The World Long Drive’s latest expansion will see bigger purses, longer TV windows and more Bryson DeChambeau in 2023.
On Thursday it was announced that World Long Drive’s return coincides with a new owner: GF Sports and Entertainment, a global events and sports operations company. GF Sports and Entertainment acquired both World Long Drive and the Pro Long Drive Association (PLDA), meaning that the sport’s two central organizing bodies are now housed under one roof. In the beginning of 2022, DeChambeau was announced as the PLDA’s newest stakeholder.
In 2023, long drive competitors will contend for the largest prize purse in the tour’s history: $1.1 million.
GF Sports and Entertainment’s acquisition helped World Long Drive strike a massive new TV deal, signing with NBC Sports and Golf Channel for over 50 hours of coverage over the course of the agreement and 10 each year.
Bryson DeChambeau has been one of the sport’s largest traffic drivers as of late. Shortly after DeChambeau started chasing distance gains on the PGA Tour, he surprised fans with his interest in real World Long Drive contests. In 2022, the now LIV Golf member competed in the Pro Long Drive Association Championship and finished runner up. Now that the sport is being showcased on an even bigger stage, fans can expect to see plenty more bombs from DeChambeau.
“World Long Drive is exciting, challenging and fun,” DeChambeau said. “I started long drive to increase my swing speed and then I got addicted to hitting it farther and farther. I’m looking forward to qualifying for Atlanta and competing on a National stage in 2023.”
World Long Drive was owned by Golf Channel until 2020, when the network was forced to both discontinue its broadcast and and put the circuit up for sale due to pandemic related challenges. While DeChambeau might have been playing for fans in professional golf events, career World Long Drive competitors had to sit back and wait.
For World Long Drive No. 1 Kyle Berkshire, the latest announcement has been a long time coming.
“To say I am thrilled for World Long Drive to be returning to television is an understatement,” Berkshire said. “The sport and its athletes deserve to be showcased on this platform, and I am excited for all of us to deliver many memorable moments and storylines to the viewers over the years to come.”