By: Luke Halgerson
Thursday, June 21
As the World Long Drive Association convenes for the Bluff City Shootout June 21-23 in Memphis, Tennessee, the event carries special significance for current No. 4 ranked competitor Will Hogue, who will enjoy a de facto “home field advantage” when competing in Saturday’s tour event.
“It’s actually great playing in your hometown,” said Hogue. “Not having to travel, I get to sleep in my own bed, spend more time with my family. It’s not time away. So yeah, it’s great to be competing at home for sure.”
Earning its name thanks to Memphis’ location along the bluffs of the Mississippi River, the Bluff City Shootout will take place at Golf and Games Family Park on Summer Avenue.
“I like the grid,” said Hogue. “Because it’s flat, it’s fair. There’s no hills or mounds to worry about, making it ideal for all the competitors.”
Hogue, a firefighter and paramedic by day, never worries about the pressure when he is competing in WLD events.
“I have the mentality that if I do something stupid on stage and I hit all eight balls out-of-bounds, nobody dies. Whereas when I’m at my other job on a structure fire and I make a mistake, one of my friends could die or I might die. So, when you’re on the tee box hitting the golf ball it doesn’t quite feel like a life or death situation. So I think that helps me handle the pressure that comes with it.”
After already walking away victorious at the Clash In The Canyon in Mesquite, Nevada and Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun in Maricopa, Arizona, Hogue is carrying as much momentum into the home stretch of the season as any other competitor on Tour.
“Obviously the ultimate goal is to be world champion. That’s what we do this for. But my overall goal at some point is to have won every single WLD event.”
The Bluff City Shootout is scheduled for Thursday-Saturday, June 21-23. The 36-man field for the Tour event on Saturday, June 23 will feature nine of the top-10 competitors in the World Long Drive rankings. In addition to battling the other top names on Tour, Hogue also will be combatting a tweaked ankle following an accidental fall when stepping off the fire truck earlier this week.
“If I can brace against it while I’m swinging, my aspirations are to win. I’m not going out there with the intentions of ‘I hope I do well’. I’m going out there to win.”