… If you are watching a live long-drive competition telecast and you happen to notice a large contingent of paramedics in uniform along with a brigade of geared-up firefighters, don’t be alarmed. There isn’t any fire, and no one at the event needs emergency medical treatment. These folks are just first responders from that particular city who have come out to the event to cheer-on one of their own… Will Hogue
You see, Will is one of them. He works as a paramedic and firefighter for the Germantown Fire Department in his home state of Tennessee. During the days leading up to any particular long-drive event or world championship, while other long-drivers are getting-in their practice and getting their swing and their strategy down pat, not to mention getting rested-up for a grueling two-or three-day competition, Will Hogue is on-the-job, possibly working the graveyard shift, answering calls in the middle of the night to either put-out fires or to give help to people who are in desperate need of his assistance.
So when a TV Analyst asks Will about the pressure of being on the tee box at a major long-drive tour event or world championship, Will can straight-faced answer with all sincerity that the pressure of being on the tee box is minimal when you compare that to the pressure to doing what is needed to try and save someone’s life with the clock ticking away.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that Will doesn’t bring an enormous amount of passion to the sport. At last year’s world long-drive championship when he needed a 400-yard drive to make the TV Final Eight Will bombed a ball that easily flew past that 400-yard mark only to kick directly right and then steadily roll right until it went out of bounds just past the 410-yard marker. Will stood in grim silence for a few moments without complaint, but as he departed the tee box stage, he held the driver in front of him for a moment, and with a simple flick of his wrists he snapped the XXXX-Flex shaft before walking disconsolately out into the darkness.
Like so many long-drivers Will honed his athletic skills in baseball as a power hitting outfielder on the Austin Peay University Governors in his home state of Tennessee where he led the team in home runs in his junior year and again in his senior year. Will says that the strong and fast hip movement and the quick wrists used to hit home runs translate well into powering golf balls out into the stratosphere…. And if his 6’3” and 220-pound stature isn’t enough, the GOLF CHANNEL’s long-drive TV Analyst Art Sellinger describes Will as being “country strong.”
Will games a Paderson XXX-flex shaft along with a CALLAWAY 5.5* loft driver head, and like so many other top performers he gets instruction from Bobby Peterson at the ONE STOP POWER SHOP, which sponsors the PLDA Professional Long-Drivers Tour.
Will began his long-drive career as a wild swinger; however, he honed those skills rapidly such that he made the TV Final Eight at the 2013 World Long Drive Championship, which was held at the Las Vegas International Race Speedway. Will made it into the Semi-Finals and but for a loss to eventual champion Tim Burke, Will might have gone all the way.
Will followed with trips to the TV Final Eight in 2015, 2017, and 2018 with his best year being 2018 season when he dominated the long-drive tour by winning three events, while also winning a major international event. Unfortunately, Will fell short at the 2018 championship where he lost in the quarter-finals to Justin Moose by just one yard.
Based upon his multiple tour event wins along with his four trips to the TV Final Eight during the past six years, most knowledgeable observers consider Will Hogue to be by-far the best of the current long-drivers who have not won a world long-drive championship.
Putting those thoughts aside, just like our first responders who seem to never get tired, and who refuse to get discouraged or to give-up on the task at hand, Will Hogue has rededicated himself to the sport of long-drive, and he recently took a 2nd Place finish (to Justin James) at the third PLDA Professional Long-Drivers Association’s tour event… losing on the last ball.
Will is not the type of athlete to leave anything on the table, so you can expect that he will continue to challenge for the top spot in the rankings this season, while striving to gain a well-deserved first world long-drive championship.
2nd 2020 PLDA Professional Long-Drivers Association Event 3
1st 2018 Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun (Arizona)
1st 2018 Clash in the Canyon (Nevada)
1st 2018 Bluff City Shootout (Memphis)
1st 2014 Rockwell Championship
1st 2015 East Coast Classic
1st 2015 Bluff City Shootout
3rd 2015 World Long Drive Championship
3rd 2013 World Long Drive Championship
Swing speed 153 on Trackman
Ball speed 224
Callaway 5.5* Driver Head
Paderson Shaft XXX-Flex
Midsouth Ford Dealers