Competitors are given six balls in 2 minutes and 30 seconds to try and achieve the longest possible drive. A “qualified drive” must land and come to rest within the grid boundaries. Minimum yardage for qualification is 280 yards (Open Division); 260 yards (Seniors/age 45+ Division); 240 yards (Ladies Division) and 200 yards (Boys and Girls Junior).
Qualified drives must meet the following requirements:
o A hitter's ball must come to rest within the designated boundaries of the competition grid.
o A hitter’s ball touching any part of the competition grid boundary is considered "in play".
o A hitter’s ball coming into contact with any obstruction or surface outside the competition grid will not be considered a qualified drive, regardless if the ball comes back into the boundary.
If a hitter’s ball touches another players ball within the designated boundaries both balls are considered to be in play where they come to rest.
There are three (3) stages of play in order to claim the PLDA World Championship in all divisions: Local, Regional and Championship.
Local Qualifying is the first step in most hitter’s introduction to the sport. Hitters pay an entry ($40) for each attempt and may make as many attempts as desired and as time permits during a local qualifying contest. Hitters are given 2 minutes and 30 seconds to hit 6 drives, this is considered an attempt. The distance for each drive in play (within the designated boundary and minimum distance) is recorded and the longest drive is counted as the hitter’s score. For every six attempts in each division one (1) player will advance to Regional Qualifying.
Regional Qualifying fields are derived from local qualifying events throughout the competition area (e.g. USA, Europe, Japan, etc.) and are not limited in size; however, PLDA membership (see below) and a regional entry fee of $150 for amateurs and $250 for pros is required in order to participate.
PLDA World Championship brings together all of the top hitters in the word to compete in this final stage for the title (128 Open, 32 Seniors and 32 Ladies). Hitters are grouped into pods of 16 players where they play in a round robin format consisting of 5 sets, taking the top half of the pod advancing to the next round which will follow the same format down until the final 16 players in the Open Division and top 8 players of the Seniors and Ladies Divisions. The remainder of the contest is decided by competing in a Match Play format. Play in this final grouping will be seeded based on the hitter’s performance from the previous round.
PLDA Membership is available to amateurs and professionals and must be declared at the time of registration prior to each competition. The Amateur Member fee is $150 and the Professional Member fee is $300 per season annually.
PLDA Tour Event Formats will vary based on competition host site and available time to complete competition. A format may be announced in and advance and fields may be limited while other competitions will have an open-ended registration process which may modify the type of format if needed. This would be a rare circumstance but limiting fields discourages play and the PLDA wants to encourage more players to compete in order to grow the sport.
Golf clubs used in PLDA sanctioned competitions cannot appear on the United States Golf Association (“USGA”) Non-Conforming List and must appear on the USGA® Conforming List available at www.USGA.org. In addition, all golf clubs used in PLDA competitions must conform with the USGA® Rules of Golf (Appendix II, 1c), which limits golf club length to a maximum of forty-eight inches (48”).
All tees must conform to the USGA® Rules of Golf (Appendix IV – Devices and Other Equipment – Rule 11).
OFFICIAL GOLF BALL
Hitters are required to hit the golf ball provided by the PLDA at all sanctioned PLDA competitions.
For full details on Official PLDA Long Drive Rules, download the PLDA PLAYER’S MANUAL