Golf Channel has acquired Long Drivers of America, the organization which presents the World Long Drive Championship, for an undisclosed amount.
Long Drivers of America CEO Art Sellinger announced the sale in a Friday email to supporters.
“I am happy to announce that a new era will begin for both the World Long Drive Championship and the sport of long drive with Golf Channel’s recent acquisition of Long Drivers of America,” wrote Sellinger, a two-time National Long Drive champion. “Our LDA team has taken this championship and the sport as far as we can, and there is no better organization than Golf Channel to take the reins and move it to the next level as they add this property to their growing list of lifestyle businesses. I look forward to working with their executive team as a consultant on new programming initiatives involving long drive in the years to come.”
The Long Drivers of America was founded in 1994 as a spin-off from the National Long Drive Championship, created in 1975 by Golf Digest. In addition to presenting the World Long Drive Championship, LDA has presented over 100 LDA Tour events, a North American championship and other events.
Golf Channel began airing the World Long Drive Championship as a multi-part series starting in 2013, branding the October programming as part of “Long Drive Month.” For the last two years, the finals of the annual event were broadcast live on Golf Channel from Las Vegas, with eight contestants vying for a winner-take-all $250,000 prize, a controversial decision among long-drive veterans given the relatively sparse amount of money in the sport.
The 2015 championship, which runs from Oct. 14-21, has moved for one year to WinStar World Casino and Resort in Oklahoma, distributing the prize pool among the finalists.