Long Drive Competition to return at PGA Championship at Valhalla
By The PGA of America
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club will host the return of the PGA Championship Long Drive Competition, which originated in 1952 when the Championship was conducted at Big Spring Country Club in Louisville.
During a practice round on Tuesday, Aug. 5, all players will be offered the opportunity to hit one tee shot from the No. 10 Tee. The ball will have to come to rest in the fairway to be eligible to win the Long Drive Competition.
Awards will be given to the top three finishers with winners receiving a money clip inspired by the one that Jack Nicklaus received in the first of his two consecutive PGA Championship Driving Contest titles in 1963. That year, Nicklaus, using a persimmon driver and wound golf ball, hit a winning drive of 341 yards, 17 inches.
Additionally, through PGA REACH, the charitable arm of the PGA of America, the top three finishers will be provided charitable donations of $25,000, $15,000, and $10,000 respectively, with the funds split equally between the players’ designated charity and the American Lake Veterans Golf Course. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, the American Lake Veterans Golf Course is the nation’s only golf course designed specifically for the rehabilitation of wounded and disabled veterans.
“We’re reviving a PGA Championship tradition that will add fun for both spectators and players during a practice round,” said PGA of America President Ted Bishop. “It is only fitting that this competition returns to the city where it began and a course designed by one of its most storied winners, Jack Nicklaus.”
Harold Williams won the original PGA Championship Driving Contest in 1952, with a 329-yard drive. The competition was discontinued from 1965-73, before returning in 1974 as an open event. The last National Open Long Drive Championship conducted at a PGA Championship site was in 1984 at Shoal Creek Country Club in Birmingham, Ala.