It’s all go for January after the R&A and USGA published their finalised Rules of Golf. So what’s coming in? Steve Carroll outlines the changes.
American Golf crowns first National Long Drive Champion
At the American Golf National Academy Dan Konyk became American Golf’s first ever Long Drive Champion. Using a 9 deg Callaway Hyper X with Fujikura shaft and a Titleist Pro V1, Konyk hit an incredible 333 yards despite torrential rain, beating off tough competition from the other finalists.
The competition attracted more than a thousand golfers across the UK. Only 15 people made it through to the Grand Final, which was held at the American Golf National Academy at High Legh Park Golf Club on August 21st. The competition was hotly contested with many of the drives reaching world class distances despite the conditions.
After the knock out stages the finalists in the 3 categories; Over 45s, Under 45s and Ladies, had 6 attempts to stake their claim for the ultimate prize – a trip to the USA to take part in the World Long Drive Championship in 2016. All eyes were on Konyk who is a well known figure in the Long Drive community. So it came as some surprise when with only 3 balls remaining Konyk sat behind Over 45 winner Steve Kent. But Konyk had a little left in reserve and struck a huge 333 yard drive with his fourth ball, which ultimately saw him crowned Champion.
Konyk commented, “This is one of the most satisfying titles I’ve won. I was laid up with a cold when I qualified at my local American Golf and today the tough conditions and quality competition have pushed me all the way. I struggled to get loose early on but managed to rip one in the final that was just enough.
This has been a great event and I’m really excited to go on and represent American Golf and Garmin at the World Long Drive Championship.”
Daniel Gathercole, Head of Marketing at American Golf commented, “We always expected this event to attract some big hitters, but we hadn’t anticipated such a battle! We are really delighted for Dan and are sure that he will do a great job representing American Golf and our sponsor Garmin on the world stage.”
Results across all the categories were as follows:
Over 45s winner was Steve Kent of Caerphilly Golf Club using TaylorMade, SLDR, 9.5 deg, Fujikura Speeder 57 stiff, with 328 yards.
Ladies winner was Rebecca McGinley of Weirside Golf Club using TaylorMade, SLDR, 10.5 deg, UST Mamiya shaft with 279 yards.