World long drive qualifier coming to Qualicum Beach

Pheasant Glen Golf Resort in Qualicum Beach will be hosting a RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship qualifier July 5-7.

Pheasant Glen will be hosting what may be the first-ever Island qualifier for the World Long Drive Championships. Above

Pheasant Glen will be hosting what may be the first-ever Island qualifier for the World Long Drive Championships. Above

So you think you can drive?

A heads up to all you heavy hitters out there: Pheasant Glen Golf Resort in Qualicum Beach will be hosting a RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship qualifier July 5-7.

A truly international event dating back to 1994 with local and regional qualifiers played out all over the world, the process starts in April and will run through to August culminating with the World Championships slated this year for Mesquite, Nevada (just outside Vegas) Sept. 19-27.

So how did ‘the Glen come to be the host we asked co-organizer Matt Leslie from Victoria.

“They were actually the only range we could find that would be suitable for the event,” he said, explaining “they’re long enough, it’s wide enough; they have a nice facility there, and (head pro) Gord Melissa was very happy to help us out.”

“It’s exciting,” he said. “There’s never been a qualifier out here (on the Island) as far as I know.

“I’ve been to many (qualifiers) myself,” he said,”and there can be anywhere from 20 guys show up to 200 hundred guys …we’d be pretty pleased if we get a hundred trys.”

Leslie, 25, first competed in the long drive event as a Junior back in 2006 and made it to the World’s in Dallas, and made it back to the world championships in Nevada last year.

The way it works is there will be three local qualifiers on Friday and another three on Saturday, with each session two hours long.

The longest four hitters of each session (24 in all) advance to the Regional qualifier, which will be back at the ‘Glen on Sunday where the top two from the Open division and the first place finisher in the Sr. division will punch their tickets to the World Championships.

Entrants can show up and try as many times as they’d like. Cost to play is $40 per try, which gets you six balls. Proceeds will go to help the junior program at Pheasant Glen.

“We have a grid, and we have guys out on the grid that will measure how far the balls are then call it back to us.”

The first sessions get underway at 9 a.m. and goes to 11 a.m. Sunday’s regional qualifier will be a double knockout format.

Long Ball Inc. is the event’s title clothing sponsor “and we also have some big trophies they’ve done up for us too.”

There will be an estimated 196 entries at this year’s world championships.

The Golf Channel and NBC will be broadcasting World Log Drive Championship live.

For more information on the local qualifier call Andy Robison at 250-510-1455.