Long Drive World Series Magazine: Issue 1

Page 1


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CONTENTS LONG DRIVE WORLD SERIES MAGAZINE ISSUE 1

THE STRETCH DIRECT FROM THE TEE LDWS – How it works… what are the rules? How do you win?; PLUS The Spaniard who hit it 904 yards; The current LDWS player who routinely breaks his graphite-shafts AND the Two-time World Champ who weighs less than 12 stone!

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8

FLASHBAC K T H E M I K E AU S T I N S T O R Y

Hagen, Hogan, Snead and Sarazen all queued up to play with him so they could see first hand what all the fuss was about. He single handedly pioneered what we now know as the Long Drive industry. He is Mike Austin, and this is his fascinating story…

IN PROFILE U N D E R T H E S P OT L I G H T

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Every contestant given the full treatment in order to reveal who they really are, what their intentions are, and most importantly, if they can burp on command…

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JOE MILLER THE TOTA L PAC KAGE It’s access all areas as we spend a week with World Champion Joe Miller and discover the extraordinary lengths he has to go to in order to compete. In the gym, at the breakfast table and on the grid…

04 05 LDWS ISSUE 1


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E D ’ S

recently bought myself a Cobra King F8 Connect driver. They’re great. You pair the driver up via the Arccos system with your phone and you can see how far and in what direction your drives went on every hole. After your round you can compare and contrast all your stats. But mostly, you’re just looking to see how far you launch that ball. How many yards you average. And then you realise that you’re averaging about 223 yards on a good day. Most of your younger and more athletic pals are averaging 250-260 and you subsequently take an absolute caning in the clubhouse, enduring an endless stream of hilarious golf jokes undermining your masculinity. But that’s nothing compared to the humiliation you’ll suffer if you try to tee it up with these guys. The Long Driver is a curious breed. They’re like small buildings with feet. They ‘kill it’ in the gym and consume a daily diet that would last the rest of us a week. Possibly two. These guys hit their driver over 350 yards on a frighteningly regular basis. In competition –primed, wound up, and with ‘that look’ in their eyes – they think nothing of smashing it over 400 yards. 2017 has seen wins for Tim Burke in United Arab Emirates in March; Emil Rosberg in London in

I

L E T T E R

July; and Ryan Reisbeck who’s victory in Portugal concluded the 2017 season. Two-time world champion Joe Miller finished second in two of these events and he’ll be desperate to get back in the winner’s circle in 2018. He’ll have plenty of opportunities as the Long Drive World Series spreads its wings to incorporate 10 tournaments in 10 different countries throughout the world. It’s going to be one hell of an adventure. Crucially, on any given day, all these guys have a chance, and what’s nice about this group is they don’t mind revealing their personalities. Compared to the pampered tour pro, the Long Driver has a pioneering spirit as they collectively seek to put Long Driving firmly on the golfing and, indeed, sporting map. Subsequently we found out some fun stuff in our player profiles. I mean, who knew that man mountain Scott Beaven’s favourite thing in the world is new socks? Or that his biggest turn off is people who open up a packet of crisps ‘upside down’… This, and other crucial information is revealed inside, including which animal every competitor could throw over a soccer crossbar. Also in this issue we bring you the fascinating story of Original Long Driver Mike Austin who blazed a trail for the sport in the 1950s. That, and plenty more inside. Enjoy! And drive safely….

TIM SOUTHWELL

06 07 LDWS ISSUE 1


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THESTRETCH 08 09 LDWS„ISSUE 1

S N A P, C R AC K L E, POP! Long Drive World Series player Lucas Dornan swings so hard and so fast that he routinely breaks graphite-shafted drivers in training

WAY T O J O E ! Current World Champion Joe Miller is recognised as the finest long driver in the event at the moment. Where does he get his extraordinary power from? Well, it helps being 6�4, 19 stones and having biceps bigger than Britain.


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THESTRETCH

D ID YOU KNOW?

A long drive contest used to be held at the Masters at Augusta National each year between 1934 and 1959. The final edition was won by the American pro George Bayer with drives of 321 and 304 yards before being replaced by the Par-3 Competition that’s still contested today.

S M A L L WO N D E R

10 11 LDWS ISSUE 1

You don’t have to be ripped or as huge as a house to be a long driver. Two-time world champion Jamie Sadlowski, for instance, is just 5”11 and less than 12-stones but can still generate a club head speed of 150mph!


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THESTRETCH

EQUIPMENT

Long drive clubs, which are always drivers, are different in many ways from consumer clubs. Until the recent club length limitation rules, the shafts were much longer than a normal 45 in (114.3 cm) shaft, sometimes exceeding 55 in (139.7 cm). In 2005, 50 in (127.0 cm) limitation was introduced (measured vertically). In November, 2016, the World Long Drive Association (WLDA) announced a rule change as it relates to club length that went into effect

immediately for all WLDA sanctioned events. The new rule states that all clubs used in competition must conform with the USGA® Rules of Golf (Appendix II, 1c), which limits club length to a maximum of 48 in (120 cm). The rule is upheld by the WLDA at all sanctioned events through the use of a CLUBLENGTH™ Ruler Measuring Tool that conforms to the USGA® method for measuring club length. So now you know…

TAKE FLIGHT In 2009 the Italian professional Emanuele Canonica took part in a long-driving event at Castellon airport in Spain and hammered a shot down the runway that eventually came to a halt a bewildering 904 yards away. And the best bit? It was into a headwind.

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BY GEORGE While Mike Austin’s legendary 515-yard drive in 1974 is still the longest drive in tournament play, there was actually a longer one just a year later when Australia’s George Bell unleashed a 550-yard cracker on the 6th hole at Sydney’s St. Michael’s GC. Sadly, it wasn’t in a PGA recognised event so the feat wasn’t recognised. For the record, George three-putted for birdie. Not often you say that, is it?


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RULES OF THE LO N G D R I V E WORLD SERIES

Grid fairway is 70 yards wide. All drives must finish within the bounds to count

Straight knockout tournament

You have 3 minutes and unlimited balls

At the end of the 3 minutes the loser gets one ball to beat the other’s best drive and if he beats it with that bonus ball it goes to sudden death until we have a winner. You can’t get disqualified in LDWS,the only thing is if you get injured then your opponent gets a bye.

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THE ORIGINAL POWER HOUSE Mike Austin was the guy who put Long Driving on the map. Well, they actually had to make new map when he started teeing it up, the previous one wasn’t big enough. Say hello to the man they called “the Leonardo da Vinci of the golf swing” W O R D S : G AV I N N E W S H A M

t’s September 25, 1974 and Mike Austin is playing in the US National Seniors’ Open at the Winterwood Golf Club in Las Vegas. Paired with the 1950 PGA Champion Chandler Harper, they reach the 450-yard, par-four 5th hole. Though the round is still young, Harper has already been surprised by Austin’s length off the tee and, with a tailwind behind them, he jokingly suggests that Austin gives it everything he’s got this time. Never one to back down from a challenge, Austin steps up and drills his drive down the middle. As Harper watches on, incredulous, the ball lands a yard short of the green before rolling fully 65 yards beyond it and coming to rest on the next tee box. It’s travelled an improbable 515 yards. “I hit it pretty hard,” Austin explained later. “It went up about twenty feet and instead of making a parabolic curve, it seemed to defy gravity and hold a line.” But his wife Tanya, standing by the tee, had a different theory. “It was like God held the ball in the air,” she said. As for Chandler Harper, well, he was just perplexed. “The damndest thing I ever saw,” he shrugged. A new Guinness World Record, Austin’s tee shot was all the more remarkable for the fact that it was achieved with a Wilson 43.5-inch steel-shafted persimmon wood

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16 17 LDWS ISSUE 1

driver, with a generous 10-degree face, and, unbelievably, a 100-compression Titleist balata ball. But the most astonishing thing? He had done it at the age of 64. Mike Austin had always been a big hitter, even if his unremarkable physique suggested otherwise. Born in Guernsey in 1910, it was there, in the Channel Islands, where golf first got its teeth into him and where the secret of his extraordinary length was discovered as a local professional passed on a snippet of advice that would change the very way he hit the golf ball. “He taught me one of the greatest lessons,” explained Austin later. “How to release the head of the club.” This seemingly insignificant little tip would come to define not just Mike Austin’s golf game but his career and, in many respects, his life too. When he moved to America as a teenager, for instance, his ball-striking even impressed Bobby Jones when the two crossed paths at Georgia’s East Lake Country Club and the young Austin creamed 300-yard drive after 300-yard drive away right under the nose of Jones. He would play with all of the game’s greats including Hagen and Hogan, Snead and Sarazen, and while his pro career never impressed anywhere near as much as


His favourite wager was his ÂŁ10,000 challenge, a contest wherein he would pit himself against all-comers. One drive each. Longest one wins the money. He never lost.


his prowess off the tee – his best finish was 37th at the Ontario Open – his reputation as one of golf ’s most prodigious hitters always preceded him. Indeed, it was Slammin’ Sam Snead that gave Austin his first set of steel-shafted clubs, telling him that he was “the only one who swings fast enough to use these.” Austin nevertheless took full advantage of his length, often turning to hustling and making so much money he soon became known as ‘The Golfing Bandit’. On one occasion he won $5,000 after he made a par playing with just a taped-up Coke bottle (just the 200 yards off the tee with that). He also won bets while playing left-handed and one-handed but his favourite wager was his £10,000 challenge, a contest wherein he would pit himself against all-comers. One drive each. Longest one wins the money. He never lost. What made Austin’s length all the more extraordinary was that it all seemed so effortless. No wild abandon, no brute strength or biceps the size of Boston. Just flawless fluidity, preposterous length and, incredibly, accuracy too. The key ingredient to his unique swing was something he referred to as ‘supple quickness’ or, in layman’s terms, the crucial ability to relax all the relevant muscles in order to achieve maximum club head speed. And what speed. At his peak, Mike Austin’s swing was measured at 155mph. To put that into some kind of context just consider that Tiger

Woods, when he was in his majestic pomp, only ever reached 123mph. Indeed, Austin’s speed through impact was such that he could even drive a ball through a phone book, such was his phenomenal power. But what had started out as a desire to eke out some extra length from his tee shots eventually became an obsession. After gaining bachelor’s degrees in engineering and physics, Austin repaired to Georgia Institute of Technology, earning a doctorate in kinesiology, or the study of muscle motion. It was another canny move. Armed with all the science he needed to back up his already respected theories, Austin’s coaching career took off as hordes of players, both professional and amateur, beat a path to his door. Seminars would earn him upwards of $10,000 a time and he would teach his pupils wearing a tight-fitting skeleton suit, just to demonstrate which of the muscles needed to be working most efficiently during the golf swing. Even into his 80s he would still be ranked among the Top 100 PGA golf coaches in the game, such was his reputation. Though he died in 2005, aged 95, Mike Austin still holds the world record for the longest ever drive in tournament play. His nearest challenger in the intervening years was Davis Love III who creamed a 476-yard drive in the fourth round of the Mercedes Championship in January 2004 – and that was with a better ball, a longer driver and 24 years less on the clock.

“The ball went up about 20 feet and instead of making a parabolic curve, it seemed to defy gravity and hold a line.” His wife though had a different theory. “It was like God held the ball in the air”

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18 19 LDWS ISSUE 1

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MIKE AUSTIN SWING SEQUENCE

DID YOU KNOW? During the Depression, Mike Austin ran a local golf shop in Atlanta during the summer. In the winter he travelled to the courses farther south in Florida and played big money games against vacationing gangsters from Chicago. After the first year, they wouldn’t bet against him so he found a set of left-handed clubs and played with that handicap. The next year he played one-handed. In the late 30s Austin moved to Hollywood and became a highly sought after golf instructor, teaching no less than Errol Flynn and Howard Hughes! Legend.

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JOE MILLER U N I T E D

DOB

HEIGHT

18|11|84

6’4’ | 1.9m

NATIONALITY

WEIGHT

BRITISH

120k | 19st.

ACTION Driver: Callaway XR Shaft: 50’ Fujikura XXX Flex Loft: 2O Clubhead Speed: 150mph Ball Speed: 225mph

FULL NAME: Joe Miller aka The Total Package BIRTHPLACE: North London LONGEST DRIVE: 439 yards in competition DAILY CALORIE INTAKE: 4,000 now but usually 8,000 BENCH PRESS: 180kg MARRIED: No not yet, but I may as well be CAR: White BMW X5 FAVOURITE OTHER LONG DRIVER: Tim Burke – he’s my boy MOST DIFFICULT OPPONENT: Tim Burke – because he’s my boy MOST MEMORABLE LONG DRIVE TOURNAMENT: World Championships 2010 & 2016 BIGGEST THRILL: Winning the Worlds BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Coming second to Tim Burke in 2013 BEST COUNTRY VISITED: All of them for all their own reasons (food, people, sights, courses, food, food!) FAVOURITE FOOD: Steak & BBQ MISCELLANEOUS LIKES: Tattoos, yoga pants, house music and fireball whiskey a perfect blend for some fun! MISCELLANEOUS DISLIKES: Snow, makes life miserable! FAVOURITE TV SHOWS: Sopranos is by far the best show I’ve ever seen. I watch it at least once a year! FAVOURITE SINGERS: Don’t really have a favourite, I have mixed playlists BEST FRIEND: My girlfriend – she’s super damn cute

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K I N G D O M

LONGEST DRIVE: IRELAND, 2005

474 0

100

YDS

200

300

BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON CAREER: My dad because he taught me everything I know today and I probably wouldn’t be in Long Drive if it wasn’t for him BIGGEST DRAG IN LONG DRIVING: The traveling mostly, but a bad grid is a BAD grid! PERSONAL AMBITION: To be the best at whatever I do, but always respect others PROFESSIONAL AMBITION: To hold as many Championship titles as my hero Jason Zuback IF YOU WEREN’T A LONG DRIVER WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’D BE?: Unemployed WHICH PERSON IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO MEET: Whoever is dating Britney Spears WHAT’S THE LARGEST ANIMAL YOU COULD THROW OVER A CROSS BAR?: I’d like to think I’d never throw any animal, let alone over a goal post, but if I had to choose I’d go big and say Elephant COULD YOU KILL YOUR OWN DINNER? I could kill anything and anyone when I’m hungry WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CARTOON? South Park WHO’S THE BIGGEST GOSSIPER ON LDWS?: Kevin Shook – He won’t mind me saying that YOU ARE PRESIDENT/PRIME MINISTER FOR THE DAY. WHAT ONE THING WOULD YOU CHANGE?: Speed Limits… I’d abolish them all WHAT WOULD YOU THINK IF YOU MET YOURSELF AT A PARTY?: I’d think ‘who’s this good looking guy right here?’ CAN YOU BURP ON COMMAND?: Can’t everyone?

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RYAN STEENBERG U N I T E D

DOB

HEIGHT

04|16|83

5’10’ | 1.75m

NATIONALITY

WEIGHT

AMERICAN

111k | 17.5st.

S T A T E S

ACTION Driver: Krank Golf F6.5 Shaft: Paderson Kinetixx Loft: 5.5O Clubhead Speed: 150mph Ball Speed: 225mph

FULL NAME: Ryan Steenberg BIRTHPLACE: Ithaca, NY LONGEST DRIVE: 439 yards in competition DAILY CALORIE INTAKE: 5,000+ BENCH PRESS: 450 lbs MARRIED: Yes CAR: Acura TL – Soon to be Aston Martin Vantage once I win all of the LDWS events FAVOURITE OTHER LONG DRIVER: All of them! Great bunch of guys. Enjoy being a part of the fraternity and teeing it up with my brothers MOST DIFFICULT OPPONENT: Joe Miller. Beat me straight up for the 2016 World Long Drive World Championship last year MOST MEMORABLE LONG DRIVE TOURNAMENT: 2016 World Long Drive Championship – Runner Up BIGGEST THRILL: Watching my drive in last year’s semi-finals roll 50+ yards to beat Justin James BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Not hitting my best ball against Joe in the final BEST COUNTRY VISITED: UAE – Dubai. Everything I love in life at 10X FAVOURITE FOOD: 50 ounce bone-in Tomahawk steak on a bed of fries MISCELLANEOUS LIKES: Tattoos, yoga pants, house music and fireball whiskey a perfect blend for some fun! MISCELLANEOUS DISLIKES: Snow, makes life miserable! FAVOURITE TV SHOWS: Sons of Anarchy, House of Cards, The Walking Dead, Game Of Thrones FAVOURITE SINGERS/DJS: DJs, I love house/electronic music. Stick me in the club and I am happy guy. I love Deadmau5

LONGEST DRIVE: MILE HIGH 2016

439 0

100

YDS

200

300

BEST FRIEND: My Son. Unconditional love and a buddy in everything. I never thought it could be so good BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON CAREER: My father. As a coach and mentor he always provides me with a platform of stability and strength going into and during competitions BIGGEST DRAG IN LONG DRIVING: The growth aspect. People don’t understand the sport yet and what it takes to hit with the best in the world. It will take some time before the sport is a household brand. We just need to be patient PERSONAL AMBITION: Live and love life. Pour inspiration into other people and serve them to reach their goals. Be a good father to my children PROFESSIONAL AMBITION: Win the world title and apex the best in the world to #1 IF YOU WEREN’T A LONG DRIVER WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’D BE?: Artist, sculptor, apprentice of the Master’s WHICH PERSON IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO MEET: Leonardo Da Vinci WHAT’S THE LARGEST ANIMAL YOU COULD THROW OVER A CROSS BAR?: Me. I’ll backflip! COULD YOU KILL YOUR OWN DINNER? Already did WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CARTOON? Road Runner WHO’S THE GOSSIPER ON LDWS?: Lord Lucas YOU ARE PRESIDENT/PRIME MINISTER FOR THE DAY. WHAT ONE THING WOULD YOU CHANGE?: If you want to be naked and free. Why the hell not WHAT WOULD YOU THINK IF YOU MET YOURSELF AT A PARTY?: Depends on how many drinks I have in me at that point CAN YOU BURP ON COMMAND?: I am an adult! No

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KEVIN SHOOK U N I T E D

DOB

HEIGHT

20|07|78

6’4’ | 1.9m

NATIONALITY

WEIGHT

AMERICAN

102k | 16.7st.

S T A T E S

ACTION Driver: Krank F5 Shaft: Fujikura XXX Flex Loft: 3.5O Clubhead Speed: 150mph Ball Speed: 225mph

FULL NAME: Kevin Shook BIRTHPLACE: Belevedere, Il LONGEST DRIVE: 488 yards DAILY CALORIE INTAKE: Depends on how much alcohol I drink that day BENCH PRESS: No clue. Haven’t done it since I was at high school MARRIED: God no! Never!! CAR: Nissan Altima… chick magnet! FAVOURITE OTHER LONG DRIVER: Any long driver who likes to party after an event MOST DIFFICULT OPPONENT: Someone who has more luck than me MOST MEMORABLE LONG DRIVE TOURNAMENT: My first tour win at the Mile High Shoot Out in 2010, beating Jamie Sadlowski in the finals BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: very year at the World Championships since I haven’t won one yet BEST COUNTRY VISITED: Malaysia. Joe Miller and I got to meet the King and Queen FAVOURITE FOOD: Cheesecake MISCELLANEOUS LIKES: Spending time with my kids and boating MISCELLANEOUS DISLIKES: Commercials, bills, alarm clocks, traffic… FAVOURITE TV SHOW: Saturday Night Live FAVOURITE SINGERS: Aaron Lewis FAVOURITE ACTORS/ACTRESSES: Will Ferrell

LONGEST DRIVE: EAST COAST CLASSIC ‘16

475 0

100

YDS

200

300

BEST FRIEND: My two pit bull dogs but both have passed BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON CAREER: David Mobley. He has taught me to be a better competitor BIGGEST DRAG IN LONG DRIVING: Not enough prize money PERSONAL AMBITION: Be the best I can be to my three children PROFESSIONAL AMBITION: To become LDWS Champion & World Champion IF YOU WEREN’T A LONG DRIVER WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’D BE?: Soft porn actor WHICH PERSON IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO MEET?: Will Ferrell - he’s the funniest person in the world WHAT’S THE LARGEST ANIMAL YOU COULD THROW OVER A SOCCER CROSS BAR?: Never played so I don’t know how high the crossbar is COULD YOU KILL YOUR OWN DINNER? Yes I kill fish WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CARTOON? Family Guy WHO’S THE BIGGEST GOSSIPER ON LDWS?: Not allowed to say YOU ARE PRESIDENT/PRIME MINISTER FOR THE DAY. WHAT ONE THING WOULD YOU CHANGE?: Free healthcare WHAT WOULD YOU THINK IF YOU MET YOURSELF AT A PARTY?: Finally! Someone cool to hang out with CAN YOU BURP ON COMMAND?: Sometimes

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MAURIC E ALLEN U N I T E D

DOB

HEIGHT

20|11|81

5’8’ | 1.7m

NATIONALITY

WEIGHT

AMERICAN

102k | 16.7st.

ACTION Driver: Krank Golf F7 Shaft: Reve Loft: 3O Clubhead Speed: 150mph Ball Speed: 225mph

FULL NAME: Maurice Allen BIRTHPLACE: Pine Hills, Florida LONGEST DRIVE: 488 yards DAILY CALORIE INTAKE: 4,000 BENCH PRESS: 325 lbs MARRIED: Unfortunately no CAR: BMW 645 FAVOURITE OTHER LONG DRIVER: Will Houge because he’s my Vice President MOST DIFFICULT OPPONENT: Everyone, the sport is growing and every competitor is bringing the heat now MOST MEMORABLE LONG DRIVE TOURNAMENT: All them are memorable good or bad BIGGEST THRILL: The biggest thrill always for me is just the opportunity to compete BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: How I hit the ball in Dubai BEST COUNTRY VISITED: Japan, love the people, food, golf and the views. But I love everywhere I’ve traveled FAVOURITE FOOD: Seafood MISCELLANEOUS LIKES: I just enjoy life and take things for what they are MISCELLANEOUS DISLIKES: No real dislikes I focus on the positive FAVOURITE TV SHOWS: The Cosby Show, Grey’s Anatomy, Blackish, Wicked Tuna FAVOURITE SINGERS: Jay Z, Kanye West, Outkast, Kendrick Lamar, Earth Wind and Fire, Frankie Beverly and Maze

28 29 LDWS ISSUE 1

S T A T E S

LONGEST DRIVE: PRAGUE, 2016

488 0

100

YDS

200

300

BEST FRIEND: My brothers Jamar Smith, Solomon Burgess, William Alexander, Rogers Hayes, Demetrius Taylor BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON CAREER: My coach T.J. Dorsey my uncle Julius Erving and my parents. They taught me how to be a champion BIGGEST DRAG IN LONG DRIVING: There nothing bad about long drive to me PERSONAL AMBITION: Immortality PROFESSIONAL AMBITION: Immortality IF YOU WEREN’T A LONG DRIVER WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’D BE?: I can’t see my life without long drive this is what I was destined to do WHICH PERSON IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO MEET?: Dead - Malcom X, alive - Louis Farrakhan because I love their thought process WHAT’S THE LARGEST ANIMAL YOU COULD THROW OVER A SOCCER CROSS BAR?: Anything 50-60kg COULD YOU KILL YOUR OWN DINNER? For sure WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CARTOON? Stitch WHO’S THE BIGGEST GOSSIPER ON LDWS?: I have no clue YOU ARE PRESIDENT/PRIME MINISTER FOR THE DAY. WHAT ONE THING WOULD YOU CHANGE?: I would change many things but the first issue I would address is homelessness and the hungry WHAT WOULD YOU THINK IF YOU MET YOURSELF AT A PARTY?: Not sure lol CAN YOU BURP ON COMMAND?: No

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JAMES TAIT U N I T E D

DOB

HEIGHT

5|01|89

6’3’ | 1.9m

NATIONALITY

WEIGHT

BRITISH

95k | 14.6st.

FULL NAME: James Tait BIRTHPLACE: St Andrews, Scotland LONGEST DRIVE: 419 yards DAILY CALORIE INTAKE: 3500 min BENCH PRESS: 140kg MARRIED: Not today... CAR: 1968 Ford Mustang FAVOURITE OTHER LONG DRIVER: Emil Rosberg MOST DIFFICULT OPPONENT: Will Hogue/Ryan Reisbeck MOST MEMORABLE LONG DRIVE TOURNAMENT: LDWS Windsor BIGGEST THRILL: Beating Tim Burke in my second ever long drive tournament BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Not winning the American Golf UK finals BEST COUNTRY VISITED: USA FAVOURITE FOOD: Pizza FAVOURITE TV SHOW: Suits FAVOURITE SINGERS: Paolo Nutini, Chris Stapleton and Kelly Clarkson FAVOURITE ACTORS/ACTRESSES: Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Jennifer Anniston, Martin Freeman, Megan Fox BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON CAREER: Lee Cox aka The Jedi Master of Long drive

30 31 LDWS ISSUE 1

K I N G D O M

LONGEST DRIVE: ESTONIA LDET 2017

419 0

100

YDS

200

300

400

500

BEST FRIEND: My dog BIGGEST DRAG IN LONG DRIVING: The waiting until the tournament PERSONAL AMBITION: To be the best I can be as a person on and off the grid PROFESSIONAL AMBITION: To be the world #1 IF YOU WEREN’T A LONG DRIVER WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’D BE?: A professional golfer WHICH PERSON IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO MEET?: Barrick Obama WHAT’S THE LARGEST ANIMAL YOU COULD THROW OVER A SOCCER CROSS BAR?: An elephant COULD YOU KILL YOUR OWN DINNER? Yes, absolutely WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CARTOON? Family Guy WHO’S THE BIGGEST GOSSIPER ON LDWS?: Emil Rosberg ;) YOU ARE PRESIDENT/PRIME MINISTER FOR THE DAY. WHAT ONE THING WOULD YOU CHANGE?: Stop banning long drivers from driving ranges WHAT WOULD YOU THINK IF YOU MET YOURSELF AT A PARTY?: You look like Andy Murray… CAN YOU BURP ON COMMAND?: Not sure....let me try........yes



32 33 LDWS„ISSUE 1


TOMMY HUG U N I T E D

DOB

14|02|91 NATIONALITY

BRITISH

HEIGHT

6’3’ | 1.9m WEIGHT

95k | 14.6st.

S T A T E S

ACTION Driver: Krank Golf Shaft: House of Forged Loft: 6O Clubhead Speed: 150mph Ball Speed: 225mph

FULL NAME: Tommy Hug BIRTHPLACE: Huntington Beach, California LONGEST DRIVE: 459 yards DAILY CALORIE INTAKE: 3,000 BENCH PRESS: 124kg MARRIED: No CAR: 2016 Ram 1500 FAVOURITE OTHER LONG DRIVER: Kevin Shook (Fireball shots… I’ll say no more…) MOST DIFFICULT OPPONENT: NO ONE! MOST MEMORABLE LONG DRIVE TOURNAMENT: 2016 Mile High Shout Out, my first win BIGGEST THRILL: Hitting a big ball when you need it BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Going OB at the 2016 World Finals BEST COUNTRY VISITED: I went to Canada when I was five, does that count? FAVOURITE FOOD: Steak MISCELLANEOUS LIKES: Beaches and hockey MISCELLANEOUS DISLIKES: How everyone is buffer than me FAVOURITE TV SHOW: Archer FAVOURITE SINGERS: No idea FAVOURITE ACTORS/ACTRESSES: Anna Kendrick

LONGEST DRIVE: MILE HIGH SHOOTOUT ‘16

459 0

100

YDS

200

300

BEST FRIEND: Core group of best friends because we all like the beach, golf and partying together BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON CAREER: Dad started me in golf and got me into this BIGGEST DRAG IN LONG DRIVING: TV exposure… PERSONAL AMBITION: Keep doing what allows me to travel and be happy PROFESSIONAL AMBITION: Win tournaments IF YOU WEREN’T A LONG DRIVER WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’D BE?: No clue,.. clearly not behind a desk! WHAT’S THE LARGEST ANIMAL YOU COULD THROW OVER A SOCCER CROSS BAR?: Joe Miller! COULD YOU KILL YOUR OWN DINNER? No chance WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CARTOON? Archer WHO’S THE BIGGEST GOSSIPER ON LDWS?: It’s a secret YOU ARE PRESIDENT/PRIME MINISTER FOR THE DAY. WHAT ONE THING WOULD YOU CHANGE?: I’d make it possible to drink beer absolutely everywhere WHAT WOULD YOU THINK IF YOU MET YOURSELF AT A PARTY?: Legend CAN YOU BURP ON COMMAND?: No

400

500


SC OTT B E AV E N U N I T E D

DOB

HEIGHT

13|03|87

5’9’ | 1.73m

NATIONALITY

WEIGHT

BRITISH

120k | 18.8st.

ACTION Driver: Callaway XR16 Shaft: 50’ Fujikura XXX Flex Loft: 3O Clubhead Speed: 150mph Ball Speed: 225mph

FULL NAME: Scott Beaven BIRTHPLACE: Reading, UK LONGEST DRIVE: 422 yards at the 2015 Worlds DAILY CALORIE INTAKE: Just had to google what a calorie is. Apparently, it’s something to do with food so I’d guess my daily intake is lots BENCH PRESS: I do know what a bench press is and I have done one yes MARRIED: Don’t need to be. I got the perfect girl and we are happy CAR: Shelby Mustang, Ferrari F40, Eagle Speedster or Lancia Delta Integrale, if your offering… FAVOURITE OTHER LONG DRIVER: Emil Rosberg. He has a bar in his back garden and he lets me stay there for free MOST DIFFICULT OPPONENT: I have had some fantastic matches against Maurice Allen. He always hits it great and is tough to beat. MOST MEMORABLE LONG DRIVE TOURNAMENT: 2013 World Long Drive Championship because I hit a walk-off world record to win at 427 yards BIGGEST THRILL: I drove a V12 Lamborghini on a track day and nearly lost it on a corner I took too fast. That was pretty thrilling, or terrifying, actually mostly terrifying BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Champions League Final 2008… we’ll leave it at that. (It might appear that Scott is a Chelsea fan – Ed) FAVOURITE FOOD: I’m going with beer… or pizza. Beer and pizza combo. Boom! MISCELLANEOUS LIKES: There is nothing better than sliding on a new pair of socks. MISCELLANEOUS DISLIKES: People who open a packet of crisps upside-down. Why would anyone ever do this!? It’s just wrong people, stop it FAVOURITE TV SHOWS: Top Gear, Friends, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Game of Thrones. Wow, I’m so excited for Game of Thrones season 7, I might actually explode

34 35 LDWS ISSUE 1

K I N G D O M

LONGEST DRIVE:

422 0

100

YDS

200

300

400

FAVOURITE ACTORS: Bill Murray is a legend. BEST FRIEND: All my boys I grew up with back in the Reading Holloway, Luke, Jack, Baz, Ticket, Ryan Holland, Big Dave, Matty G and Liam. Wouldn’t swap for anything BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON CAREER: My Dad got me into golf and took me every weekend when I was a kid. All my sporting achievements are down to him BIGGEST DRAG IN LONG DRIVING: Getting drawn to hit in the morning groups at 8am - you can’t drink too much the night before. It’s a real killjoy PERSONAL AMBITION: To never die. So far, so good PROFESSIONAL AMBITION: To win the World Long Drive Championships and British Open in the same year. That would be pretty cool! IF YOU WEREN’T A LONG DRIVER WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’D BE?: Batman. I look good in a cape WHICH PERSON IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO MEET?: Phil Kenyon (specialist putting coach). He would definitely be able to help me achieve one of my professional ambitions WHAT’S THE LARGEST ANIMAL YOU COULD THROW OVER A CROSS BAR?: Baby Polar Bear COULD YOU KILL YOUR OWN DINNER? Kill it with Ketchup every night WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CARTOON? Family Guy WHO’S THE BIGGEST GOSSIPER ON LDWS?: Maurice chats the most BS YOU ARE PRESIDENT/PRIME MINISTER FOR THE DAY. WHAT ONE THING WOULD YOU CHANGE?: I’d change the national anthem to Smack My Bitch Up by The Prodigy WHAT WOULD YOU THINK IF YOU MET YOURSELF AT A PARTY?: I’d think ‘what the hell?’, that guy looks exactly like me’ CAN YOU BURP ON COMMAND?: Yup

500



TIM BURKE U N I T E D

DOB

HEIGHT

13|10|86

6’5’ | 1.95m

NATIONALITY

WEIGHT

AMERICAN

106k | 16.7st.

ACTION Driver: Krank F6 TB Shaft: Fujikura Prototype Loft: 3O Clubhead Speed: 150mph Ball Speed: 225mph

FULL NAME: Timothy Patrick Burke BIRTHPLACE: Marietta, GA USA LONGEST DRIVE: 469 yards DAILY CALORIE INTAKE: 3,200 BENCH PRESS: 25kg for 6 MARRIED: Engaged CAR: Ram 1500 Limited Sport FAVOURITE OTHER LONG DRIVER: Joe Miller - a great competitor and good friend MOST DIFFICULT OPPONENT: Joe Miller because he pushes me to compete at my best. In Long Drive you can still win sometimes not having your best stuff MOST MEMORABLE LONG DRIVE TOURNAMENT: 2013 World Long Drive Championship because I hit a walk-off world record to win the championship at 427 yards BIGGEST THRILL: Winning my second World Championship in 2015 to put me in a very elite class BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Losing in the finals in the 2012 World Championship by two yards BEST COUNTRY VISITED: Dubai, because it was my first far away trip abroad and I won the tournament. Looking forward to defending for the LDWS FAVOURITE FOOD: Chicken MISCELLANEOUS LIKES: Surfing because it is great for your core and it is a great workout along with a lot of fun FAVOURITE TV SHOWS: Game of Thrones FAVOURITE SINGERS: Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake

36 37 LDWS ISSUE 1

S T A T E S

LONGEST DRIVE:

469 0

100

YDS

200

300

FAVOURITE ACTORS: Denzel Washington BEST FRIEND: Ray Allen because he has been there for me like a brother since we were four years old BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON CAREER: My family for pushing me on a regular basis to perform and train at my best BIGGEST DRAG IN LONG DRIVING: Practicing in the summer heat in Florida because I am dripping wet in sweat in 10 minutes PERSONAL AMBITION: To be the best father I possibly can be PROFESSIONAL AMBITION: To win the most World Championships of all time IF YOU WEREN’T A LONG DRIVER WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’D BE?: I‘d be working in Finance because that’s my background, and that is what I used to do before my long drive career took off WHICH PERSON IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO MEET?: Michael Jordan because he is the best of all time WHAT’S THE LARGEST ANIMAL YOU COULD THROW OVER A CROSS BAR?: Elephant COULD YOU KILL YOUR OWN DINNER? Yes WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CARTOON? Roadrunner WHO’S THE BIGGEST GOSSIPER ON LDWS?: N/A YOU ARE PRESIDENT/PRIME MINISTER FOR THE DAY. WHAT ONE THING WOULD YOU CHANGE?: Do my best for World Peace WHAT WOULD YOU THINK IF YOU MET YOURSELF AT A PARTY?: I am outgoing and fun to be around CAN YOU BURP ON COMMAND?: Sometimes

400

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38 39 LDWS„ISSUE 1


ILIJA DJURDJEVIC S E R B I A

DOB

HEIGHT

08|08|89

6’1’ | 1.83m

NATIONALITY

WEIGHT

SERBIAN

88k | 14st.

ACTION Driver: Callaway XR16 Shaft: 50’ Fujikura XXX Flex Loft: 3O Clubhead Speed: 150mph Ball Speed: 225mph

FULL NAME: Ilija Djurdjevic BIRTHPLACE: Hilden LONGEST DRIVE: 470 yards DAILY CALORIE INTAKE: 3,500 BENCH PRESS: Now 130 lbs (Personal best 140lbs when I used to play rugby MARRIED: No FAVOURITE OTHER LONG DRIVER: Joe Miller, World Champion and great sportsman MOST DIFFICULT OPPONENT: All of the LDWS Players. They are all some kind of Champions MOST MEMORABLE LONG DRIVE TOURNAMENT: European Long Drive Portugal Championship, because I won it BIGGEST THRILL: Winning BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Not Winning BEST COUNTRY VISITED: Russia, St Petersburg. You expect something else and than you see one of the most amazing places and meet amazing people (especially women) FAVOURITE FOOD: Asado (Argentinian Barbecue) MISCELLANEOUS LIKES: Magic because chics dig it and I like to see peoples’ reaction of surprise MISCELLANEOUS DISLIKES: Professional Liars FAVOURITE TV SHOWS: Penn and Teller Fool Us FAVOURITE SINGERS: Dean Martin, Chris Isaak, Paolo Conte FAVOURITE ACTORS/ACTRESSES: Michelle and Barack Hussein Obama

LONGEST DRIVE:

410 0

100

YDS

200

300

BEST FRIEND: The Showman always keep things positive BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON CAREER: My brother he sponsored my win in Portugal BIGGEST DRAG IN LONG DRIVING: Smacking golf balls and listening to loud music, because its something you never do in the golf world PERSONAL AMBITION: Be happy, Enjoy life and do what I love PROFESSIONAL AMBITION: Be Long Drives Champion of Champions and PGA Pro Tour Player IF YOU WEREN’T A LONG DRIVER WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’D BE?: Tennis Player WHICH PERSON IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO MEET?: Ron and Rand Paul, very smart and seemingly honest politicians AND THE RANDOMS: Megan Fox WHAT’S THE LARGEST ANIMAL YOU COULD THROW OVER A CROSS BAR?: Joe Miller COULD YOU KILL YOUR OWN DINNER? Already did WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CARTOON? Tom & Jerry WHO’S THE BIGGEST GOSSIPER ON LDWS?: Maurice Allen YOU ARE PRESIDENT/PRIME MINISTER FOR THE DAY. WHAT ONE THING WOULD YOU CHANGE?: Get rid off taxes WHAT WOULD YOU THINK IF YOU MET YOURSELF AT A PARTY?: WOW WOW WIHA CAN YOU BURP ON COMMAND?: No

400

500


40 41 LDWS„ISSUE 1


RYAN REISBECK U N I T E D

DOB

S T A T E S

HEIGHT

01|08|78

6’4’ | 1.9m

NATIONALITY

WEIGHT

UNITED STATES

113k | 17.8st.

FULL NAME: Ryan Reisbeck BIRTHPLACE: Salt Lake City, UT LONGEST DRIVE: 485 yards DAILY CALORIE INTAKE: Probably double of what it should be so 5,000 I’m guessing. BENCH PRESS: I don’t bench press anymore but I’m pretty confident I could at least 250 lbs MARRIED: Yes, to the lovely miss (sic) Sarah Reisbeck CAR: 2013 KIA Optima, I love how it drives like a sports car but didn’t cost as much. FAVOURITE OTHER LONG DRIVER: Wow, this is tough because there are so many great guys but probably Ilija Djurdjevic or Tommy Hug. They have such great hair. MOST DIFFICULT OPPONENT: They’re all tough but I’d have to say Ryan Steenberg always seems to bring his best against me. MOST MEMORABLE LONG DRIVE TOURNAMENT: I’m getting old so the LDWS Portugal Masters event is the most recent and I won it so I’ll go with that. BIGGEST THRILL: Putting it all together then seeing the numbers come up and being on top BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Denver 2017, missing the grid in the finals. It still haunts me because I knew had the distance if I just put it in play. FAVOURITE FOOD: Italian Gelato and Crepes or Crepes and Italian Gelato MISCELLANEOUS LIKES: I’ve really developed an affinity lately for relaxing on the beach with my wife and friends. MISCELLANEOUS LIKES: I don’t like things when they get complicated. I’m a pretty straightforward guy and like to keep life simple. FAVOURITE ACTOR: Matt Damon

LONGEST DRIVE: MILE HIGH SHOWDOWN 2016

485 0

100

YDS

200

300

400

FAVOURITE TV SHOWS: I still love Seinfeld or films/ shows from the regency period FAVOURITE SINGERS: love old Country Music but my favorite right now is probably Jamey Johnson BEST FRIEND: My wife Sarah, she’s the best. BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON CAREER: Bobby Peterson, my coach, club builder and mentor. BIGGEST DRAG IN LONG DRIVING: Being away from my wife and five kids but I’ve really enjoyed seeing the world. PERSONAL AMBITION: To be the best I can be and still be a good person. PROFESSIONAL AMBITION: To be the best I can be… and win all of the events I compete in. Is that too much to ask? IF YOU WEREN’T A LONG DRIVER WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’D BE?: An insurance and real estate agent… wait,… I am that too. A male hand model then. WHICH PERSON IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO MEET?: Tony Kornheiser WHAT’S THE LARGEST ANIMAL YOU COULD THROW OVER A CROSS BAR?: You’ve got to be kidding me, uh maybe a baby deer… I don’t know,… no one has ever asked me this before COULD YOU KILL YOUR OWN DINNER? Have done before WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CARTOON? Phineas and Ferb WHO’S THE BIGGEST GOSSIPER ON LDWS?: That’s easy... Tommy Hug. YOU ARE PRESIDENT/PRIME MINISTER FOR THE DAY. WHAT ONE THING WOULD YOU CHANGE?: Free Italian Gelato for everyone! WHAT WOULD YOU THINK IF YOU MET YOURSELF AT A PARTY?: Man, that guy is a big dea CAN YOU BURP ON COMMAND?: Of course, you can’t?

500


42 43 LDWS„ISSUE 1


WILL HOGUE U N I T E D

DOB

HEIGHT

27|03|86

6’3’ | 1.9m

NATIONALITY

WEIGHT

AMERICAN

99k | 16.5st.

S T A T E S

ACTION Driver: Callaway XR16 Shaft: Paderson Kinetixx Loft: 5O Clubhead Speed: 150mph Ball Speed: 225mph

FULL NAME: William Hogue BIRTHPLACE: Memphis, TN LONGEST DRIVE: 469 yards DAILY CALORIE INTAKE: Red Meat, donuts, and beer.......whatever that equates to BENCH PRESS: 193kg MARRIED: Yes CAR: Toyota 4Runner FAVOURITE OTHER LONG DRIVER: Tommy Hug, that ugly but still loves himself! MOST DIFFICULT OPPONENT: Whoever I’m up against. This sport has too many talented hitters to think any of them aren’t difficult MOST MEMORABLE LONG DRIVE TOURNAMENT: World Championship 2013. It was the most unique grid BIGGEST THRILL: Making the final 8 at the 2013 World Championships. It was my first year so it was nice to find out I had what it took to be successful BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Finishing 3rd in the 2015 Worlds. I was hitting the ball really well that year BEST COUNTRY VISITED: Bahamas. Where better to drink rum on the beach? FAVOURITE FOOD: I’ll go with steak and whiskey MISCELLANEOUS LIKES: Duck hunting! I love the tranquility and watching the sunrise. Plus duck is delicious MISCELLANEOUS DISLIKES: People who take life too seriously FAVOURITE TV SHOWS: Last Man Standing, American Dad, House FAVOURITE SINGERS: I don’t have a favorite. I like all kinds of music

LONGEST DRIVE: 2014 WORLDS

469 0

100

YDS

200

300

FAVOURITE ACTORS/ACTRESSES: Chris Pratt, The Rock BEST FRIEND:My wife. She’s awesome! BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON CAREER: My Dad. He has been there to help since day one BIGGEST DRAG IN LONG DRIVING: Ryan Reisbeck. Meet him. You’ll understand why. PERSONAL AMBITION: To win a World Championship PROFESSIONAL AMBITION: To win a World Championship IF YOU WEREN’T A LONG DRIVER WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’D BE?: Firefighter. I do that already so I would just keep doing it :) WHICH PERSON IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO MEET?: Tiger Woods. He’s been my favorite golfer for a long time WHAT’S THE LARGEST ANIMAL YOU COULD THROW OVER A CROSS BAR?: I don’t know how high a soccer crossbar is, but I bet I could punt a Chihuahua over it COULD YOU KILL YOUR OWN DINNER? Absolutely. I do that quite often actually WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CARTOON? Tom & Jerry WHO’S THE BIGGEST GOSSIPER ON LDWS?: I have no idea YOU ARE PRESIDENT/PRIME MINISTER FOR THE DAY. WHAT ONE THING WOULD YOU CHANGE?: I’d allow firemen to have a beer with dinner. Kidding. WHAT WOULD YOU THINK IF YOU MET YOURSELF AT A PARTY?: Damn, that is one good looking human being CAN YOU BURP ON COMMAND?: Yes

400

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44 45 LDWS„ISSUE 1


EMIL ROSBERG S W E D E N

DOB

HEIGHT

28|04|97

6’3’ | 1.9m

NATIONALITY

WEIGHT

SWEDISH

93k | 14.8st.

FULL NAME: Carl Emil Rosberg BIRTHPLACE: Gothenburg, Sweden LONGEST DRIVE: 456 yards DAILY CALORIE INTAKE: Much BENCH PRESS: To little to be mentioned, hahah MARRIED: Nope! CAR: Volvo V90 Cross Country FAVOURITE OTHER LONG DRIVER: Ohh, Hard one.. Every Long Driver is nice but the one that has helped me most is Maurice Allen MOST DIFFICULT OPPONENT: Depends on conditions.. Joe miller in downwind is problaby the worst thing that could happen to you... MOST MEMORABLE LONG DRIVE TOURNAMENT: Dubai LDWS BIGGEST THRILL: To win over someone with the last ball BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Going out against Burke in Dubai with 1 yard! BEST COUNTRY VISITED: New Zealand, wonderful nature and so far away from everything! FAVOURITE FOOD: Hard one, but a nice quality burger is never wrong MISCELLANEOUS LIKES: Gym, Friends, Fotball and all other sports as well. I have always loved to compete and workout MISCELLANEOUS DISLIKES: Traffic, things that takes too much time when it could be faster FAVOURITE TV SHOW: I don’t watch much teve but Youtube is good FAVOURITE SINGERS: Many... Kanye, Avicii, SHM, I mean everything it depends which mood I’m in

LONGEST DRIVE:

456 0

100

YDS

200

300

400

500

FAVOURITE ACTORS/ACTRESSES: Will Smith, Dwayne Johnsson, Kevin Hart BEST FRIEND: Got a few very good friends at home but Jesper, Philip and Ludvig are my closest ones. Then my famlily of course! BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON CAREER: Joe Miller 2014 at my first tournement when I was about 50 kilos lighter than him and hit the ball 80 meters shorter, lol BIGGEST DRAG IN LONG DRIVING: There is none!! PERSONAL AMBITION: Have a house by the water with my family PROFESSIONAL AMBITION: To be the best Long Driver in the world IF YOU WEREN’T A LONG DRIVER WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’D BE?: Something golf related WHICH PERSON IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO MEET?: Tiger Woods WHAT’S THE LARGEST ANIMAL YOU COULD THROW OVER A SOCCER CROSS BAR?: Hahaha I’ll say a spider COULD YOU KILL YOUR OWN DINNER? I think so WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CARTOON? Donald Duck WHO’S THE BIGGEST GOSSIPER ON LDWS?: Ilija everyday YOU ARE PRESIDENT/PRIME MINISTER FOR THE DAY. WHAT ONE THING WOULD YOU CHANGE?: Make Long Driving an Olympic Sport WHAT WOULD YOU THINK IF YOU MET YOURSELF AT A PARTY?: Ohh, that guy looks like me?! CAN YOU BURP ON COMMAND?: Of course


046 047 LDWS„ISSUE 1



THE TOTA L PAC KAGE That’s what he calls himself and, after winning the World Championships in 2016, no one’s going to argue with him. Actually, at 6 foot 4 inches and 180 kilos, no one’s going to argue with him very much about anything. But what does it take to be the Total Package? Quite a lot as it happens… WORDS: TIM SOUTHWELL

f there’s one thing you don’t want to be at the World Long Drive Series, it’s a golf ball. Think about it. There you are happily sleeping in your nice warm box when all of a sudden an extremely large and muscular dude with an evil look in his eye grabs you by the curlies and puts you on a golf tee. You look around and there is a seething mass of spectators chanting the name of your new master. Your relationship will be brief. Brief and extremely painful. You are the golfing equivalent of a Christian being thrown into the death pit for the pleasure of the gladiators. The gladiators in this instance are the Long Drive World Series exponents. Some people call them freaks of nature. Beasts. But they are gladiators. Golf ’s gladiators. Gladiators like Tim ‘Blonde Bomber’ Burke, Ryan ‘The Big Deal’ Reisback and Lucas ‘No discernable nickname’ Dornan. . These men are the size of small houses, pumped up on adrenalin. Men with thousand yard stares and one simple intention: To launch the poor ball as far into the stratosphere as humanly possible. This sport combines sheer brute strength with a hand-eye coordination most of us can only dream about. As these golfing gladiators prepare to wind up their crazylong back swings, you can only imagine what is going through the golf ball’s mind: ‘Did I really spend two years at Golf Ball Academy for this?!’

I

48 49 LDWS ISSUE 1

Every golf ball dreams of living a long and happy life, and to be used in several triumphant rounds. Maybe even be the hero and be a hole in one! You’ll be proudly put in a frame and displayed over the mantle piece. But this? One journey? One incredible, painful journey?! There is no justice for the golf ball. The long drive exponents reach club-head speeds of up to 150mph. If you’re the golf ball right now, you better just say your prayers and strap yourself in for the ride. You may never roll again after this but you never know, you might be the ball that goes furthest. The winner. That would be some consolation. Anyway, just close your eyes now and wait for the kaboom. Chief gladiator in the world of Long Driving is England’s 32-year-old Joe Miller (nicknamed ‘The Total Package’) who won last year’s World Long Drive Championship (no relation to the Long Drive World Series, though a lot of the same players participate in both), winning a cool $125,00.00 by propelling a golf ball 423 yards. To put it into perspective, the longest tour players on the PGA Tour average about 310 yards. What the Long Drive World Series strives to do is bring the best ballers from around the world and put them to the test in a 4 event series. The first went off with a bang in Dubai in March. For us mere mortals, smashing a drive 270-yards on a hot day with a big down hill incline would be tantamount to a miracle. But these guys are no mere mortals.


“My longest ever drive recorded in competition is 474-yards at the European Finals,” says Joe. “My longest drive not in a competition... 560-yards at the London Club.”


JOE MILLER A D AY I N T H E L I F E 08:00

A.M Joe wakes and eats first meal of the day – Protein heavy

09:00

Joe leaves for the golf course

09:30

Joe hits the range

1 1 :30

Joe eats a second meal of the day – Protein and carbohydrate focused to replenish lost energy sources

12:00

Joe heads out for 9 holes.

14:00

Sit-down meal number three. Carb-loading

14:30

To the Gym!

15:00

Joe drinks a protein shake, and consumes protein bars pre-work out

15:30

Joe goes through rigorous gym ‘warm-up’

16:30

Refuel with a shake and protein bars

16:30

Joe completes a full body work-out with major focus on upper body, and core strength

18:30

Another sit-down meal, protein heavy, steaks, other red meats

20:30

Final protein shake

23:00

Sleepy-time for Joe

MIGHTY JOE’S G R E AT E S T L I F T S

280

200

290

DEAD LIFT

BENCH PRESS

SQUAT

KG

KG

KG

A WEEK IN THE MUSCLES OF JOE MON

Chest & Triceps

TUE

Back & Biceps

WED

Shoulders.

THU

Legs & Abs.

F R I

Arms.

S AT

Day off/extra upper body session

SUN

Day off/extra upper body session

“My longest ever recorded in competition is 474-yards at the European Finals,” says Joe. “My longest drive not in a competition…560-yards at the London Club.” To put that into perspective, both those drives are longer than 90% of golf holes in the UK. Once they’ve launched their drive, the ball will travel at over 215 miles per hour. That’s faster than a Formula 1 car. It is a mixture of pure aggression and finesse. If you are off line with your drive it simply won’t count. You have to be a very decent golfer to make it in this business.

CHEST & TRICEPS SESSION • Warm-Up Weights • BENCH PRESS - 5 Sets 20, 15, 10, 8, 6 60kg up to 180kg final set • INCLINE DUMBBELLS - 4 Sets 12, 8, 6, 6, 80kg up to 120kg • LATERAL SIDE RAISES - 4 Sets 30, 20, 15, 10. 20kg up to 60kg • MILITARY PRESS - 4/5 Sets 15, 12, 10, 10, 8 40kg up to 120kg • TRICEP PUSHDOWNS - 4 Sets 30, 20, 15, 10 40kg up to 100kg • SKULL CRUSHERS - 4 Sets 20, 15, 10, 10 30kg up to 80kg

50 51 LDWS ISSUE 1

FAC T OR FIC TI ON? Joe often consumes 8,000 calories a day (more than 3x the recommended male adult daily intake) But if you’re not quite good enough to make it on the regular tour and you don’t fancy selling mars bars and giving lessons to flailing grandmothers for a living, you need to figure out another way. If you have the physical attributes, the Long Drive World Series gives you a way. Hitting the ball absurd distances is that way.

The Long Drive World Series works like this: The best long hitters in the world assemble at some fancy golf resort. The organisers put up grandstands and create a party atmosphere. Each player has three minutes to hit their longest drive in a specific landing grid. Those with the longest drives go through to a sudden death round, semi finals and final. Fireworks and music juxtapose every booming drive. So how do you get powerful enough to do this? Joe might be the Long Drive World Champion, but at 6 foot 4 and 265lbs, but he isn’t even one of the biggest guys out there. Getting into the kind of shape needed to hit a golf ball over 400 yards on a regular basis takes serious dedication. “You kind of have to live it,” says Joe. “I’m three hours a day in the gym, five, six, sometimes seven days a week. If I wasn’t as big I’d still be able to hit the ball a long way but to get to that real, top level, I think the gym and the workouts, that’s where they really start counting.” The Long Drive World Series is undoubtedly bringing golf to a new, younger audience. Golf is often perceived as stuffy - ‘boring’ to the uninitiated - and the sport has struggled to engage with millennials whose expectations of participating in and watching sport are not


FAC T OR FIC TI ON? Joe has hit beyond the 500-yard mark outside of competition necessarily mirrored by your average golf club or televised tournament. After all, golf is pretty much the only sport that when you attempt to join a club, the first thing they do is give you a long list of things you can’t do. Then, when you watch it on TV you are invariably seeing a stroke play event, which may or may not be close or dramatic. Millenials want a quick fix from sport and the World Long Drive Championships delivers drama and excitement in spades. When the guys crush it off the tee there is pandemonium in the grandstands. A lot of hooping, and hollering, chanting and goading. Wentworth it isn’t. So, Joe, let us in on the secret? Tell us mere mortals (who do a lap of honour if we nail a drive 250-yards)... tell us how we can be, well... like you... “If you want to hit the ball really, really long,” says Joe. “The first thing you have to consider

“You kind of have to live it,” says Joe. “I’m three hours a day in the gym, five, six, sometimes seven days a week””

is your angle of attack. We know that 85% of amateurs slice it. That’s largely caused by a negative angle of attack cutting across the ball. You want to be working on a positive angle of attack so that you clubhead is smashing up into the back of the ball and launching it high and hard. “Check your ball position is opposite your left toe (if right-handed) and get your spine tilt leaning back away from the ball with your driver as this will get your swing bottoming out just before the ball and smashing the skin off it. “But before you do any of that, you have to prepare. You have to train. Two things first. Don’t go in cold and have an appropriate diet to match your training. I don’t want to be responsible for physiotherapy bills everywhere!

“But do get as strong as you can to add some yards. Get in the gym and do all your power moves. Squats, deadlifts, bench press, shoulder press. Push yourself with each session. That will give you a solid power you can unleash on course.” FAC T OR FIC TI ON? Joe was once had his membership cancelled because he ‘hit the ball dangerously far’ Let’s face it, at 52-years of age and with a slightly dodgy back, I’m not really in the target market for Joe’s line of work. But I can do the diet bit... In order to create such drama you have to be ‘built’. Like all of his peers, Joe Miller eats for his country,


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“If you want to hit the ball really, really long,” says Joe. “The first thing you have to consider is your angle of attack”

consuming over 8,000 calories a day. His breakfasts are the thing of legend: Several plates of T-bone steaks and eggs are devoured each morning. Red meats and chicken form a huge part of Joe’s protein heavy diet. These red meats provide Joe with the protein required to help build his muscle bulk, and to provide him with his impressive frame, to which he accredits much of his success. Joe claims to have a superior technique than most tour pros. This he demonstrates to us on the range by hitting his mid-irons some 250-yards (mere mortals will hit a FAC T OR FIC TI ON? Joe often consumes 8,000 calories a day (more than 3x the recommended male adult daily intake) 6-ron 170-185 yards at best) as he works up to hitting his driver. The big-dog. His precious Callaway XR driver. When he does hit his driver you are immediately mesmerised by a) the sheer over-swing length of his backswing as the club head virtually touches the ground before beginning its journey back round his body to the ball, and b) the incredible sense of artistry. By the time he’s launched the ball over 400 yards in a dead straight arc, the hairs on the back of my neck are literally break dancing. And Joe’s exploits have attracted long-ballers from all over the world to get involved. Emil Rosberg, Scandinavian champion, who finished third in the first of this years events in Dubai is convinced the sport has a bright future. “Five years ago I realised I was hitting the ball pretty long”, says Emil. “Then one year ago I went to my first tournament and realised ‘yeah this is what I want to do’. The adrenalin of standing on the tee box and people screaming and shouting it’s incredible. I really think more people should try it out.” Joe Miller was a beaten semi-finalist in the Dubai event. FAC T OR FIC TI ON? Joe once broke five driver faces in one day “Dubai was a fantastic event,” says Joe. “It wasn’t great for me losing in the semis but what they’ve done here – the crowds, the party atmosphere – it’s just been incredible. “On the back of this event I can see some really good stuff happening. The guys behind it are ambitious, they want to push this on and after this event I’m convinced that’s going to happen.” The inaugural event was won by Tim Burke who bagged the lion’s share of the £50,000.00 prize fund after nailing what sounds like a rather modest 335 yard drive in the final. Next up is London in July, then Portugal in September, finishing up in the USA in December. The boys are on the road and coming to town. They’re breakin’ necks and cashin;’ cheques. Roll up, roll up, you don’t want to miss this.