South African RE/MAX long drive tees off this June

In a traditional game of golf, the object is to hit the least number of shots to complete an 18-hole course. However, in long drive, the objective is simply to hit the ball as far as possible, keeping the ball within bounds. 

While hitting a ball far is relatively important in the traditional format, in long drive it is paramount. In a sport where precision and power reign supreme, this June the country’s top long drivers will tee up against each other to see who will win the grand prize of R50 000, the title of South African Champion and an entry into the RE/MAX World Long Drive competition in Mesquite, Nevada, to be held in September this year.

“The RE/MAX Long Drive competition has become a firm favourite on many golfing enthusiast’s calendars because the format of the game is simple and packed full of action. The object of the game is to drive the ball as far as possible within the bounds of a grid – it’s about power and perfect timing. Each golfer is given six balls to drive, with only the longest drive counting towards the next round. Balls that are hit off the grid are not measured.  Unlike the traditional golf setting, long drive competitors are allowed to play a song of their choice while at the tee box, which also adds to the atmosphere and spirit of the event,” says Adrian Goslett, CEO of Southern Africa.

RE/MAX of Southern Africa has been involved with the World Long Drive event since it was brought to this country from the US in 1998. Goslett adds that the event has grown over the years, with more and more competitors signing up each year. “As interest in the sport grows we have seen the competition get much tougher. Currently the South African long drive record is 469.9 metres, which was hit by Nico Grobbelaar in 2012. Competitors know that if they want to take home the prize money, they have to bring their ‘A’ game on the day,” says Goslett. “The distances that these golfing strongmen can achieve with just six golf balls at each attempt are remarkable. Drives that were once thought of as impossible have become history. Where is the limit?”

The long drive competition is open to anyone, with entrants paying an entry fee for six shots. Contestants will have to drive their way to the final, with only the top five competitors from each of this year’s qualifying events going through to the final round which will be held on 7 June 2014.

This year the event will take place at a new venue, the Huddle Park Golf & Recreation Complex. Another exciting addition to this year’s competition is a Charity Golf Day scheduled for Friday, 6 June 2014 with a shotgun start at 11H00. All proceeds collected on the day will be donated to the RE/MAX Foundation.

This year’s qualifying events will take place on the following dates:

Wednesday, 4 June 2014 – Huddle Park Golf Club – 10h00 to 16h30

Thursday, 5 June 2014 – Huddle Park Golf Club – 10h00 to 16h30

Saturday, 7 June 2014 – Huddle Park Golf Club – 9h30 to 11h30

South African National Final – Saturday, 7 June 2014 - Huddle Park Golf Club - 12h30 onwards

The South African champion will be able to see if they have what it takes to be the best in the world at the International World Long Drive Championship held in September in the US. 

Competitors representing over 30 countries will take part in the event to see who will be crowned as the king of the long drive along with $500,000 in prize money. “The standard of competition as this year’s event will not disappoint as top long drivers duel it out for a chance at the grand prize,” Goslett concludes.

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