Ak-Chin Indian Community Brings World Long Drive to AZ!
AK-CHIN SMASH IN THE SUN AT A GLANCE
Location: Ak-Chin Circle Field at Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center next to Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino and Resort
16000 Maricopa Rd. Maricopa, AZ 85139
Schedule of Events
Friday, May 11:
Local / Regional Qualifying Day 1
$40 Open Qualifying (8 Swings)
Saturday, May 12:
Local/Regional Qualifying: Day 2
$40 Open Qualifying (8 Swings)
4pm – 5pm: Masters Division Preliminary Rounds (16 Players – Points Format)
6pm – 6:45pm: Masters Division Match Play
Monday, May 14
Open Division Preliminary Rounds (5 Sets)
8am – 12pm: Preliminary Rounds (Groups A, B, C, D. 16 Players – Points Format)
12:30pm – 2pm: Open Division 16 to 8 Round
Tuesday, May 15
World Long Drive Pro-Am at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes
9am – 11:30am: Women’s Division Preliminary & Quarterfinals Rounds
5pm – 7pm (LIVE on GOLF CHANNEL): Women’s Division: Semifinals / Finals (4 competitors) &
Men’s Open Division: Quarterfinals / Semifinals / Finals (8 Competitors)
Lodging: Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino and Resort
15406 Maricopa Rd. Maricopa, AZ 85139
Stay & Play packages available with Harrah’s Ak-Chin and Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club
Golf: Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club, #84 Use promo code “LONGDRIVE” and save 20% off of BAR (Best Available Rate) the week of the Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun at ACSD. Book at www.AkChinSouthernDunes.com
AK-CHIN INDIAN COMMUNITY BRINGS WORLD LONG DRIVE TO AZ!
Nationally Televised Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun taking place May 11-15.
What in golf is part home run derby, part rock concert, with a dash of the 16th hole at Waste Management Phoenix Open? The answer is World Long Drive. Thanks to the Ak-Chin Indian Community the World Long Drive Association is making its first ever tour stop in Arizona, bringing 400+ yard drives and national television coverage on Golf Channel to the Grand Canyon State.
The “Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun” will be taking place May 11-15, 2018, adjacent to Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino and the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle. The competition will take place on a natural grass “grid” (with stadium seating) that is being created and manicured, specifically for event. The final rounds on the evening of Tuesday, May 15th will be televised in primetime on Golf Channel, creating the fourth nationally televised professional golf event in Arizona for 2018 (following the LPGA, Champions Tour and PGA Tour, respectfully) and marking the first ever nationally televised World Long Drive Tour stop occurring in Arizona.
“I think most people have seen bits and pieces or heard of the World Long Drive events through the years, but with Golf Channel coverage and the Ak-Chin Indian Community’s support, this will truly be a spectacle in the desert in May,” said Brady Wilson, General Manager of Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club. “As cool as this event is to watch on television, I encourage everyone to come down and experience the event in person. It truly is the Home Run Derby or Dunk Contest of Golf and it is an incredible amount of fun.”
The event will feature a 32-man field competing in the Open Division based on World Long Drive rankings, along with a Women’s Division field of 16 competitors. Qualifying rounds will narrow the field to eight men and four women advancing to take part in the televised portion of the competition on Golf Channel. As part of the WLDA tour event festivities, there will be two-days of open qualifying on May 11-12 for a chance of earning a spot in the field at the 2018 Volvik World Long Drive Championship in September. Meaning, if you hit it far and want to drop down a $40 entry, you too can get your shot at qualifying.
In addition, a World Long Drive Pro-Am will be held on Tuesday, May 15 at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club where select guests will be invited to play alongside the WLD Tour professionals and have an up close view of what a 400+ yard drive looks and sounds like. Those interested in playing and participating in the Pro-Am are encouraged to contact Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, as only a select few spots for the event are available for purchase.
“The Ak-Chin Indian Community is excited to partner with Golf Channel to bring World Long Drive and the first nationally televised sporting event to Maricopa, Arizona,” said Ak-Chin Tribal Chairman Robert Miguel. “We think this event will bring people to our Community where they can enjoy our local entertainment options, including Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle and Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club.”
The Ak-Chin Indian Community is located adjacent to Maricopa, Ariz., a half hour from Phoenix-Sky Harbor Airport. Enterprises that make up the Ak-Chin Indian Community destination include Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, Ultra Star Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle and the Troon Golf-managed Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club. Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club is ranked as one of the Top 100 courses in the country by Golfweek and Golf Magazine.
Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino is undergoing a multimillion dollar transformation and expansion project including a new hotel tower, casino floor expansion and parking garage. The new hotel tower is slated to be completed in advance of the 2018 event.
“The creation of this new event in partnership with the Ak-Chin Indian Community will allow the World Long Drive Association to expand its television presence in 2018 by showcasing some of golf’s most dynamic athletes and personalities competing from an exciting venue in the heart of one of the game’s most prized golf destinations,” said Phil Piazza, Golf Channel senior vice president of programming.
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 5+), the sport appeals to golfers of all ages. The 2018 WLDA season consists of ten sanctioned events, five of which will be televised on the Golf Channel. The Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun will be the second event in 2018 to be televised nationally on Golf Channel. The season culminates September 1-5 for the Volvik World Long Drive Championship at WinStar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
“World Long Drive has quickly emerged as an exciting spectacle in our sport, with record viewership in 2017 driven by a younger audience gravitating toward the dramatic storylines and personalities playing out live in primetime,” said Molly Solomon, executive vice president, content, Golf Channel. “In two years, the number of televised Long Drive events has increased from one in 2016 to now half of the schedule in 2018. It’s a testament to the men and women making an impact on the growth of this sport, bringing a whole new appreciation to hitting it long.”
For more information on the Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun, visit http://www.akchinsoutherndunes.com/WLD/.