Organize or Volunteer for a Local Long Drive Competition
So you think you are long off of the tee? So what if you can’t hit the ball 300 yards straight and on a consistent basis. This past weekend I volunteered my services at my local driving to “earn” my privilege of hitting golf balls for free and testing out all our upcoming models. This year was slightly different from the last I volunteered for. It was not one of the regional qualifying sites for the nationally known Re/Max World Long Drive Championship or the like but a local event to find out who was the longest driver from our surrounding area.
Golfers are enamored with the long ball and those who think they are long rightfully want to carry that crown all year long. So if you are the owner of a local driving range and you have sufficient land, because you are going to need it, a long drive competition is a great way to generate interest and possible revenue for your business. Even for a local organizer of a large golf league or an independent clubmaking / fitting / repair shop, you could co-host a long drive event with your local range.
My sure to notify the local newspaper and radio station because they are all looking for new material to report on. Contact local businesses to co-op advertising so you have money to promote the event and be able to have a nice payout to the winner and possible runner up. Plus break it up into different divisions, possibly
like Open, Senior and even Ladies (if there is enough interest) to make it fair for a wider range of participants. You charge an entry fee for hitting 5 or 6 balls that all goes into prize money and the cost of running the event, plus participants can enter as many times as they want
As I said before, you need some land because there are people who can hit the ball a long way. You want to have a grid marked in 10 yard increments starting at 200 yards and as far as 320 yards (or more). A fair landing area would be 40 yards wide and properly marked so the participants know exactly where they are aiming for. Only those balls that land in the grid are counted.
It will be important to have volunteers who can accurately measure and communicate those results to the organizers. I volunteered as one of the grid monitors responsible for calling back on a two-radio to say if the ball landed in the grid, if so, what the distance was. In addition, you may have to chase after the errant balls. The participants at this event were hitting brand new Srixon balls rather than the yellow range balls so they were easy to spot. So you better be in decent shape, especially if you are out in the blistering hot sun for 6 hours like I was.
This year I fully intended to participate whenever there was a lull in the competition. I didn’t say win – trust me I am not that long. Just before I was headed for my car to pull out my trusty Dynacraft Prophet ICT driver and new prototype shaft to see what I could do, one competitor’s landed a 331 yard bomb and crushed any hopes of me contending. That drive would hold up for several
hours until the last half hour when one lucky (or should I say skilled) participants edged him out by slightly more than one yard.
Long drive events can fun event for organizers, sponsors and participates with some good planning and preparation. But if you volunteer for grid monitor duties, hang out on the left size of the 270 yard marker to limit the amount of running around. Oh, and one more thing, don’t forget to duck or get out of the way of the incoming balls!