Author Topic: Hitter Update 2/19/2020  (Read 139 times)

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Offline supajsn98

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Hitter Update 2/19/2020
« on: February 19, 2020, 02:03:35 PM »
New update out with some additional details...

World Long Drive Hitters,

We are coming up on the first global Q-Series event in Thailand, the first Military Long Drive qualifier at MacDill Air Force Base and the first Q-Series event in Yucca Valley, California. This will be the first time to see several updates for the 2020 season including a new golf ball, hitting six golf balls vs. eight, a new Code of Conduct, a new World Championship location and more. Below are some quick updates for the season:

WLD Hype Video – we are excited to share a new hype video for the WLD season featuring the band “Oh The Larceny.” This video made its debut at the WLD Global Summit. It was posted a few moments ago on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. It can also be found on the Golf Channel’s YouTube site. We encourage you to share and tag @worldlongdrive!
 
Clash in the Canyon in Mesquite – we are pleased to return to a grid that ranks among the hitter’s favorites. This will be a non-televised WLD Tour-level event with full prize purse for the Open, Women’s and Masters Divisions. Registration will open on March 10. The final dates are confirmed.
April 15-16           Q-Series
April 17-18           Open Division – Tour Event (2-day format)
April 19                 Women’s & Masters Divisions
 
Tour Registration Process – Hitters will no longer need the fastest internet connection to get into WLD Tour events. All Hitters may pre-register and then entries will be granted to the highest ranked 52 Hitters based on the world rankings at the time of registration opening. The remaining two slots will come from a new “play in” process from select Q-Series locations. For example, two spots from Yucca Valley will earn a spot at the Clash in the Canyon. Hitters ranked 53rd or higher must also pre-register and they will go on a waiting list which will be viewable on the website. We will then fill the field based on world ranking going from 53, 54, 55, and so on, until the field is full. Any hitters who don’t get into the event will receive a full refund of their registration.
 
Q-Series Registration Timeline – Registration for all North American Q-Series events posted on our website will open on Feb. 26. The 8th and final Q-Series event will be confirmed in the near future.
 
Masters – there will be two Tour events featuring Masters this season – Clash in the Canyon and the ROC City Rumble – in addition to the World Long Drive Championship.
 
Anti-Doping – while I’m extremely pleased this topic has sparked great conversation, there are wildly varying rumors about the upcoming anti-doping program. To reiterate what I said at the Kickoff in Orlando, the education session with USADA at the WLD Kickoff was simply an initial education session. There is not a published timeline for testing, so any rumor you hear is false because an exact timeline has not been published outside of plans to begin testing this season. Our plan is to roll-out an online and in-person education program to put athletes and the sport in the best position possible to be successful. Last week, we had an operational planning session with USADA and we will lay out a full plan on what to expect in the coming weeks. In the meantime, simply familiarize yourself with USADA materials:
www.usada.org
www.globaldro.com
 
Top Flite Bomb – the new WLD golf ball will be offered at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Golf Galaxy and DicksSportingGoods.com. Most stores will have it March 1, with some individual stores carrying the ball now. In most cases, the golf balls will be $35 for a 24-pack, with stores having the flexibility for sales and promotions. We will hit the same ball for WLD events that is sold at retail.
 
Military Long Drive Qualifiers – a series of dates and locations for Military Long Drive qualifiers are now posted at https://www.worldlongdrive.com/2020-military-qualifiers/. We are pleased to announce the addition of Veterans to be eligible to participate this year.  The Military Long Drive series will serve as a qualifier for the Exchange Celebrating Service: Fort Jackson tour event at Fort Jackson, S.C., with the winner earning an exemption into the Open Division of the 2020 World Long Drive Championship.
 
New WorldLongDrive.com – we have launched an updated website with a new look. The site is optimized for mobile users as the first priority. For the best experience, please use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge as the browser, as Microsoft is longer supporting Internet Explorer.
 
Thanks to Trey, Welcome Doug & Maddie – we are excited to share that Trey Herring earned a great opportunity within Golf Channel to work on our Golf Pass team. It was an opportunity for professional growth and we are excited for him, even though it means leaving the WLD team. We also want to thank him for his passion and support of WLD! Doug Brown may be a familiar name to some of you as he has worked on WLD in its early Golf Channel days. Doug, along with Maddie Echelson, will jump in and support WLD from the marketing side. We will provide contact info for Doug & Maddie after we complete the internal transition.
 
See you soon as we start the new season!

Matt Farrell

Offline Bigmajestic

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Re: Hitter Update 2/19/2020
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2020, 02:36:14 PM »
Thanks a lot for the info its greatly appreciated! Cool to hear of a chance to qualify for the Clash in the canyon.

Offline supajsn98

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Re: Hitter Update 2/19/2020
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2020, 04:08:18 PM »
Thanks a lot for the info its greatly appreciated! Cool to hear of a chance to qualify for the Clash in the canyon.

I honestly feel that it was easier to get into the Pro level events last year because it was not limited to world ranking points. There were many hitters ranked outside of the top 100, even some that were unranked, that were able to participate in the pro events when they expanded the field to more hitters. Not saying they performed well in the event, but it was possible to participate. Seems like a step backwards to go back to the top 52 and then go in order from there until the spots are full. Yes, nice to be able to earn a spot from a previous qualifier... BUT what happens if you win the Yuca qualifier and earn a spot in the Clash in the Canyon. Unless you win that pro event you will not have enough points to be in the top 52 so it is not a guarantee that you get into another pro event all year and since you won the qualifier in Yuca you can't enter qualifier events for the rest of the season. How do you earn points the rest of the season or hit against quality competition?


Offline supajsn98

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Re: Hitter Update 2/19/2020
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2020, 01:13:35 PM »
Seems like they understand the concern most of us have had the last few years. This came out today...

World Long Drive Hitters,

Today’s update is more strategic in nature about the future of the sport and specifically the vision for world ranking points, sanctioned events and the World Long Drive Championship.

Where We Are Today

Today, we have an event structure and world ranking point system for all divisions that primarily targets the best of the best while serving as a direct pathway to the WLDC. To build the sport, we need incentives for various levels to create moving opportunities for a pathway to the top. Currently, there are few opportunities for Hitters to earn world ranking points and prize money outside the Tour events. Most global events don’t offer world ranking points because event organizers either didn’t request them or they didn’t feel points were accessible. This stifles movement in the rankings resulting in a Catch 22. How can someone get more points from the Tour events if they can’t get into the Tour events? This is a critical dilemma to the future of our sport. It won’t be solved overnight, but below is a structure designed to incentivize event organizers to offer points, attract athletes of all levels and create a more dynamic world ranking list.

World Ranking Points

In the updated World Long Drive Sport Manual (Section 1.17, page 14) there is a chart of the new global system for world ranking points for the Open, Women’s and Masters divisions. Event organizers will apply for world ranking points based on the strength of the field. The better the final field, the more points will be awarded. Similar to other sports, this will be a fee-based sanction program as there is value in these points for event organizers and it will also enable re-investment in the sport (see below). The new world ranking structure is based on a few philosophies:

WLDC: With the expansion to a 112-person field in the Open Division, earning a high finish is harder, so we increased the points to reflect that added difficulty.
WLD Tour: Tour events have also been updated be proportional with the WLDC.
Q-Series: We created more value in finishing in the top 3 in a Q-Series so the overall point system heavily incentivizes Hitters finishing high (along with the new Play-In incentive).
Global Events: Some emerging countries may not have a lot of ranked Hitters, so we created an entry-level way to earn points.
Xtreme Long Drive: world ranking points will be awarded to these events in partnership with Amateur Long Drive to stimulate growth.
 
Sanctioned Events (Open Division)

Awarding event sanctions goes hand-in-hand with the world ranking points. You will see this new strategy come to life with two events – the Bluff City Shootout and the Rockwell Blast – back on the schedule in an enhanced way. WLD is re-investing in key, sanctioned events to create more competition and prize money opportunities. We have specifically structured this to allow both top hitters and emerging hitters to compete in the event. Our goal is to stimulate the market for athletes, agencies or groups to host more events.

Bluff City Shootout                  June 20, 2020    Memphis, Tennessee (hosted by Spencer McDaniel)
Rockwell Blast                            Aug. 1, 2020        Salt Lake City, Utah (hosted by Ryan Reisbeck)
 
Here’s how it will work:

1 day event, 32-person field (registration information will be posted at WorldLongDrive.com in March)
20 highest ranked Hitters who are ranked in spots 1-52
10 highest ranked Hitters who are ranked in spots 53+
2 host partner exemptions
$500 entry fee
$26,000 purse paid out to the top 8; payment comes directly from the WLD/Golf Channel
World Ranking Points to be issued based of strength of field
We are exploring the feasibility of a financial model (entry fees / prize money) for the Women’s Division, as well as hitter participation interest to fill a field
 
World Long Drive Championship

Ultimately, the strategy above feeds into the future of the WLDC to support expansion to a 112-person field (Open Division). By growing events, we will create greater competition at the WLDC. We fully realize this strategy will take a few years to mature, and we could have a weaker bottom of the field in the short-term. However, we feel this step was critical in creating the long-term blueprint to incentivize global growth.

Please contact Anthony Newville at Anthony.Newville@golfchannel.com to find out more on these exciting developments and how you can help grow the number of long drive events.

Have a great season!

Matt