By Hunter Chase
Little River Golf Resort’s driving range will be battered by long drives next Saturday.
Twenty-four competitors are coming to the course located outside Carthage for the Sandhills Shootout, the first event of the season for the APG-Develop-mental Long Drive Tour.
Kurt Osterman, the golf course superintendent at The Bluff Golf Links, is the organizer of the event and one of the participants. He has been banging out monstrous drives in various competitions for many years.
“It’s a chance for the guys to get the experience of competition,” he said, pointing out that the tour is open only to competitors ranked outside the top 100 of the world.
Or as the flyer for the event reads, “The Sandhills Shootout is part of the American Power Golf (APG) Developmental Long Drive Tour, which puts together smaller scaled events to give up-and-coming long drivers an opportunity to gain tournament experience.”
It’s also an opportunity for golf fans in the area to get a taste of the mammoth drives provided by the competition that starts at 1 p.m. and will last to approximately 6 p.m.
Osterman said that depending on conditions such as the weather and the wind, the participants will launch drives that will finally come to a stop a good 380 to 450 yards later.
The field is competing for a total purse of $4,000, with $1,600 of that going to the winner.
Osterman is not stopping with this event, the first he has ever organized. The Sandhills Shootout is leading up to the first annual Sandhills Slam Charity Pro/Am and Long Drive Event that will benefit The First Tee of the Sandhills. It is set to be held in September.
The pro/am will pair three amateur golfers with a long driver in a captain’s choice tournament, Osterman said.
But that is down the road: Up first is the “let it rip” long drive competition next Saturday at Little River.
For more information about the event, call Osterman at (910) 315-2227 or go to the website www. americanpowergolf.com.
Sponsors of the event are Maxie’s Grill & Tap Room, Neville’s, Hickory Tavern, Beefeater’s, Pine Crest Inn, Robert’s Golf and Tripps