The Kenya Long Drive Team is back at Manzanillo, Mexico to take part in the International Long Drive Competition for the 2nd consecutive time.
The team, made up of one tour player- Ajay Matharu (LDET), one pro – Kevin Mabele, one senior – Jacob Okello, one lady – Joyce Wanjiru, one amateur & team captain – James Kamenchu and team coach, Anokh Jai was selected at the final selection event held at hole number 10, Sigona Golf Club.
The Long Drive sport involves one hitting 6 balls consecutively where the ball that travels the furthest on the grid (no OB) being measured. Players are allowed to use special Long Drive clubs i.e. Krank, Geek PRO or select clubs from other manufacturers that often feature lower launch angles at 5 degrees and a longer shaft.
In Kenya, the Long Drive sport was introduced at the inaugural Drive for Show event in 2015 by Mombasa Born, Fareen Samji who is a co-founder of the Board of International Long Drivers (BUILD) and Team Canada player, 2016. In the same year, a team of 5 qualified and went on to represent Kenya in their first ever International Long Drive event where they finished in 5th position out of 12 teams. Upon resuming, Team Kenya held the “Taste of Long Drive” event at Golf Park, Ngong Race Course to educate the public and raise awareness about the sport. The Kenya Golf Union has entrusted the entire selection process, training and publicity to Total Golf Solutionz (TGS), a Nairobi Golf Training, club fitting & restoration company. TGS has invested in highly trained trainers, fitters and facilities which have ultra-modern equipment that help them evaluate each individual players’ strengths and weaknesses and formulate a training regimen and club/shaft combo that would work for them.
This year, the Kenya Long Drive team made history after having 2 of the players, Ajay Matharu & Antony Wachira make it on an international tour, the Long Drive European Tour (LDET). Ajay Matharu made his debut at LDET, Hungary and placed 3rd overall and went on to place 2nd in Slovenia. He sits at #10 in the tour rankings.
The International Long Drive Competition, 2016 is a team event only. Each team is made up of 5 hitters; 3 open men, 1 woman and 1 senior man where the total of each hitters longest hits are added up. The seeding event took place yesterday, Tuesday 08th November and as we learn from Fareen Samji, the morning groups had to contend with heavy, thick, humid air and in the afternoon, the wind picked up and made the conditions even tougher. The tee box is reportedly soft that when you’d try and push into it to accelerate to your ball, the ground would give way and your feet slide. The conditions translated to more than 75 % of the teams had a hitter that went OB for all 6 balls and those that managed the conditions well seeded better. Team Kenya ended up seeding 2nd!
Special mention to Diamond Trust bank who have supported the team for the last 2 years and Sports Kenya who came in this year and made the Kenya Long Drive Team the only competing team with National Government backing.
[frontpage_news widget=”7299″ name=”homepage latest news”]
The competitions start today and ELPGolf.com will be following up on the team’s performance and updating you, daily.