ORLANDO, Fla. -- October is “Long Drive Month” on Golf Channel with four straight weeks of Wednesday primetime of the RE/MAX WORLD LONG DRIVE CHAMPIONSHIP, beginning this Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 9 pm ET. Golf Channel will dedicate more than 20 hours of programming to the art of hitting it long and showcasing the personalities that compete in a sport where the golf ball regularly travels in excess of 400 yards.
Golf Channel’s coverage will showcase the men and women who compete in long drive, beginning with grassroots local and regional qualifying, and culminating with the RE/MAX WORLD LONG DRIVE CHAMPIONSHIP finals, a live, primetime event under the lights of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway where eight finalists will compete for a winner-take-all $250,000 prize. Additionally, NBC will air a 60-minute recap show of the entire RE/MAX WORLD LONG DRIVE CHAMPIONSHIP in December, which will mark the first time golf’s premier distance event will be seen on network television.
The two-hour, live finale on Wednesday, Oct. 30 will take place under the lights and in front of a spirited crowd at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The pumped-up finalists will hit from a custom-made platform built into the speedway’s grandstands on to a Championship grid on the race track infield below. Bob Papa will provide play-by-play, Michael Breed, host of THE GOLF FIX, will offer analysis on the driving grid, and MORNING DRIVE Co-Host Holly Sonders will handle interviews. Art Sellinger, long-drive pioneer, two-time national long-drive champion and Long Drivers of America Chief Executive Officer, also will be on hand to provide long drive analysis.
"The rightful home of the RE/MAX WORLD LONG DRIVE CHAMPIONSHIP and everything associated with Long Drivers of America is Golf Channel," says Sellinger. "Long Drive is a true international sport and viewers from across the globe will gain an even deeper appreciation for the talent, dedication, and sheer strength of our professionals. These players generate the fastest swing and ball speeds in all of golf, a fact that leaves every level of golfer, from tour professionals to amateurs, in awe."
"As Golf Channel aims to cover all aspects of golf, long drives are some of the most intriguing and fascinating pursuits of golfers,” said Keith Allo, Golf Channel vice president of Original Productions. “Every golf outing and nearly every amateur foursome will have a long drive competition, but our unique coverage from Las Vegas of the RE/MAX WORLD LONG DRIVE CHAMPIONSHIP will look to take fans appreciate for the long drive to a new level.”
During Golf Channel’s coverage, viewers will see dramatic qualifying as a field of 192 hopefuls in the Open Division will be whittled down to the final eight finalists, as well as profiles of the golfers that compete and examinations on the science and strategies behind the long ball. Each 60-minute special will premiere on consecutive Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET, beginning this Wednesday, Oct. 9.
The schedule is as follows:
Wed., Oct. 9, 9 pm. ET
RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship – Qualifying
Wed., Oct. 16, 9 p.m. ET
RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship – Elimination Rounds
Wed., Oct. 23, 9 p.m. ET
RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship – Semifinals
Wed., Oct. 30, 9 p.m. ET
RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship – Finals (Live)
Two-time RE/MAX World Long Drive Champion Jamie Sadlowski made headlines recently when he broke Golf Channel's golf simulator with a massive drive that pierced the projection screen and its protective net. And he did it again months later with a 7-iron. Sadlowski also hit the longest drive ever recorded to win the RE/MAX WORLD LONG DRIVE CHAMPIONSHIP with a strike of 418 yards in 2008.
Golf Channel will integrate the Long Drive theme into other programming throughout the month. Instructional programs like THE GOLF FIX and SCHOOL OF GOLF will feature long-driving tips in each episode aired during the month, as well as dedicating an entire episode to hitting it farther. The shows also will welcome former World Long Drive Champions like Sadlowski and Joe Miller to share their secrets.
In October 2012, Long Drivers of America announced a new, three-year broadcast partnership with Golf Channel, which moved the RE/MAX WORLD LONG DRIVE CHAMPIONSHIP to the network after 17 years on ESPN. This annual world championship of long driving has taken place each year since 1975 and attracts competitors from all over the world. Participation in competitions has nearly tripled and prize money has increased five-fold. Finalists in the competition often have swing speeds of up to 150 miles per hour and can hit the ball more than 400 yards, which is more than 100 yards longer than the average PGA TOUR professional.
About Long Drivers of America:
Long Drivers of America is a dynamic golf event company that specializes in producing events for long drive professionals. The company is owned and operated by long drive pioneer Art Sellinger. Founded in 1995 and based in Roanoke, Texas, LDA is best known for staging the annual RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship, the premier event in power golf. For more information visit www.longdrivers.com.
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. Customers of participating cable, satellite, telco and other video subscription services, are able to enjoy 24/7 streaming of live Golf Channel content through GolfChannel.com and Golf Channel’s mobile application, Golf Live Extra. Golf Channel’s digital platforms are the leading golf destinations on the Internet, delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf, as well as services that connect the world to golf.
ABOUT THE LVCVA:
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is charged with marketing Southern Nevada as a tourism and convention destination worldwide, and also with operating the Las Vegas Convention Center and Cashman Center. With more than 150,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas alone and 10.8 million square feet of meeting and exhibit space citywide, the LVCVA's mission centers on attracting ever-increasing numbers of leisure and business visitors to the area. For more information, go to LVCVA.com or LasVegas.com.
Golf Channel Communications