The inaugural United States Disabled Open Golf Championship will be held May 8-10 at Eagle Creek Golf Club in Orlando, Fla., and the “Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun” long-drive event will be held in Maricopa, Ariz. May 14-15.
The United States Disabled Golf Association (USDGA) has announced that the inaugural United States Disabled Open Golf Championship has been set for May 8-10, 2018 at the Eagle Creek Golf Club in Orlando, Fla.
The event, open to men and women 16 years and older, will be a 36-hole tournament and include a practice round the day prior. The event, open to players with a golf handicap index not exceeding 30, will be flighted into three divisions, and awards will be given in all three categories, Net and Gross.
The USDGA has designed the tournament to showcase golfers that have various impairments, such as amputees, wounded veterans, blind and partially sighted players, special Olympians, stroke survivors, those with cerebral palsy, and others.
The USDGA has received support for the event from the Founder of PlaneSWING, Tony Clark; social-media support from LMRH Media’s Kelly McKay; Greg Norman Collections; PGA Superstore; EZ Links web designs, and from Central Florida University, which will provide volunteers for the event.
USDGA founder Jason Faircloth said that creating this event became a passion and a mission from an experience that he had playing in the Disabled British Open in 2011 and 2012. “I want to create that same type of experience for golfers in the U.S., where disabled golfers can showcase their abilities,” Faircloth said.
The Ak-Chin Indian Community announced that it has partnered with the World Long Drive Association (WLDA) to host the “Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun” event on May 14 and 15, 2018. A portion of the officially sanctioned WLDA event will be televised in primetime on Golf Channel on Tuesday, May 15th.
The Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun will take place adjacent to Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino on a natural-grass golf range (with stadium seating) that is being constructed for the event.
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 who will then advance 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. In addition, a World Long Drive Pro-Am will be held on Tuesday, May 15 at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa, Ariz.
“The Ak-Chin Indian Community is excited to partner with the Golf Channel to bring World Long Drive to Maricopa,” 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.”
Added Phil Piazza, the Golf Channel’s Senior Vice President of Programming: “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,”
For more information on the Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun event, visit akchinsoutherndunes.com/WLD.