      • Primetime: No. 1 most-affluent ad-supported television network for median household income and percentage of $100k+ household income audience delivery ($81.6k; 44%)
      • Growth for All Programming Genres vs. Same Time Period in 2010:
 

Household  

Coverage   Rating

Average   Viewers

Tournament   Coverage

+22%

+16%

Golf   Central

+83%

+76%

Morning   Drive

+229%

+227%

Instructional   Programming

+50%

+37%

Original   Programming

+17%

+9%

  • Most Sports Emmy-Award Nominations in Network History:

Adding to NBC Sports Group’s legacy of high-quality storytelling, Golf Channel garnered the most Sports Emmy-Award nominations in the network’s 20-year history:

  • Outstanding Sports Personality, Studio Host: David Feherty
  • Outstanding Sports Journalism: In Play with Jimmy Roberts
  • Outstanding Technical Team Remote: Golf Channel on NBC (THE PLAYERS)
  • Outstanding Editing: PGA TOUR Teases
  • Ryder Cup Friday – Second Best Day In Network History: Nearly 20 million viewers watched Golf Channel and NBC’s 2014 Ryder Cup coverage from Scotland, which was televised live in its entirety for the first time ever from a European venue. On Friday, Sept. 26, Golf Channel’s first-ever live coverage of the Ryder Cup matches resulted in the network’s most-watched day (476,000 average viewers) and highest-rated day (.53 HH Cvg Rtg) in 2014. Despite the overnight telecast (2:30 a.m.–1 p.m. ET), Friday’s live coverage marked the second most-watched and highest-rated day in Golf Channel history behind Friday’s coverage of the 2011 Presidents Cup from Australia (589,000 average viewers, .56 HH Cvg Rtg).
  • Increased Live Hours for LPGA Tour: More than 17.2 million viewers tuned in to the LPGA Tour on Golf Channel and NBC in 2014. With +30% more dedicated tournament coverage, including +22% more live hours on Golf Channel, LPGA Tour’s average viewership and ratings were even YOY.
  • New Programming Initiatives:
    • Morning Drive, Golf Channel’s daily morning show, had its first full year featuring a seven-days-a-week schedule and was +14% for average viewership YOY, and has nearly tripled the comparable timeslot since launching in January 2011. Establishing itself as the place where golfers begin their day, Morning Drive has found its voice by featuring interviews with the industry’s top newsmakers and greatest players, as well as covering all aspects of the game.
    • Drive, Chip & Putt Championship National Finals reached nearly 2.1 million viewers and averaged 315,000 viewers with its inaugural telecast on Golf Channel. A joint initiative founded by the Masters Tournament Foundation, PGA of America and United States Golf Association, the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship is a free nationwide junior golf development competition that concludes at Augusta National Golf Club on the Sunday prior to the Masters.
    • Arnie garnered nearly 2 million viewers during the week this three-night television event premiered, which helped contribute to Golf Channel’s most-watched April since Arnold Palmer launched the network 20 years ago. The premiere of Arnie was Golf Channel’s most-watched and highest-rated original production ever (471,000 average viewers, .39 HH Cvg Rtg).
    • 2014 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship reached more than 2.2 million viewers and averaged 250,000 viewers, which is +50% vs. same time periods YOY. After the network’s inaugural coverage of the event in 2014, Golf Channel will expand in May 2015 to include both the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships.
    • Big Break Invitational reached more than 2.5 million viewers and averaged 171,000 viewers in October, which is +20% vs. same time periods YOY. Built upon 21 seasons of Golf Channel’s competition reality series Big Break, the inaugural tournament featured 40 of the top alumni competing in a live televised tournament setting. Additionally, season 21 of Big Break Florida featured Golf Channel’s most-watched and highest-rated original series episode premiere with the series’ third installment in March (441,000 average viewers, .38 HH Cvg Rtg).

RECORD GROWTH FOR GOLF CHANNEL DIGITAL

  • Golf Channel Digital Posts Best Year Ever: Both GolfChannel.com and Golf Channel Mobile App posted their best year ever in video starts and page views, as well as uniques and visits for GolfChannel.com, with the following YOY gains:
    • GolfChannel.com: video starts +103%, visits +56%, uniques +38%, page views +30%
    • Golf Channel Mobile App: video starts +23%, page views +16%
    • Live Streaming: Golf Live Extra drew 92.5 million total minutes streamed and was +20% for live streaming starts YOY.
      • Since Golf Live Extra launched in 2013, 183 million minutes of golf programming have been streamed
      • In 2014, Golf Live Extra’s top streamed event was the Ryder Cup with nearly 12 million minutes streamed
      • Golf Channel’s Mobile Apps Expand Reach with More Than 6 Million Downloads:
        • In 2014, Golf Channel’s suite of four mobile apps posted +28% in unique visitors YOY.
        • Both upgraded with new designs and functionality in 2014, Golf Channel Mobile (golf news, analysis, results) has 3.5 million downloads and GolfNow (tee time booking, on-course GPS, in-round scoring, performance tracking) has 1.9 million downloads.
        • Golf Live Extra (live streaming): 665K downloads, +91% YOY
        • Golf Channel Academy (comprehensive instructional video library): 344K downloads, +38% YOY
        • Social Media Presence: Golf Channel Social Media is +63% YOY with more than 4 million followers on platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
        • Leading Golf Course Review Resource: Launched in 2014, GolfAdvisor.com is now home to more than 325,000 reviews by golfers, for golfers, providing authentic insight on 9,000 courses in 29 countries around the globe.

GOLF CHANNEL’S LIFESTYLE FOR A LIFETIME PORTFOLIO – HELPING TO GROW THE GAME:

  • “Go Play!” Golf Participation: GolfNow, the world’s leading online tee time booking platform, helped golfers book more than 13.4 million rounds of golf in 2014 at nearly 6,000 golf courses worldwide.
  • Golf Course Technology: GolfNow Solutions aided more than 8,100 golf courses to more efficiently run their businesses via a suite of specifically designed software, including online booking engines, tee sheet management, point-of-sale accounting and comprehensive golf course marketing and operations applications.
  • On-Course Experience: GolfNow Mobile App launched a premium version in October 2014, now providing more than a convenient platform for golfers to book a tee time. The premium version of the GolfNow Mobile App includes on-course GPS range-finding, in-round scoring and performance tracking, making the GolfNow app the most comprehensive mobile source for before, during and after your round.
  • High-Quality Instruction: As a cornerstone of Golf Channel since its launch in 1995, instructional content continues to evolve including in 2014 with Golf Channel Academy App delivering nearly 2 million video starts from Golf Channel’s robust library of instructional content. And in 2015, the Golf Channel Academy brand is expanding beyond television and the mobile app to also include Golf Channel Academy, a network of top-tier coaches and academies at premier golf locations across North America that are dedicated to growing the game by developing a player-coach culture focused on sustained improvement and enjoyment.
  • Largest Amateur Tour in All of Golf: The 2014 Golf Channel Amateur Tour featured more than 6,500 avid amateur golfers logging 55,500 competitive rounds at more than 700 tournaments held in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, culminating in the most ever golfers (1,235) playing in the 2014 National Championship in Scottsdale, Ariz. at Grayhawk and Talking Stick Golf Clubs.

ABOUT GOLF CHANNEL

Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla. Golf Channel, co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 and now part of the NBC Sports Group, is available in more than 120 million homes and 83 countries worldwide. Exclusive partnerships with the world’s top tours allow Golf Channel to feature more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, as well as a programming schedule distinguished by golf’s highest-quality news, instruction and original programming. Golf Channel’s digital platforms, headed by GolfChannel.com, are the leading golf destinations on the Internet, delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf. Fans are able to enjoy 24/7 live streaming of Golf Channel content through Golf Live Extra and select programming is simulcast via SiriusXM’s PGA TOUR Radio. In addition, Golf Channel connects the world to golf through a wide array of digital services including Golf Channel Mobile; GolfNow, the world’s largest online booking platform; GolfAdvisor.com, a golf course ratings and review portal; the interactive Golf Channel Academy instructional app; and the Golf Channel Am Tour, the world’s largest amateur golf tour.

For more information about NBC Sports Group shows and properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com

Getty Images

Dredge, Quiros share early lead in Morocco

By Associated PressApril 19, 2018, 8:41 pm

RABAT, Morocco - Bradley Dredge reeled off three birdies in his last five holes to share the lead with Alvaro Quiros after the opening round of the European Tour's Trophee Hassan II event Thursday.

Quiros finished with two straight birdies as the big-hitting Spaniard joined Welshman Dredge on 5-under-par 67.

Dredge, who made seven birdies in all, has won twice before but his last triumph came in 2006.


Full-field scores from the Trophee Hassan II


Quiros, who has claimed seven victories, last won at the Rocco Forte Open in Sicily last year.

The joint leaders have a one-shot advantage over Oliver Fisher, Joakim Lagergren, Erik Van Rooyen and Lorenzo Gagli at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam course.

Former U.S. Masters champion Danny Willett, without a win since his victory at Augusta two years ago, opened with a 1-over 73.

Getty Images

Murray battles wind, takes early Valero lead

By Will GrayApril 19, 2018, 7:59 pm

Amid a feast-or-famine season, Grayson Murray appears poised for another meal at the Valero Texas Open.

Murray battled windy conditions during the opening round at TPC San Antonio, carding seven birdies against a double bogey to start with a 67. At 5 under, he held a one-shot lead over Chesson Hadley at the end of the morning wave.

There has been no middle ground for Murray this year, as each of his nine starts in full-field events have yielded either a top-15 finish or a result outside the top 70. That includes his two most recent starts, where he finished T-14 at the Houston Open despite putting "terribly" and then missed the cut last week at the RBC Heritage.

But Murray spent time on the range early this week to iron out a swing flaw, and the results were quickly evident during his opening round.


Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos


"When I get off, it's never far off but it seems like I'm always searching for something, and then I start compensating and then I create a new bad habit," Murray told reporters. "Ball-striking for me gives me confidence with every other club in my bag when it comes to putting or chipping or anything. I know if I hit it well, those parts of the game are going to be good, too."

Murray made more headlines for his words than his game for much of his rookie season, but a breakthrough win at the opposite-field Barbasol Championship in July solidified his playing status for the next two years. With swirling winds reaching 25 mph during his round, Murray was pleased to have found 13 of 18 greens in regulation and capitalize on several of his birdie chances.

"The wind bothers me when I'm hitting it like I did last week, when I'm not compressing the ball. That's just the bottom line," Murray said. "But once you start swinging it well, like hitting it into the wind really shows you how you are hitting the golf ball because it's only going to maximize your dispersion. So if you hit a 5-yard cut, it's going to be probably a 10-yard cut into the wind. That tells you when you're hitting it good."

Getty Images

One year later: Surgery to success for Tiger

By Will GrayApril 19, 2018, 6:30 pm

So much can happen in a year.

Exactly 365 days ago, Tiger Woods went under the knife. When it comes to Woods, surgery has become a somewhat regular occurrence over the years; his timeline of injuries and procedures stretches nearly as long as the one detailing his on-course accomplishments.

But this one was surprising, both for the timing and the operation in question.

It was only one day prior, after all, that Woods sat in front of a sparse gallery of fans and media to announce his plans to design a new course at Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri. He smiled while sitting carefully in a wooden folding chair, then stood up and gingerly hit a short wedge shot to cap the publicity stunt. He needed to re-load and swing again in order to find the makeshift green.

While it was clear that Woods was not firing on all cylinders, at no point in the proceedings did he mention the surgical appointment looming on his calendar.

“The back is progressing,” Woods said on April 18, 2017. “I have good days and bad days. I’ve had three back operations, and that’s just kind of the nature of the business unfortunately. That’s all I can say.”

He added back operation No. 4 the very next day, this time opting for a lumbar fusion that was more serious and invasive than any of its predecessors. The surgery brought with it a six-month recovery window and the very real notion that, at age 41, Woods may have already played his final hole of competitive golf.



“He is looking forward to life without pain, looking forward to day-to-day without pain,” Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, said the day after the surgery. “He’s looking forward to playing with his kids without pain, playing golf without pain. He knows he’s got a long road, but there’s a huge sense of relief right now.”

Fast-forward one year, and Woods returned to Missouri this week to survey the progress of his Payne’s Valley layout that is scheduled to open in 2019. And near the same spot where he swung through pain with wedge in hand, this time around he ripped a driver at full speed to the delight of the estimated 7,000 fans gathered for a junior clinic he hosted.

Given the relative normalcy of his most recent appearance, what Woods endured last April 19 seems like a lifetime ago.

In recapping the subsequent 12 months, keep in mind that the surgery wasn’t even Woods’ lowest point. That would come six weeks later, when he was arrested and cited for driving under the influence in Florida. There was the mugshot photo, and the arrest reports, and of course the police video where one of the greatest athletes of the last 30 years struggled to tie his shoes.

At that point, professional golf was an afterthought.

But Woods entered private treatment over the summer for his use of prescription drugs, and when he re-emerged as an assistant at the Presidents Cup in October the focus was again on his potential return to life inside the ropes – even as Woods himself acknowledged the possibility that he may never return to competition.

“I don’t know what my future holds for me,” he said. “As I’ve told you guys, I’m hitting 60-yard shots.”

It wasn’t long before those pitch shots gave way to irons and full swings with drivers, one social media video at a time. Woods’ whirlwind renaissance after receiving clearance from his surgeon raised expectations for his return at the Hero World Challenge in December to stratospheric levels.

Now four months into his latest comeback attempt, Woods has exceeded nearly every expectation while re-establishing himself as a regular contender on the PGA Tour. Three straight top-12 finishes in Florida highlighted his spring, and his health is such that questions about the status of his back from the media are now few and far between.

“I think as an athlete, you’re always pushing yourself, right? And the best ones are pushing themselves beyond their limits,” Woods said at the Valspar Championship. “I happened to be one of those guys who pushed my body and my mind to accomplish the things I knew I could. I was able to do it.”

How the next 365 days unfold remains to be seen. Woods is now 42, fighting an undefeated opponent in Father Time, and it wasn’t that long ago that the one-year retrospectives about him had a decidedly different tone.

But heading into the heart of the summer season, Woods’ prospects seem more promising than they have been at any point since his five-win season in 2013. And the winding path from bleak to rosy can be traced back to a fateful decision exactly one year ago to try once more to heal his ailing back where multiple prior attempts had failed.

From limping with a wedge to veering off the road to hinting at a possible return to smashing expectations while staring down players half his age.

So much can happen in a year.

Getty Images

World Long Drive Association Staging First Live Televised Event of 2018: "Clash in the Canyon," Tuesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. ET on Golf Channel

By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 19, 2018, 6:15 pm

Open & Women’s Divisions Airing Live in Primetime in Partnership with Golf Mesquite Nevada from Long Drive’s Most Storied Venue

Each of the Top-20 in Open Division World Long Drive Rankings & Five-Time (and Defending) World Champion Sandra Carlborg Headline the Field

Veteran Sports Broadcaster Jonathan Coachman Making Golf Channel Debut; Will Conduct Play-by-Play at Each of the Five Televised WLDA Events in 2018

Coming off record viewership in 2017 and a season fueled by emergent dynamic personalities, the World Long Drive Association (WLDA) will stage its first of five televised events in 2018 with the Clash in the Canyon, airing live and in primetime on Tuesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. ET on Golf Channel. Taking place April 21-24 at Mesquite Regional Sports and Event Complex in partnership with Golf Mesquite Nevada, the Clash in the Canyon will culminate with the televised portion Tuesday evening featuring the four women and eight men having advanced from preliminary rounds.

A familiar setting in the Long Drive community, Mesquite previously hosted the Volvik World Long Drive Championship and a number of qualifying events dating back to 1997, including the World Championship having been staged at the same venue as the Clash in the Canyon from 2008-2012. The 480-yard venue is carved out of the adjacent canyon which acts as a scenic backdrop when gazing down the grid from an elevated tee box.

The eventwill feature a 36-man field competing in the Open Division based on World Long Drive rankings, which will include each of the top-20 in the current rankings, along with a Women’s Division field of 18 competitors, led by five-time – and defending – World champion Sandra Carlborg. The Open Division will compete for a $50,000 purse, with a first place prize of $20,000, while the Women’s Division will be vying for a $7,000 first place prize with a $15,000 overall purse. World No. 3 Ryan Reisbeck will be defending his 2017 Clash in the Canyon title, while Chloe Garner won’t have an opportunity to defend on the Women’s side due to her being sidelined for the 2018 season with a shoulder injury. The Clash in the Canyon is the second official event of the 2018 World Long Drive season, as Justin Moose claimed the East Coast Classic in Columbia, South Carolina last month.

COVERAGE: Live coverage of the Clash in the Canyon will air in primetime on Golf Channel from 7-9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 24, with Golf Centralpreviewing the event from 6-7 p.m. ET. An encore telecast is scheduled to air on Golf Channel from 11 p.m.-1 a.m. ET.

The production centering around live coverage of the competition will utilize six dedicated cameras, capturing all angles from the hitting platform and the landing grid, including a SuperMo camera as well as two craned-positioned cameras that will track the ball in flight once it leaves the competitor’s clubface. New to 2018 will be an overlaid graphic line on the grid, the “DXL Big Drive to Beat,” (similar to the “1st & 10 line” made popular in football) displaying the longest drive during a given match to signify the driving distance an opposing competitor will need to surpass to take the lead. The telecast also will feature a custom graphics package suited to the anomalous swing data typically generated by Long Drive competitors, tracking club speed, ball speed and apex in real-time via Trackman. Trackman technology also will provide viewers with a sense of ball flight, tracing the arc of each drive from the moment of impact.

Morning Drive and Golf Central will prepare viewers for the Clash in the Canyon through interviews and dedicated segments featuring competitors on-site in Mesquite.

OPEN DIVISION FIELD (in order of World Long Drive ranking): Justin James, Maurice Allen, Ryan Reisbeck, Tim Burke, Trent Scruggs, Will Hogue, Mitch Grassing, Ryan Steenberg, Paul Howell, Glenn Wilson Jr., Landon Gentry, Joe Miller, Tommy Hug, Justin Moose, Kyle Berkshire, Kevin Shook, Jason Eslinger, Nick Kiefer, Steve Monroe, Troy Teal, Jeff Gavin, Brady Torbitt, Dan McIntosh, Eddie Fernandes, Spencer McDaniel, Scott Kalamar, Stephen Kois, Jim Waldron, Jeff Crittenden, Jeff Flagg, Mark Costello, Mitch Dobbyn, Josh Cassaday, Press LaBrie, Dan Lambert, Wes Patterson.

WOMEN’S DIVISION FIELD: Hollie Bartsch, Alexis Belton, Monica Borowicz, Sandra Carlborg, Shelby Crider, Irene Crowchild, Erin Hess, Jana Jones, Heather Manfredda, Phillis Meti, Troy Mullins, Debbie Peever, Alex Phillips, Ashley Pinion, Jessika Shelton, Erin Shireman, Haley Vandenberg, Katherine Wills.

FORMAT: The Open Division field will consist of 36 men broken into four “pods” of nine competitors across four three-minute sets of eight balls each, with a points system being used to identify four from each pod advancing to the Round of 16. From there, five sets of eight balls will determine the eight competitors advancing to take part in the single elimination match play bracket during the live telecast on Golf Channel. The Women’s Division will feature 18 competitors broken into two groups of nine taking part in four sets of eight balls. The top four point-earners from each pod will advance to the single-elimination match play competition beginning with the quarterfinals, with the winners moving on to the semifinals which will play out on Tuesday night’s telecast.

BROADCAST TEAM: A new voice to World Long Drive, veteran sports broadcaster Jonathan Coachman will conduct play-by-play at each of the five WLDA televised events on Golf Channel in 2018, beginning with the Clash in the Canyon.Art Sellinger – World Long Drive pioneer and two-time World champion – will provide analysis, and Golf Channel’s Jerry Foltz will offer reports from the teeing platform and conduct interviews with competitors in the field.

2018 VOLVIK WLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING & MASTERS DIVISION: As part of the event, the WLDA will stage preliminary and final qualifying for the Open Division on Saturday-Sunday, April 21-22, which will award six exemptions into the 2018 Volvik World Long Drive Championship field later this year. Also taking place on Sunday, April 22 will be a Masters Division (ages 45+) competition, with a field of 16 that includes several individuals who have greatly contributed to the success and sustainability of the sport over the past few decades. The Masters Division format will feature a points system, with each competitor completing five sets of eight balls each. The top eight will advance to the single-elimination, match play head-to-head quarterfinals, semifinals and finals.

MASTERS DIVISION FIELD:  Mike Bauman, Don Beck, Kyle Blenkhorn, Vince Ciurluini, Jeff Crittenden, Pat Dempsey, Eddie Fernandes, Jeff Gavin, Chris Hall, Dan Lambert, Brian Lawler, Tom Peppard, Lance Reader, Richard Smith, Scott Smith and Roy Studley.

DIGITAL & SOCIAL MEDIA COVERAGE: Fans can stay up-to-date on all of the action surrounding the Clash in the Canyon by following @GolfChannel and @WorldLongDrive on social media. Golf Channel social media host Alexandra O’Laughlin will be on-site contributing to the social conversation as the event unfolds, and, the telecast will integrate social media-generated content during live coverage on Tuesday, April 24 using the hashtag, #WorldLongDrive.

In addition to the latest video and highlights from on-site in Mesquite, WorldLongDrive.com will feature real-time scoring for the duration of the event, April 21-24. Golf Channel Digital also will feature content from the Clash in the Canyon leading up to and immediately following the live telecast.

2018 WORLD LONG DRIVE ASSOCIATION SCHEDULE:

DATE

EVENT

LOCATION

March 15-17

East Coast Classic

West Columbia, S.C.

April 21-24

Clash in the Canyon (*Golf Channel*)

Mesquite, Nev.

May 11-15

Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun (*Golf Channel*)

Maricopa, Ariz.

June 4-5

Atlantic City Boardwalk Bash (*Golf Channel*)

Atlantic City, N.J.

June 21-23

Bluff City Shootout

Memphis, Tenn.

July 6-8

Bash For Cash

Port Robinson, Ont., Canada

August 2-4

WinStar Midwest Slam

Thackerville, Okla.

August 12-13

Tennessee Big Shots benefitting Niswonger Children’s Hospital (*Golf Channel*)

Kingsport, Tenn.

September 1-5

Volvik World Long Drive Championship (*Golf Channel*)

Thackerville, Okla.

One additional event is scheduled to be staged in the fall, being contested as part of the 2018-2019 season:

  • Catawba Classic – Hickory, N.C. (November 3-4)

Showcasing the truly global nature of World Long Drive, several events will be staged in 2018 through officially sanctioned WLDA international partners, including stops in Germany, Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Additionally, an all-encompassing international qualifier will be staged (late summer) featuring a minimum of four exemptions into the Open Division of the Volvik World Long Drive Championship in September.