US PGA Championship Long Drive Contest

By: | Mon 07 Aug 2017 | Comments


THE US PGA Championship is a little different from the game's other majors. For starters, it stages a long drive contest, which Dustin Johnson will be expected to win.

The long drive contest is held on the Tuesday of PGA Championship week, the busiest day for practice rounds in preparation for the tournament and runs throughout the day, and you can watch it on PGA.com.

This year's contest is being held on Quail Hollow's 10th hole, a 592-yard par five that is the longest hole on the course. For an eagle opportunity during the tournament, players will have to avoid a bunker on the left with a 300-yard drive. Most players will lay-up short of the green for a short wedge shot that should keep the ball below the hole.

You may be surprised to learn that the first PGA Championship Long Drive Competition was held way back in 1952 at Big Spring Country Club in Louisville, Kentucky.

The most notable winner was Jack Nicklaus, who won in both contests he competed in, in 1963 and 1964. Using a persimmon driver, Nicklaus belted a drive of 341 yards to win the first year and 308 yards in the rain for his second title. Famously, Nicklaus was awarded a gold money clip for his 1963 victory, which he has used for over 50 years.

"I thought it was exciting. I thought it was fun to do," Nicklaus said. "You would go out, warm up, you played your last practice round. It was a great gallery favourite. The people came out and they watched it.  You went out and saw big, long drives, things you probably wouldn't do in the tournament. I think it created some excitement."

 


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