ULD™ Rules, Explanations, and Clarifications
Ultimate Long Drive™ Rules and Guidelines
Note: All rules and guidelines not specific to world ranking points apply to all three ULD Series: Amateur Long Drive™ (ALD™); Military Long Drive™ (MLD™); and Xtreme Long Drive® (XLD™).
Current 2022 Rules are under review in consideration of recent USGA rule changes effective January 1, 2022.
Any amateur of any age or ability is eligible for Amateur Long Drive (ALD™) competition. Any former or current member of the US Military is eligible for Military Long Drive (MLD™). Amateurs and Military players may also compete professionally in Xtreme Long Drive® (XLD™). (See Rules 1.3 & 1.4)
1.1 Amateur Status
(There are changes certain USGA Rules affecting amateur status coming January 1, 2022)
1.2. Ultimate Long Drive, Inc – Amateur Status Governance
Any competitor who has competed as a professional in any golf competition, or is so deemed a professional according to the USGA, may not compete for points in any ALD™ competition until he or she have regained amateur status. This process, previously administered by the USGA will be done internally by ULD effective January 1, 2022. To apply for (long drive) amateur status, please click HERE.
1.3. Amateurs Playing in Professional Events
Any amateur may compete in a professional (XLD™) event (playing up) on an Amateur Long Drive™ Tour Card.
1.4 Professionals Playing in Amateur Events
Although any ULD Tour Card Member may enter any ULD event, professionals may not receive points in amateur events.
2.0 ULD™ Tour Card/Membership Required to Register for Events
All competitors must be ULD™ members and hold a current ALD™ or XLD™ Tour Card to register for events, accumulate World Ranking Points, League Ranking Points, and to be eligible to transfer to National and World Championship events. The annual Tour Card renews at the beginning of each new season. Tour Cards should be purchased online HERE
2.1 ALD™ Pathway To The World Championship
In September 2020, the ALD™ National Championship level of competition was added. All participating countries will filter their amateur competition to and through a national championship tournament or series. Players will play their way to the ALD™ World Championship through Leagues, National Championship Qualifiers, and National Championship events.
Competitors may qualify for the ALD™ National Championship events via World Ranking Points, League Competition, and / or National Championship Qualifiers. The World Ranking Points leaders at the end of the current season (on or about August 1st), in each division will receive and invitation to their country’s National Championship. The winners of each division in each league will receive an invitation along with the winners of each division at each National Championship Qualifier.
2.2 ALD™ and XLD™ League Competition
ALD™ Championship Series leagues operate in multiple territories across the U.S. and abroad. Competitors will compete for regional, national, and world ranking points. Current ALD™ Leagues are listed HERE.
2.3 XLD™ Pathway To The World Championship
XLD™ players compete in leagues, qualifiers, and Tour Events to earn a spot in the annual XLD™ World Championship.
2.3.1 XLD™ Stage One Qualifiers (Locals)
Stage 1 qualifiers are scheduled throughout the season and across the USA. Players may buy multiple sets of 6 balls to earn spots in Stage 2 events. There are no purses for Stage 1 qualifiers. Limited World Ranking Points are allocated for Stage 1 competition.
2.3.2 XLD™ Stage 2 Qualifiers (Regionals)
Stage 2 qualifiers are held in conjunction with ALD™ Regional qualifiers and qualify players for the XLD™ World Championship. Stage 2 events format includes seeding rounds and a double elimination tournament. There are no purses for Stage 2 Qualifiers. World Ranking Points are awarded at Stage 2 qualifiers.
2.3.3 XLD™ Tour Events
Division winners in XLD™ Tour events will transfer to the XLD™ World Championship. World Ranking Points are awarded at Tour Events. XLD™ Tour events will have purses equal to 80% of all entries (per division) plus sponsored added purse.
2.4 ALD™ National Championship Qualifying Events
It is the intent (for the near term) to place those events in areas where leagues are not present to give as many people as possible access to the Nationals. Division winners transfer to the ALD™ National Championship
2.4 ALD™ and XLD™ Divisions
ALD™ Youth divisions for both boys and girls include: 7U; 9U; 11U; and 13U. ALD™ Junior divisions for boys and girls include ages 14 to 17. XLD™ and ALD™ adult divisions for both men and women include: Open 18+ (ages 18 to 34); Open 35+ (ages 35 and up); Senior 45+ (ages 45 and up); Senior 50+ (ages 50 and up); Senior 55+ (ages 55 and up); Senior 60+ (ages 60 and up); Senior 65+ (ages 65 and up); Senor 70+ (ages 70 and up); Senior 75+ (ages 75 and up).
2.5. Effective Playing Age
Beginning with the 2022 season, the effective age for competition in any division is based upon your birthday. Players are eligible to move up on or after their birthdates.
2.6 MLD™ (Military Long Drive™)
There are Open Veteran / Military divisions for both males and females at ALD™ League, Regional Qualifiers, National, and the World Championship Events. Both active and former military are welcomed. Additional Military divisions will be considered based upon participation. Military divisions at the League level will be scored as “Open” Military…male or female.
2.6.1 MLD™ Series
Beginning with the 2022 season, there will be MLD tour events at chosen military bases in the USA. Players in the is series will be awarded World Ranking Points.
2.7 Adaptive Long Drive Division
There will be an Open Adaptive Long Division for both male and female, adult and junior, competitors at the Regional Qualifiers, Nationals, and World Championship. Additional divisions shall be considered based upon participation. Adaptive divisions at the league level will be scored as “Open” adaptive…male or female…junior or adult.
Golf clubs must appear on the United States Golf Association USGA® Conforming List. Clubs on the USGA® Non-conforming list will not be allowed. Golf clubs must conform to the USGA® Rules of Golf (appendix ll, 1c), which limits golf club length to a maximum of forty-eight inches (48”). All competitors are required to have their clubs inspected and cleared before competition. Clubs will be measured on a Mitchell Golf CLUBLENGTH Measuring Ruler. We have no idea how this compares to any other method of measurement. Clubs that are longer than 48″ on this device will need to be corrected and cleared before competition.
3.1 Golf Ball
Players are required to hit the golf ball provided by ULD™ at all events. Players are required to ensure their ULD™ issued balls are visible at all times on the hitting tee.
Any tee is allowed in ULD™ competition. Tees are normally not provided. Competitors are required to bring their own tees.
4.0 Scoring / Measurement / Official Yardages
Official Yardages will be determined utilizing grid workers, Leupold laser rangefinder equipment, and / or physical yardage markers. In events and qualifiers where laser range finders are utilized, grid workers positioned along the sides of the grid will mark the longest ball for each hitter in each group by standing over the ball wearing a color-matched vest. A ULD™ official will record the (laser calculated) distance from the tee box to the grid worker.
4.1 Scoring Ties
At A League Event – (For Standings & Points Allocation considerations) Any two recorded drives within a division round within one foot (12”) of each other are considered a tie.
First Tie Breaker – Combined yardage of the longest drives each player in the first two rounds of competition.
Second Tie Breaker – Playoff – In the event there are two or more such confirmed yardages recorded, those tied players will hit four (4) additional balls in one minute and thirty seconds (1:30) (Playoff) to determine the final winning drive. A playoff will continue until a winner is determined. If one of the players is not present for the playoff, the player present will be deemed the winner.
At The World Championship, National Championship, or Any National or World Championship Qualifier – Any two recorded drives within a division round within One yard (36″) of each other are considered a tie. In the event there are two or more such confirmed yardages recorded, those tied players will hit six (6) additional balls in two minutes (2:00) (Playoff) to determine the final winning drive. A playoff will continue until a winner is determined. If one of the players is not present for the playoff, the player present will be deemed the winner.
5.0 Starting Time
There will be no set time for competition by division…only an order of competition at league events. Major qualifiers, national, and world championship events will have target starting times by division posted in advance. It is the players’ responsibility to be ready to compete when his or her division is called to the tee, and failure to do so will result in disqualification from competition. Starting times may vary based upon conditions and circumstances.
6.0 Weather Conditions
ULD™ cannot guarantee weather conditions or constant playing conditions as the result of weather. Every effort will be made to complete all competitions while ensuring the safety of competitors. If conditions become unplayable, ULD™ reserves the right to shorten or alter the format in effort to complete an official competition. ULD™ will not issue refunds to any player if severe weather conditions shorten or alter the competition format.
6.1 ULD Cancellations
In the event ULD has to cancel an event, the player’s registration to the rescheduled event. If the player is unable to go to that event, he/she must contact our office and request the registration be moved to another event, or request a refund.
6.1.2 Player Cancellations
If a player has registered for and an event and advises the Tournament Director or our office they cannot attend, the registration can be moved to another event. If a player registers for an event and does not play, and has not notified the Tournament Director or our office, the player’s registration is forfeited.
Note: Cancellation / change fees may be assessed depending upon the circumstance.
7.0 Conduct / Etiquette /Attire
Players and their guests shall conduct themselves in a responsible manner at all times. Proper golf etiquette is required during all levels of competitions. At no time will disorderly conduct, abusive language, intoxication, possession of firearms, and/or possession of any illegal substance be tolerated. Violations of this section shall be cause for immediate expulsion form ALD™ competitions and forfeiture of all monies paid, if any. ULD™ has the right to refuse service to any player or guest for improper etiquette.
7.0.1 Actions Unbecoming of A Champion
Accepting the championship trophy for competing in an Ultimate Long Drive™ Championship Event comes with some responsibility. Players should realize that reaching this level of accomplishment brings a certain amount of notoriety. We expect our champions to handle themselves in a respectable manner. Violations of this section shall be cause for immediate expulsion form ULD™ competitions and forfeiture of all monies to be paid, if any.
Attire while in competition is up to the venue hosting the event. Most competition venues are at golf courses, so one can assume normal golf attire will usually be required. ULD™ reserves the right to disallow any attire deemed unfit for competition.
9.0 Qualifying Drives
Each player will be scored based on their longest drives. Qualifying drives must come to rest inside the grid. A ball that lands outside the grid and rolls or bounces in, or lands inside the grid, rolls or bounces out, and back into the grid is a qualifying drive.
Clarification: Drives that exceed the length of the grid shall qualify if (in the opinion of the ULD™ official) are within the established grid width using his/her best judgement. In the event two or more qualifying drives exceed the grid, and measurement of those drives are necessary to determine round transfers or wins, the ULD™ officials will use their best judgement to determine the winner.
9.1 Lost Balls That Appear To Be In the Grid
Although extremely rare, occasionally (appx 1 in 5000) balls that appear to be inside the grid are not found. Whether plugged, or otherwise hidden from view, it happens. Every effort shall be made to find and score all balls deemed in the grid. There will be a five (5) minute time period allowed for searching. If not, found within the allotted time period, the ball will be scored OB. In the case of a ball lost in the grid, the next longest ball will be scored. (Effective 3/21/2022) No active players (in the same division / round) will be allowed to enter the grid during this time. Any active player who enters the grid during a ball search will be disqualified.
10.0 Competition Timing
Amateur Players will have two (2) minutes to attempt six (6) shots in most league and qualifying round. XLD players will have two and one-half (2 1/2) minutes to hit six (6) balls. Practice shots are not allowed on the tee box. Contact with the ball constitutes an attempt. A swing and a miss is not an attempt.
11.0 On The Tee Box
Players must have all balls (6 ) visible to the scoring officials before the clock begins and may tee only one ball prior to the starting the clock, and only one at a time during the set.
12.0 Recording Drives
Only a player’s longest Qualified Drive will be measured and recorded. A players yardage may only be scored and recorded for paid sets.
13.0 League / Series Format
The ALD™ Championship Series includes League / Series play, Regional Major Qualifiers, Special Events, and The World Championship.
The league / Series format allows players to compete in multiple events within an established territory (league) for World Ranking Points (WRP) applied to participating age and ability divisions. League / Series Division winners receive an invite to the World Championship.
13.1 Declaration of Home League / Series
At the beginning of the season or upon registration, all players shall choose a “Home” League / Series from options available at that time, or select “Unassigned” for the purpose of applying points accumulation to a specific League / Series performance.
League / Series points are ONLY applied to tournaments played within the player’s “Home” League / Series.
13.2 Playing In League/ Series Outside “Home”
Any player, including unassigned players may compete in any League / Series that is sanctioned by ALD™. World Ranking Points are accumulated at all events, but are not applied to the players “Home” League / Series ranking for tournaments played outside his/her “Home” League / Series.
13.3 League / Series Tournament Procedure
Before the competition, via blind draw (and / or seeding), ALD™ officials will divide the field (by division) into groups of (up to) four (4) players. Smaller fields will be accommodated. Format and groups may be adjusted according to the ALD™ official’s decision. Each group will hit at least two (2) sets of six (6) balls to determine the winner in each division. League Points and World Ranking Points will be awarded based upon the results of the final competition. Only those “claiming” the host league as their “Home” will be awarded League Points. Unassigned players (see 12.2) and those competing outside their Home League are permitted to compete in any league event, and shall receive World Ranking Points, and therefore no League Points shall be applied. At the end of the League season, the winner (most League Points) of each division will automatically transfer to the World Championship.
13.3.1 Extra Sets For League Events
Players may purchase additional sets for League events during registration and at the event. Although TDs may allow additional “unofficial” play after all “paid” rounds are complete, a player’s yardage may only be scored and recorded for paid sets. Unused extra sets are forfeited.
14.0 ALD™ Regional National Championship Qualifiers
Regional Qualifiers are open to all ALD™ Tour Card members. Any player may compete in any Regional Qualifier whether or not he / she is competing in a League / Series. These events are categorized as Regional National Championship Qualifiers and pay double World Ranking points.
14.1 ALD™ Automatic Transfer To The National Championship
There are slots allotted for all Regional qualifier division winners at the ALD™ National Championship. Division winners at all Regional Qualifiers will automatically receive an invite to the annual ALD™ National Championship. Winners will have one week after receipt of the invitation to accept and commit to the Nationals. Invitations are sent individually at the end of the regular season. If a division winner is unable to attend the National Championship, the invitation shall be extended to the 2nd, 3rd, etc. until that allotted slot is filled.
14.2 Qualifier Tournament Procedure
Before the competition, via blind draw (and / or seeding), ALD™ officials will divide the field (by division) into groups of (up to) four (4) players. Smaller fields will be accommodated. Format and groups may be adjusted according to the ALD™ official’s decision. Each group will hit two (2) sets of six (6) balls (in 2 minutes) to determine the leaders in each division. After any Additional (buy-in) Sets (see below 13.4) the top two hitters will compete to determine the division winner. Division winners are automatic transfers. It is likely that additional Wild Card positions will also receive invitations. The exact number of transfers will not be known until the end of the season.
14.3 Additional Sets For Qualifiers
Players may purchase additional sets for Qualifiers during registration and at the event…up until 10 minutes after regulation play. At the end of the regulation rounds, there will be a ten (10) minute buy-in period when any competitor may buy additional sets to better their longest drive. They may buy multiple sets during the ten minute period. No buy-ins will be allowed after that period regardless of outcome. Unused additional sets are forfeited.
15.0 ALD™ Invitations To The National Championship
15.0.1 The top player in each division based on World Ranking Points will transfer to the National Championship
15.0.2 The top player in each division from each League (based on League Ranking Points) will transfer to the National Championship
15.0.3 The top player in each division from each Regional Major will transfer to the National Championship. —–Competitors in the Regional will also get double World Ranking Points. ALD™ Members may compete in any or all Regional Majors if they wish.
15.0.4 Wild Card Invitations may be awarded to certain players based upon performance and participation
16.0 ALD™ World Championships
Participation in the World Championship is earned through accumulation of World Ranking Points, and National Championship competition.
16.0.1 National Championship Division winners automatically transfer to the ALD™ Worlds.
16.0.2 Wild Cards (based upon commissioners’ determination) may be available players who competed in a National Championship event and failed to transfer.
16.0.3 The highest *Overall World Ranking Points Leader (after Nationals) in Men’s, Women’s, and Minor’s competition (that has not already qualified), will earn a spot at the ALD™ Worlds.
16.0.4 The World Championship Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) is only open to competitors who qualified for or participated in the ALD National in their respective country.
17. XLD™ World Championship
Participation in the XLD™ World Championship is earned Q-Series and XLD Tour events.
17.0.1 Stage 1 (Local) Q Series qualifiers are eligible to play in Stage 2 Q Series qualifiers
17.02 Stage 2 (Regional) Q Series qualifiers earn spots in the XLD™ World Championship.
17.03 XLD™ Tour event winners earn spots in the XLD™ World Championship
17.04 XLD™ World Ranking Points leaders earn spots in the XLD™ World Championship
18.0 World Championship Winners
World Championships are awarded to the winners of each ULD™ division competing in the tournament.
19. World Ranking Points System
19.1 ULD™ full competition membership (Tour Card) is required to receive competition points
19.2 Points are only awarded at ULD™ Sanctioned Events
19.3 ULD™ World Ranking reset at the beginning of each season (no points are carried over from season to season).
19.4 ULD™ will award the “World Number One” title to the overall leader in World Ranking points in both ALD™ and XLD™, Men and Women as well as Youth and Junior (combined).
19.5 Points fo competitors playing in multiple divisions are combined.
Begin your journey to become a World Champion.