Hall of Fame
Long Drive Hall of Fame
"Welcome to the PLD Hall of Fame"
The Pro Long Drive Hall of Fame preserves and promotes the history of long drive and celebrates its champions, there by serving as a vital partner in the growth of long drive globally.
Whether it be in Cooperstown, New York or in Canton, Ohio or at some other location, basically all of the major sports have a Hall of Fame for the purpose of preserving the history of their sport, as well as for the purpose of honoring those competitors whose achievements should be memorialized. Some of these Halls of Fame have been operated under the direction of the particular sports franchise, like the NFL’s Hall of Fame, while others like the Baseball Hall of Fame are privately owned and operated outside of major league baseball’s jurisdiction.
Long Drive is like so many other sports that morphed into being as a spin-off of a major sport, in this case the sport of golf. In the instance of long drive, GOLF DIGEST began running long drive championships in 1975 an adjunct to the PGA Championship, presumably in an effort to showcase the prodigious talents of the longest drivers on the PGA Tour, while giving amateurs the opportunity to take their beating against the pros.
LDA Hall of Fame
As it turns out, the amateurs and the non-tour professional golfers turned out to be superior long drivers than the tour pros and in the 1990’s GOLF DIGEST dropped out of long drive entirely. Fortunately, former two-time long drive champion Art Sellinger along with top competitor Randy Souza stepped into the void to not only keep long drive alive, but also to take it to the next level by founding Long Drivers of America “the LDA.” In addition to setting guidelines for long drive competitions and a world long drive championship, the LDA also in 1996 opened their LDA Hall of Fame and over the course of the next seventeen years a total of fourteen individuals were inducted into the LDA Hall of Fame. The individual inductees of the LDA’s Hall of Fame include several great competitors; including, Evan “Big Cat” Williams, the “Godfather of Long Drive” who not only won the event two times, but also showed long drive competitors that after winning championships they could make a lucrative career for themselves by conducting exhibitions and clinics across the globe.
Jason Zuback won a record five times with “Golfzilla” putting a name and a face on the sport in the mid-nineties, while Sean “the Beast” Fister not only garnered three championships he travelled around the world promoting the sport with big name sponsors like JLG and Dunlop Golf. Art Sellinger won twice, and built the foundation for modern long drive, while Mike Gorton won a record four long titles in different age groups.
Stacey Shinnick won the inaugural women’s championship, then took a year off to attend to her ailing mother, and then she came back to win two more titles, while Mike Hopper won a record three straight Masters Championships in a row, a record that has never been touched in the following twenty-plus years.
In addition two championships, Brian Pavlet made the TV finals eight times, while Scott “the Candy Man” De Candia won his second championship while on his honeymoon in the Bahamas, and Bobby Wilson won titles in three divisions. Fred Hooter was fifty-six years old when he won his first title, the Senior Division, and then he added two Super Seniors titles during the following years.
In 2012 the last two members of the Hall of Fame were inducted. Frank Miller box-ended a national championship in 1990 together with a Seniors Championship in 2007 and a Super Senior crown in 2010, while Pat Dempsey won several world titles; however, Pat is best known for having been the only competitor in the history of the sport to qualify to compete in four divisions in one year – Open, Senior. Super Senior, as well as the Legends division in 2011
These are the caliber of competitors who have in the past merited induction into the LDA’s Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, the LDA stopped their inductions to the Hall of Fame in 2012, and during the following years when the GOLF CHANNEL operated the LDA the Hall of Fame was basically ignored, and now that they have abandoned the sport entirely with no organization to takes its place there remains the possibility that the history of the sport will not be effectively preserved along with the possibility that individuals who are deserved inductees will not be properly honored. Facing this void, as the premier showcase for long drive PRO LONG DRIVE.com has chosen to establish our own Pro Long Drive Hall of Fame, and to that end we have taken the first step in that process by including the original LDA Hall of Fame members profiles on our site.
Our second step will be to appoint a committee of recognized long drive icons, to include Hall of Fame inductees as well recognized greats of the game who have won two or more world titles, to select designees to us for induction to the newly established PLD Hall of Fame.
More information will be forthcoming soon.