American Power Golf Dixie Classic GridWhat if you held a long drive event and no one cared? I’ve been around the world of long drive for a limited time and I continue to learn and form opinions about the sport. One thing that seems to be a constant is the lack of fan support and general interest from even avid golf fans. The events are spread over large areas, some are in remote locations and the cost for entry onto the main tour is extreme. Most events that I have attended are poorly promoted if at all and it seems to be an exclusive club with some seemingly happy for it to remain in the shadows. I’m not one who believes that bigger is better but I do believe that promoting the sport and making it more accessible can’t hurt. As we’ve noted before, it seems that many people who work in the golf business are burned out. Asking burned out folks about golf equipment is an exercise in futility and some in long drive seem the same. Long Drive has so much going for it but it needs a salesman. The majority of athletes that I’ve met have been awesome and are willing to talk with you and share advice and helpful hints but as in all sports, there have to be a few that believe themselves to be above the average person. To date, the jerk count is under 3 for me.

I’m not here to reinvent the wheel but when golf on any level becomes corporate and controlled, it runs the risk of losing it’s soul. I’m listing some opinions and ¬†observations below about the good, the bad and the ugly that I’ve witnessed thus far.

Long Drive is better than PGA style golf because it allows people to be themselves or be any character that they wish to be. You will see raw emotion, tattoos and piercings out here and there doesn’t appear to be a governing body attempting to control a certain image with the exception of requiring long pants at certain events…which is unfortunate.

In order to play on the National “pro” circuit, there would be a cost of $7,000 – $10,000 per year not including travel and equipment cost. It is possible for a person to go hardship style and attempt to qualify for World’s by way of local and regional qualifiers. The cost is much cheaper but the odds are longer.

It would appear that if a person could afford to attend all of the LDA type events, the immediate reward would be a spot on the unofficial world Long Drive rankings at a fairly quick pace.

The sport seems to have a certain amount of players who have absolutely zero chance of ever placing in an event but they enjoy the idea of being called a Long Driver and they have the money to participate or try to qualify multiple times. These types of players are needed in order to round out the entry fees to make events work and some pump up these hitters in order for them to stay engaged.

There are certain advantages to Long Drive vs. other sports like softball. Softball also requires travel and time away with no chance of recouping any monies that have been spent. Also, how much macho credit can you really take for hitting a big, slow moving ball over a fence at a limited distance?

I can’t imagine why events aren’t advertised more and better. We have rolled up into several towns where the events will be held and I have yet to see even 1 flyer placed at local golf courses, golf shops or restaurants. The people can’t come out unless they know it’s happening.

The equipment makers for distance clubs and shafts are more than accessible. It’s not unusual for the owners to be at events and it’s easy to get in touch with them.

It can be a costly and frustrating to find the proper combination of club head, shaft type and flex but if is found, it’s worth every penny because when you place the proper equipment in the hands of the proper swing, it’s pure gold.

It’s nearly impossible to obtain a fell sponsorship for equipment or clothing in golf unless you achieve greatness, promote yourself well or already have plenty of means by which to support your career.

One affliction with golf is that it has lots of older, stuck in the mud types who aren’t interested in social media, new ideas or fresh approaches to the game. It is encouraging to see an influx of youth into Long Drive because that very well could save the sport and make it better for a long time to come.

There’s more than 1 way to swing a club and find success and despite the best intentions of others, it can be frustrating to receive tons of instant feedback.

Long Drive doesn’t need to be operated by people who are tired, bored or burned out but it does need new blood, enthusiasm and people who believe in and are dedicated to the future success of the sport.

Loyalty is sometimes in short supply with players who beg for equipment and then jump ship when they can secure the next free supply. If a manufacturer sends you a head for demo and you decide to not use it, the very least you can do is send it back when your finished and not try to make a buck on a resale.

 

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