Monday, June 26th, 2017


Multi-Year Partnership will Bring Sanctioned Long Drive Event to Johnson
City, Tennessee Region in Summer 2018; Part of Official 2018 WLDA Schedule

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 26, 2017) – The World Long Drive Association (WLDA) today announced a new televised event in partnership with Niswonger Children’s Hospital, an affiliate of Mountain States Health Alliance in Johnson City, Tennessee, which will bring an officially sanctioned WLDA competition to the region next summer (2018).

The announcement was made earlier today, live, on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive during the hospital’s annual charity golf event. A multi-year partnership will stage an event on Golf Channel in primetime, showcasing the top Long Drive competitors in the world.

“We are excited to be partnering with the World Long Drive Association as part of the Niswonger Children’s Hospital Classic,” said Alan Levine, president and CEO of Mountain States Health Alliance. “The Classic is the largest annual fundraiser for our region’s only children’s hospital, and we have appreciated the support from a number of WLDA competitors in years past. This new partnership is a terrific way to expand on those relationships and bring more visibility to both the children’s hospital and the WLDA in our region.”

“The outstanding work being done by the team at Niswonger Children’s Hospital makes them an exceptional fit as a partner to the World Long Drive Association and in bringing an official event to the Johnson City area,” said Phil Piazza, senior vice president of programming, Golf Channel. “Fans in attendance, along with those tuning in on Golf Channel next summer will have an opportunity to witness the electrifying atmosphere being displayed by the top Long Drivers in the world, as the event joins the growing list of official WLDA competitions being showcased live and in primetime throughout the year leading up to the Volvik World Long Drive Championship.”

This past weekend, Justin James claimed the title at the Bluff City Shootout (moving him to 5th in the World Long Drive rankings), staged as part of the 2017 official WLDA schedule. The World Long Drive Association continues building its momentum toward the Volvik World Long Drive Championship (Aug. 31-Sept. 6), highlighted by next month’s Mile High Showdown in Denver, airing live and in primetime on Golf Channel, Tuesday, July 25, from 7-9:30 p.m. ET.

The 2017 Open Division schedule consists of qualifying events spanning from March through August, with competitors from each event advancing to the Volvik World Long Drive Championship, which will feature a 96-man field competing for a $270,000 purse. The Women’s Division will feature a field of 32 competitors vying for a purse of $40,000. The event will return to WinStar World Casino & Resort (Thackerville, Okla.) for a third consecutive year, following a multi-year extension as the host site. For the full 2017 World Long Drive Association schedule, visit

The World Long Drive Association is an organization that brings together golf’s longest hitters from around the globe. Emerging as one of golf’s most popular grass roots competitions, sanctioned Long Drive events are open to amateur and professional golfers. With an Open Division, Women’s Division and Masters Division (Ages 45+), the sport appeals to golfers of all ages, whether you’re a competitor or spectator. The 2017 WLDA season consists of events across the United States and around the world, culminating with the World Long Drive Championship, Aug. 31-Sept. 6, from WinStar World Casino & Resort (Thackerville, Okla.,) where competitors will convene under the lights for the world title on Golf Channel. The adrenaline-infused Championship has been described as “golf’s greatest spectacle,” with competitors routinely hitting drives in excess of 400 yards.

Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla. Serving the most-affluent audience in all of television, Golf Channel – co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 and now part of NBC Sports Group – is available in more than 200 million homes in 84 countries and 11 languages around the world. Golf Channel features more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, including tournament action from the PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour, The Open, Olympics, and Ryder Cup, as well as high-quality news, instruction and original programming. Golf Channel Digital delivers unmatched coverage of the world of golf. Fans are able to enjoy 24/7 live streaming of Golf Channel content through Golf Channel Mobile and the NBC Sports App, both powered by Playmaker Media. In addition, Golf Channel connects the world to golf through a wide array of digital and lifestyle services including Golf Channel Mobile, a comprehensive app covering golf’s latest headlines, scores and analysis; GolfNow, the world’s largest online tee time booking platform and golf course technology partner, which includes the GolfNow Mobile App, featuring on-course GPS tracking, in-round scoring and game tracking;, the world’s largest golf course ratings and review resource for golfers, by golfers; a North American network of Golf Channel Academy instructional facilities; and Golf Channel Am Tour, the world’s largest amateur golf tour.

Located in Johnson City, Tenn., Niswonger Children’s Hospital is the region’s only children’s hospital. It serves more than 200,000 children in a 29-county radius in Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, Southeast Kentucky and Western North Carolina. Niswonger Children’s Hospital provides the region’s only pediatric oncology and hematology program, serving more than 300 children with cancer and blood disorders, and is home to one of eight St. Jude Affiliate Clinics in the nation. In 2016, the hospital opened the first-of-its-kind Shriners Hospitals for Children Pediatric Orthopaedics Clinic at Niswonger Children’s Hospital. The children’s hospital also offers more than 20 pediatric subspecialties, including pediatric cardiology, pediatric surgery, pediatric endocrinology and pediatric gastroenterology. Learn more about Niswonger Children’s Hospital at