Watching the news of the world is tough to do these days. Throughout all the challenges society faces, we try to keep perspective of how sports – in particular long drive – fits into the big picture. But we don’t see it just as a sport, this is about people. It’s a lifestyle, a livelihood, a passion and an extremely positive influence in the lives of so many involved. This impacts so many in the same way a shop or small business is impacted. We don’t take that for granted.
With that in mind, I regret to share that the 2020 WLD Tour and the WLD Q-Series will be cancelled. We will however continue planning for the 2020 World Long Drive Championship as well as a Last Chance Qualifier as we continue to monitor the spread of the virus.
In making this decision we had to weigh many factors, first and foremost the safety of our hitters, as well as the safety of families, staff, fans, vendors, suppliers, venues and partners. The WLD Tour is a global sport, so we also had to weigh many global travel restrictions, border closings, states of disaster and more across the world.
Another key factor is the impact this virus is having on the companies that support the sport. We are fortunate to have good companies associated with the sport, so it is inspiring to see the work that so many of our event host partners are undertaking as their industries (retail, healthcare, tourism, travel) are hit hard. Their commitment to their communities is the right priority and we support them as they support us. We have engaged in discussions with all partners on extending our relationships into future years.
In the coming weeks, we will publish specific criteria and the process for the 2020 World Long Drive Championship (Open, Women, Masters), as well as a date for the Last Chance Qualifier for the Open Division. In general, you can expect to see a qualification process that provides additional exemptions from the world rankings, a “Last Chance Qualifier” in close proximity (both from a timing and geographic standpoint) to the WLDC, plus the existing exemptions in the WLD Sport Manual. We will work with Global Q-Series hosts as they will likely also be making adjustments.
We realize this is a heavy toll and will continue to seek ways to make the situation the best we can under the circumstances.
Please stay safe (and home) and we will continue to keep you updated.
WLD Executive Director