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. In addition, a World Long Drive Pro-Am will be held on Tuesday, May 15 at 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.
"The Ak-Chin Indian Community is excited to partner with Golf Channel to bring World Long Drive 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 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.
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.
For more information on the Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun, visit http://www.akchinsoutherndunes.com/WLD/.