World Long Drive has a new owner and has consolidated the sport of competitive long drive back into a single entity that will air a third of its 12-event 2023 schedule on Golf Channel.
GF Sports and Entertainment has purchased World Long Drive from Golf Channel and the Pro Long Drive Association, which had held the sport's world championship in the last few years. GF Sports and Entertainment, founded in 2015 by New York-based private equity firm GF Capital, owns and operates two ATP Tour tennis stops in the United States and the National Lacrosse League's New York Riptide.
In 2023, the reinvigorated World Long Drive will put on 12 events in the United States, with four of them, including the world championship, airing on Golf Channel.
“We are committed to growing the sport of Long Drive and making it a competition where athletes world-wide can make a living with this impressive skill set. With the acquisition of World Long Drive and the PLDA we look forward to expanding the tour, making it larger than it's ever been, not only domestically but internationally,” said President of GF Sports & Entertainment Shawn Tilger. “To be able to showcase World Long Drive in a five-year deal with GOLF Channel and the commitment of 50 hours of national television programming we know the fandom for the sport is just going to continue to grow.”
The season begins March 10-12 in Mesquite, Nev., at the home of long drive. The world championship, however, has moved for 2023 to the Bobby Jones Golf Course in Atlanta, Ga. -- a public facility with a community vibe and a reversible course. All told, World Long Drive will offer $1.1 million in prize money across its competitions in multiple divisions.
“To say I am thrilled for World Long Drive to be returning to television is an understatement,” said two-time world long-drive champion Kyle Berkshire. “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.”