World Long Drive Association kicks off 2019 season with “Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun”

Ak-Chin Indian Community to host World’s Longest Drivers – April 13-16

Phillis Meti

For the second straight year, the Ak-Chin Indian Community has partnered with the World Long Drive Association (WLDA) to host the “Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun.” The Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun will take place Saturday-Tuesday, April 13-16 adjacent to Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino on a natural grass golf range (with stadium seating). The culmination of the event will be televised live on Golf Channel on Tuesday, April 16, featuring the Open (men’s) and Women’s Divisions as they crown respective champions.

The event will feature a 54-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. As part of the WLDA tour event festivities, there will be two-days of open qualifying on Friday-Saturday, April 12-13. Also on Saturday afternoon, the World Long Drive Masters Division (age 45+) competition will be staged following open qualifying earlier in the day. Canadian Jeff Gavin claimed the Masters title at Ak-Chin in 2018.

In 2018, Phillis Meti of Auckland, New Zealand and Will Hogue of Memphis, Tennessee claimed the Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun women’s and men’s division titles, respectively. In the Women’s Division final, Meti blasted her seventh ball 380 yards to outmatch the 351-yard drive of then reigning Volvik World Long Drive champion Sandra Carlborg of Alingsas, Sweden. On the men’s side, Hogue took advantage of a 421-yard drive on his second ball to win his second title in three weeks, after he claimed the Clash in the Canyon in Nevada in April 2018. 

The Ak-Chin Indian Community is located adjacent to Maricopa, Arizona, 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.  

For more information on the Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun, visit