Local aiming for long-drive title

After finishing in the top five in last year’s qualifier for the World Long Drive Championships, Landon Oram is ready for 2015.

After narrowly missing out on qualifying for the World Long Drive Championships last year

After finishing in the top five in last year’s qualifier to go to the World Long Drive Championships, Landon Oram is ready to power his way past the qualifier this year and make it to the big one in 2015.

Oram, who turns 30 this year, graduated from Ballenas Secondary School in 2003 and grew up in Parksville.

He’s been participating in the World Long Drive competition for the last two years and is looking to break through and qualify for the World Championships in 2015.

“Last year I really saw what I could do against some good competition,” Oram said.

“Seeing how I compared against guys that have made it there and that have been ranked in the world, it really turned a light on for me. So I’m doing what I can to get to that next level and compete at worlds.”

To put things in perspective, Oram’s speed on his swing has gone from 120 km/h to the mid–140’s, which is quicker than two-time PGA Masters champion Bubba Watson and it’s all been thanks to his training with Dale Nagra, at Body Works in Parksville.

Having been a member at the gym for the last 10 years, Oram has really started focusing on training revolving around his long drive game.

“Since I started competing, the last two years have been directed towards that,” Oram said.

“We do a lot of power lifting, squats, deadlifts, Olympic lifting, anything to make those muscles stronger to allow me to hit the ball farther. We’ve been doing yoga too so I can keep up the flexibility.”

Since his training, he’s put on anywhere between 60 to 70 yards on his drive, bringing his average up between 370 to 380 yards.

His longest drive to date, either in competition or just a normal round of golf, was 396 yards at Fairwinds Golf Course in Nanoose Bay.

“It’s been great, he’s helped me out a lot,” Oram said.

“To see the results after the training is always a bonus. But the goal is to help me finish in the top two so I can qualify for the world championships.”

Last year’s qualifying round took place at Pheasant Glen Golf Course, but it won’t be making a return there this year.

Oram will now look to qualify in Alberta, starting in June.

“It was nice having it in our backyard but I’ll be heading to Alberta to try to qualify,” Oram said.

“Last year it turned out that all three of the drivers I had were broken too, not that it’s an excuse but I know what to look for before I head out there this year so I can avoid that.”

Oram currently has sponsorship deals in place with his trainer, Nagra, at Body Works and from the Whole Show Restoration, where he works as a project manager.

Anyone interested in sponsoring Landon, to assist with gear and tournaments, can reach him at 250-927-0296 or by e-mail at domer56@hotmail.com.

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