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Golf's Longest Hitters Convene for 43rd Volvik World Long Drive Championship, Sept. 4-5 on Golf Channel

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Live Under the Lights at 9 p.m. ET Each Night, Season-Culminating Event to Award World Championship Belts to Open, Women’s, Masters Divisions

Field Led by Past World Champions Tim Burke, Sandra Carlborg, Justin James, Phillis Meti, Along with Will Hogue – Three-Time Winner in 2018

VIDEO: Competitors Discuss Preparation Ahead of World Championship

World Long Drive Association competitors are set to convene on the Texas / Oklahoma border this weekend for the 43rd edition of the Volvik World Long Drive Championship, which will culminate live in primetime on Golf Channel, Tuesday-Wednesday, Sept. 4-5 at 9 p.m. ET. Originating in 1976, the 2018 Volvik World Long Drive Championship marks the fifth televised WLDA event of the year, and will be contested at WinStar World Casino and Resort, which hosts the event for the fourth consecutive year.  

“This is what these men and women have been working the whole year for,” said Jonathan Coachman, play-by-play host for World Long Drive Association events on Golf Channel. “The pressure is on under the lights. It’s also not a sprint, but instead a marathon. I am anxious to see who has what it takes to block it all out and perform. Those that can adapt the best will go the farthest.”

FIELD VYING FOR COVETED WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BELT: The event will showcase three respective divisions (Open – Men’s, Women’s, Masters – Age 45+) with competitors comprising 14 countries around the globe. Those in the field will be hoping to add their name to the select club of world champions alongside icons of the sport like Sean Fister, Stacey Shinnick, Evan Williams and Jason Zuback. The Open Division will include a 96-man field featuring six past world champions, led by current No. 1 in the World Long Drive rankings and defending world champ Justin James (Jacksonville, Fla.), two-time world champion Tim Burke (Orlando, Fla.) and three-time winner in 2018, Will Hogue (Memphis, Tenn.). Five-time (and defending) world champion Sandra Carlborg (Alingsas, Sweden) and two-time champion Phillis Meti (Auckland, New Zealand) lead the Women’s Division field of 18 competitors, while the Masters Division will be made up of 36 competitors. The competition format for each of the three divisions can be found here.

WRAPAROUND NEWS AND LIVE COVERAGE: Golf Central will preview the Championship on Tuesday and Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. ET, prior to the live competition getting underway at 9 p.m. ET. Morning Drive also will feature interviews and dedicated segments showcasing competitors on-site in the days leading up to live coverage of the competition.

Tuesday night’s telecast will feature the Open Division’s Round of 16 matches to determine the eight competitors who will advance to Wednesday night’s telecast, along with the championship match from the Masters Division. Wednesday night will showcase the quarterfinal, semifinal and championship matches in the Open Division, along with the semifinal and championship matches in the Women’s Division.

TECHNOLOGY-ENHANCED PRODUCTION: The production centering around live coverage of the Volvik World Long Drive Championship will utilize 13 dedicated cameras, capturing all angles from the hitting platform and the landing grid, including two SuperMo cameras as well as two craned-positioned cameras that will track the ball in flight once it leaves the competitor’s clubface. An overlaid graphic line on the grid, the “DXL Big Drive to Beat,” (similar to the “1st & 10 line” made popular in football) will display 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 World 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.


Friday, Aug. 31

Open Division – Preliminary   Round

Saturday, Sept. 1

Open Division – Preliminary   Round

Sunday, Sept. 2

Open Division – Round of 36

Monday, Sept. 3

Masters Division –   Preliminary Round; Round of 16

Tuesday, Sept. 4

Women’s Division –   Preliminary Round; Quarterfinals

Masters Division –   Quarterfinals; Semifinals

LIVE Telecast: Open Division   Round of 16; Masters Championship

Wednesday, Sept. 5

LIVE Telecast: Conclusion of   Open Division & Women’s Division


BROADCAST TEAM: Veteran sports broadcaster Jonathan Coachman will conduct play-by-play alongside Art Sellinger, World Long Drive pioneer and two-time world champion (1986, ’91). Golf Channel’s Jerry Foltz will offer reports from the teeing platform and conduct interviews with competitors in the field during live coverage of the competition, while George Savaricas will report from on-site for Golf Central.

DIGITAL & SOCIAL MEDIA COVERAGE: Fans can stay up-to-date on all of the action surrounding the Volvik World Long Drive Championship 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 World Championship unfolds, and, the telecast will integrate social media-generated content during live coverage on Tuesday-Wednesday, Sept. 4-5 using the hashtag, #WorldLongDrive. Additional custom-content will be shared via World Long Drive and Golf Channel’s digital and social media platforms leading up to the World Championship, featuring insight from some of the top competitors previewing the event in one-on-one interviews with Coachman. also will feature the latest video and highlights from on-site, along with real-time scoring for the duration of the event, Aug. 31-Sept. 5.

2018 WLDA VIEWERSHIP, SEASON RECAP: Ahead of the Volvik World Long Drive Championship, the World Long Drive Association has accounted for nearly 6 million viewers year-to-date, +70% vs. 2017 (prior to the World Championship). Event winners over the course of the season heading into the World Championship include:





March 15-17

East Coast   Classic

West Columbia,   S.C.

Justin   Moose

April 21-24

Clash in   the Canyon (*Golf Channel*)

Mesquite,   Nev.

Alexis   Belton, Will Hogue

May 11-15

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

Maricopa,   Ariz.

Phillis   Meti, Will Hogue

June 4-5

Atlantic   City Boardwalk Bash (*Golf Channel*)

Atlantic   City, N.J.

Sandra   Carlborg, Mark Costello

June 21-23

Bluff City   Shootout

Memphis,   Tenn.

Will Hogue

July 6-8

Bash For   Cash

Port Rowan, Ont., Canada

Ryan Steenberg

August 2-4

WinStar   Midwest Slam

Thackerville,   Okla.

Kyle Berkshire

August   12-13

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

Kingsport,   Tenn.

Emily   Tubert, Justin James

September   1-5

Volvik   World Long Drive Championship (*Golf Channel*)

Thackerville,   Okla.