Prize money for World Long Drive Championship is $400,000 in 2023. The winner of the event will take away $50,000 as a cash prize with the championship belt.
The annual competition has been held since 1974 with Jim Dent winning the inaugural title and the year after that. The Senior division (Masters) began in 1996 and the Women's division was started in 2000.
The tour has four divisions which the players are divided into:
- Open Division (18+)
- Senior or Masters (45+)
The tour has been gaining quite a lot of attention in recent years and has been increasing its popularity in the world of golf. It has attracted Bryson DeChambeau who has found the tour exciting, challenging, and fun.
It is not an easy task to continuously hit the golf ball over 400 yards or more and these athletes have been crossing that mark frequently. Jack Smith won the WLD Kingsport (August 26-28) with a longest distance of 403 yards.
The 2023 tour has reached its latter stage and the most awaited event that will decide the world champion is around the corner. There is only one major event of the tour remaining before the ultimate event.
World Long Drive Championship Purse
The purse for the World Long Drive Championship in 2023 is 400 thousand USD. The athletes will be battling for a $50,000 cash prize as the winner's share.
The WLD tour has a total purse of $1.1 million in 2023 where the long drivers will compete and various events throughout the year to earn the prize money. This is the largest purse in its history.
Out of the $400,000 of total prize money, the 2022 PLDA World Champion Martin Borgmeier had a winner's share of $50,000. Although the 2021 event had a lower purse, the winner's share was the same. The event also had a payout of $15,600 as a performance bonus.
In late 2022, GF Sports and Entertainment acquired both PLDA and World Long Drive which saw the two bodies merging and being known as the World Long Drive since early 2023. The merger and expansion have resulted in the largest purse and will keep on getting bigger and better in the future.
World Long Drive Schedule 2023
World long drive schedule for the remainder of the season will head to the west coast in Oceanside, CA, for the Senior World Championship starting on September 29.
2023 WLD Oceanside
The 2023 WLD Oceanside will be played at the SoCal Sports Complex where the Open Division, Senior Division, and Women's Division will compete in the 3-day tournament.
Although all three divisions will be competing in the event, the tournament will be host to the Senior World Championship. The event will be one of the major events for the Open and Women's divisions.
The Open division will have a pool of 64 players further divided into 4 groups of 16 each. Each group will have 8 hitters advancing to the next round.
The Senior division will have 36 long drivers divided into four groups of 9 each. The top 4 from each group advance. The Women's division will have 18 players and will be divided into two groups. The top 4 advance to the quarterfinals.
September 29, Friday
Open Division Round 1
- Group 1 (9 am - 10:30 am)
- Group 2 (10:30 am - 12 pm)
- Group 3 (1 pm - 2:30 pm)
- Group 4 (2:30 pm - 4 pm)
September 30, Saturday
Senior Division Round 1
- Group 1 (8 am - 9 am)
- Group 2 (9 am - 10 pm)
- Group 3 (10 am - 11 am)
- Group 4 (11 am - 12 pm)
Open Division Round 2
- Group 1 (1 pm - 2:30 pm)
- Group 2 (2:30 - 4 pm)
October 1, Sunday
Women's Division Round 1
- Group 1 (19 am - 10 am)
- Group 2 (10 am - 11 am)
- Quarterfinals / Semifinals / Finals (11 am - 11:30 am)
Senior Division Round 2
- Round of 16 / Quarterfinals / Semifinals / Finals (12:30 pm - 2:30 pm)
- Round of 16 / Quarterfinals / Semifinals / Finals (3 pm - 4 pm)
WLD Celebrity ProAm
In between the Senior championship and the WLD championship, the Celebrity ProAm has been scheduled for October 21. It will be a single-day event and will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, as a preview for the main event that is scheduled in the same region.
World Long Drive Championship
World Long Drive Championship 2023 will be held at Bobby Jones Golf Course in Atlanta, Georgia from October 18 to 22 for a total purse money of $400,000.
The event will have both the open and women's divisions competing in the five-day tournament to adjudge the world champion of 2023.
The final event of the year for the long drivers and the most important event. The hitters will all be aiming to hit big to take home the championship belt along with the cash prize.
The final event will have 128 qualifying spots in the open division with athletes trying their best to make the main field. The eight qualifying North American events (Regional Qualifier) will fill 40 of the 128 spots for the World Championship.
How To Watch World Long Drive Championship 2023?
The World Long Drive Championship 2023 will be aired live on the GOLF Channel by NBC Sports. The channel will cover 50 hours with 10 aired annually.
Golf Channel will be the home to the WLD Championship since GF Sports and Entertainment acquired both the bodies. They have secured a massive TV deal with NBC Sports. The agreement between the two has resulted in 50 hours of screen time. 10 hours of live coverage will be done each year.
The events that will be televised in 2023 are:
- 2023 WLD Oceanside (September 29 - October 1)
- WLD Celebrity ProAm (October 21)
- WLD Championship (October 22)
The live coverage of the events means that fans will now be able to enjoy their favorite golfers hitting long drives to be crowned world champions. In addition to the TV broadcast, the events can also be streamed on their YouTube channel.
You can also watch the championship along with your friends and family by being present in the venue itself. All the action can be watched live by buying tickets to the WLD championship at Bobby Jones Golf Course.
The tickets are currently being sold at $27.25 ($25.00 + $2.25) for a single ticket. The ticket type is of an Adult General Admission and is available for all five dates (October 18-22).
World Long Drive Champions By Year
|Kyle Berkshire||2019, 2020, 2021|
|Joe Miller||2010, 2016|
|Tim Burke||2013, 2015|
|Carl Wolter||2002, 2011|
|Jamie Sadlowski||2008, 2009|
|Jason Zuback||1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2006|
|Sean Fister||1995, 2001, 2005|
|Art Sellinger||1986, 1991|
|Scott DeCandia||1980, 1989|
|Andy Franks||1979, 1982|
|Evan Williams||1976, 1977|
|Jim Dent||1974, 1975|
World Long Drive champions considered the most successful is Jason Zuback who has won the competition five times. It is also the most wins in history.
Kyle Berkshire has won three consecutive championships from 2019-2021. Sean Fister has also won the competition thrice in his career. Bryson DeChambeau has been involved in the events since 2022 and finished second. He is among the favorites in 2023 alongside Berkshire.
In the Senior division, Eddie Fernandes is the player to look out for having won the championship on two occasions (2018, 2022). In the women's division, Sandra Carlborg from Sweden is the most successful hitter having won the competition five times (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017)