October 26, 2009–The longest drivers of the golf ball on the planet are going long in Mesquite, Nevada, a mini-golf mecca located 77 miles north of Las Vegas. The 2009 RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship, created by former Las Vegas resident Art Sellinger, is in full effect, with several divisions and special events planned. A special military long drive championship is being hosted by David Feherty in addition to Open, Senior and Super Senior division championship events. Mesquite is the home to six Las Vegas golf region courses–soon to be seven with the addition of Conestaga Golf Club, managed by Troon–including the award-winning Wolf Creek Golf Club.
Each year an excess of 10,000 competitors attempt to qualify for the RE/MAX Finals. These qualification events occur at approximately 300+ sites around the globe. Golfers go after their share of a $450,000 purse. North America is divided into 10 regions. All competitors who enjoyed success at the local levels advanced to the regional championship. The Finals are held in Mesquite and then nationally-televised by ESPN. Long Drivers of America (LDA), operators of the event, announced recently that ESPN, the Worlwide Leader in Sports, has scheduled a debut telecast of the 2009 RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship finals on Sunday afternoon, December 20. A 90-minute HDTV highlight package of power golf’s premier event will air from 1-2:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
“This is a tremendous time slot to showcase our marquee event,” said LDA chief executive officer Art Sellinger, citing the lead-in provided by ESPN’s award-winning NFL Sunday Countdown. ESPN2 will follow with a traditional Christmas Day airing for the 2009 RE/MAX WLDC finals at 2-3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. “We are extremely gratified by these programming decisions,” Sellinger added. “Between the airings on ESPN and ESPN2, we anticipate unprecedented exposure for our world championship.”
Mesquite has long been a chosen spot for golf vacations, and Wolf Creek Golf Club, a fantasy-like golf experience, is a featured attraction. Wolf Creek Golf Club is annually included in the "Best of" lists by major golf magazines and websites, and features stunning holes played amidst the southwest desert of Mesquite. Click now to view the official website of Wolf Creek Golf Club and to learn how to make your Las Vegas Golf Region tee times or golf packages for Wolf Creek in partnership with the Eureka Hotel.
Already this week, two-time defending world champion Mike Gorton led a parade of four elite power hitters who advanced to Friday night's match-play Super Division semifinals and finals at the 2009 RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship in Mesquite, Nevada. Gorton (323 yards) and Pat Dempsey (322 yards) advanced through the winner's side of the bracket. Joining them on Friday night at Mesquite Regional Sports and Event Complex will be loser's bracket survivors Bobby Wilson (319 yards) and Pete DeBoer (309 yards). The Super Senior Division champion will earn $20,000 and the runner-up $7,000. The other semifinalists will pocket $3,500 apiece.
Gorton and Wilson are members of the Long Drivers of America (LDA) Hall of Fame and former RE/MAX world champions. Gorton won the RE/MAX Senior Division title in 2000, then captured the Super Senior crown the past two years; Wilson, who is competing in all three RE/MAX divisions (Open, Senior and Super Senior) this year, won the Senior Division title in 2004. The Open division finals will also be Friday evening. The defending champions in each division are Jamie Sadlowski, Open; Dan Boever, Senior; Mike Gorton, Super Senior; and Ryan Hixson (Coast Guard), in the Military Division.