- Marco Rubio: U.S. at social, moral crossroads
- ‘We’re coming for you, Barack Obama’: Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL
- White flags baffle NYPD: ‘We’re lucky it wasn’t a bomb’
- N.Y. Gov. Cuomo’s office interfered with, pressured corruption commission: report
- Brit lawmaker: I would fire on Israel if I lived in Gaza
- VA apologizes to forgotten Marine veteran locked in Fla. clinic, forced to call 911
- U.S. social and economic trends on worrisome track, survey finds
- McDonald nomination unanimously referred to full Senate
- Chuck Norris honorary chairman of NRA voter registration campaign
- GOP outraged Obamacare investigators able to get coverage with fake IDs
Long Drivers of America: The bash brothers of golf
Question of the Day
SAN MARTIN, CALIF. (AP) - The passion for Aaron Mansfield became a pain for some Pennsylvania farmers.
Mansfield, one of the eight finalists for the World Long Drive Championship, found the perfect spot to practicing launching tee shots. The range went 250 yards down a slope, then up a hill for about 50 yards until it reached a row of tall trees. A drive would have to travel 340 yards in the air to leave the property.
That was no problem for Mansfield _ but it was for the farmers.
“They had to go through the fields to pick up golf balls so they didn’t get in the bales of hay,” Mansfield said.
The next stage will have a little more glitter.
Mansfield and seven others will compete on a makeshift grid at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. They each get six drives, and the longest shot that stays within the 50-yard wide grid claims the winner-take-all prize of $250,000.
Golf Channel is televising the final round live on Oct. 31, and then NBC Sports will have a 60-minute special in December. It will be the first time the World Long Drive Championship is seen on network television. Indeed, it has come a long way.
For competitors like Mansfield, the stage could lead to even great opportunities.
To watch these guys hit 400-yard drives _ a swing speed of 150 mph with 48-inch drivers _ is a spectacle. Whatever they earn in long drive competitions is nowhere near what they can get in corporate outings and clinics.
Jamie Sadlowski, perhaps the most famous of this current crop of bashers, does some 40 outings a year. Golf Channel has been highlighting the Long Drivers of America in October, and it invited Sadlowski and Mansfield to the Frys.com Open to play the pro-am with Peter Jacobsen.
“A big moment in my career,” Jacobsen said. “My driver got past his 4-iron.”
Sadlowski and Mansfield had to hit 4-iron off the tee because of a creek that crossed the fairway. Mansfield looked at the yardage book and saw the creek was 380 yards away from the tee. “The puke zone,” he called it, because that’s how far they typically fly the ball, and they had to decide whether they had enough distance to cover the water.
One of Sadlowski’s outings was in 2011 at Kapalua, when a tee was set up in the fairway of the 630-yard closing hole on the Plantation Course. He competed against Bubba Watson to hit tee shots toward the 18th green more than 400 yards away.
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- Democratic Sen. John Walsh plagiarized War College master's thesis: report
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Donald Sterling trial: Testimony ends as Shelly Sterling doesn't return to stand
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Tom Petty: 'No one's got Christ more wrong than the Christians'
- Hezbollah warring in Syria could join fight against Israel
- Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq