The world final of this golf competition is being held on the Grand Strand this week – Myrtle Beach Sun News

The world final of this golf competition is being held on the Grand Strand this week  Myrtle Beach Sun News

The third annual Amateur Long Drive (ALD) World Championship returns to Barefoot Golf Resort in North Myrtle Beach on Friday and Saturday. The final is the …

Finals of the World Long Drive Championship at Barefoot Resort

Scenes from Barefoot Resort on Saturday as the three finalists compete in the second Amateur Long Drive Championship, which was created and is operated by area resident Jeff Gilder.

Scenes from Barefoot Resort on Saturday as the three finalists compete in the second Amateur Long Drive Championship, which was created and is operated by area resident Jeff Gilder.

The 2019 Amateur Long Drive (ALD) World Championship returns to Barefoot Golf Resort on Friday and Saturday.

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The third annual ALD world finals are being held at the Barefoot driving range and practice facility for the second consecutive year, and it is expected to have about 90 participants.

The finals are the culmination of a series of more than 40 championship qualifiers and leagues in the U.S. and Canada during the 2018-19 season.

Grand Strand resident Jeff Gilder is the founder and operator of Amateur Long Drive Inc., and he founded and operates Zeus Digital Marketing and the Myrtle Beach Golf Channel, which features Strand-related online golf programming and content. He was the founder of the iNetGolf web development and digital marketing company that he has sold.

The competition is for just about all ages and abilities. There are male and female divisions for Youth (13 and under), Junior (14-17), Open (all ages), Senior (44-59), Super Senior (60-69), 70-plus, Military/Veteran, and Adaptive.

“We have competitors from age 4 to 77 this year,” Gilder said. “There’s a division for everyone, regardless of age and ability.”

Strand visitors and residents can still qualify for the finals through a Last Chance Qualifier on Thursday at Barefoot. Several competitors from that event will advance to the world championship the following day. Participants can register at the site or online for the qualifier, which begins at 10 a.m. For more information, visit the ALD website at amateurlongdrive.com.

The new 2019-20 season begins Sept. 1 and significant growth is planned that includes doubling the number of tournaments across the U.S. and Canada and adding more countries. Competitions in India, South America and Mexico are planned.

“Our largest division is the open men’s division,” Gilder said. “Many of those guys have aspirations for professional long drive, and will use ALD to work on their game. But, many of our hitters just enjoy the challenge to compete against someone of their own skill level.

“There’s nothing like getting on the tee box with only one goal: to hit the ball as far as possible with loud music and screaming fans in the background. It is exciting and extremely competitive.”

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