Maurice Allen is planning a return the LDET this season.
The 2018 Long Drivers European Tour promised to be one of the best yet, and it’s proving to be just that. Maurice Allen, 2-time LDET champion, is eying a return to the tour, adding to the riveting storylines at start of the season.
Allen, a 36-year-old American from Pine Hills, Florida, needs little introduction — his resume does all the talking:
7-time Wold Long Drive Finalist (2011-2017)
#1 ranked Long Drive Competitor in the World (2017)
World Long Drive Tour Champion (2017)
Guinness World Record for fastest golf ball speed (211 mph; 3-wood)
(And that’s only part of it.)
On top of preparing for his return to the LDET, Allen keeps plenty busy as one of the game’s most recognizable names. He was among 17 other personalities competing in the first season of the Golf Channel’s Shotmakers television show filmed at Top Golf in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the show, Allen, with teammate Tania Tare, a pro golfer and Instagram-famous trick shot artist from New Zealand, compete against 8 other two-person teams in a precision shotmaking contest. (Spoiler alert: Team Sharks make an early exit in the third round of the competition.)
Off the set, Allen’s in constant preparation for long drive events, competing in the Wold Long Drive, Long Drive World Series, IGANZ, and Japanese events in addition to the LDET.
“I work extremely hard because there is TONS of great talent bursting on the scene every year along with previous hitters always improving,” Allen says of his preparations for the 2018 LDET season.” I’m hoping to compete at a high level and continue to grow the sport of long Drive worldwide.”
A born athlete, Allen was introduced to the game at an early age, though pursued success in other sports before committing to competitive golf in 2010. Athletic prowess aside, he’s also well-known for his energizing personality on the tee box — especially his signature Ric Flair routine.
“It was just a simple dare from my training partner Micheal tucker. I never thought it was gonna turn into what it did, but honored and humbled.” Allen tells CGB. “It comes from the countless hours of training that I put in daily. I work very hard in training so I can have a ton of fun on the tee.”
Allen says that level of intensity stays the same during competition no matter where he’s hitting. “I look forward to every opportunity to compete and put on a great show for the crowds.”
Accolades and antics aside, Allen says he’s actually a very “chill” person and he’s bringing a true veteran mentality into his LDET season while remaining humble. He notes there are “TONS” of great players coming into the scene every year, while others continue to get better, keeping him accountable to maintain his training schedule.
“Europe is full of dangerous hitters,” Allen says, “People across the pond haven’t heard of but they wont be a secret for long.”
Allen’s return to the top ranks of the LDET is no guarantee either, With the likes of Robin “The Hungarian Hulk” Horvath, who started the season with two top-three finishes, and a wealth of young talent in the field every event, the tour is seeing one of its most competitive seasons to date. That young talent fuels not only the excitement we’ve seen in the early goings of the 2018 season but serves as another indication of the on going growth of the game as a whole — something veterans like Allen can recognize.
“Golf is growing on the long Drive side with tours popping up all over the world,” Allen says. “This sport will be huge in the next 3-5 years.”
Allen’s debut was perviously set to be at the Sweden Championship at Täby Golf Klub May 4th-5th. 2018 LDET event winners Horvath and Martin “Beard” Borgmeier, and 2017 Tour Champion Matt Nicole are are surely ready and waiting to challenge the former champion, but the LDET announced on social media that Allen has withdrawn from the event due to injury.
Long Drivers European Tour‘s second event of the season did not hold any punches in terms of excitement, and Martin Bormeier was the last man standing. It would’ve been easy to take Borgmeier’s chances for granted after the round of 16, with the matchplay bracket shaping up with names like Bryan Roberts and Vincent Palm, 2017 LDET champion Matt Nicolle, and Robin “The Hungarian Hulk” Horvath coming off his victory at the season opener in France.
The first quarterfinal match saw Jordan Brooks top Christo Kalender 358/354 to 346/320. Roberts (352/OB/352) knocked out Lee Gauthier (304/333/325) in the second match. The other semifinal round was crafted by a 342/354/350 to 346/352/330 win for Horvath over Palm, and Borgmeier’s 346/345/347 to 336/357/319 ousting of Nicolle.
Brooks then started the semifinals with a 332-yard blast, cushioning himself with another 329 yards and a final 368-yard closing statement. Bryan Roberts brought his big stick with 357- and 366-yard bombs, but an OB kept him from reaching the finals over Brooks.
With their would-be challenger set, Borgmeier and Horvath took to the teebox in a much anticipated matchup. In the end, the Hungarian Hulk’s 338/363/349 effort proved not enough to top the Beard’s 348/344/356 showing.
The Belgium Championships’ final round may very well go down as one of the best of the 2018 season — even though we’re only two events in. Brooks upped his game yet again with a 383-yard strike, his longest in the final round, giving Borgmeier an uphill fight in the first two sets. Then in the third set, after opening 375/371, the Beard launched a 380-yard bomb to clinch the championship over Brooks, who finished OB/363 in the end.
Horvath earned his second top-three finish of the season with a 320/361/363 win over Roberts (338/344/351) to claim the last spot on the podium and continue his early dominance of the 2018 LDET season.
Next on the LDET docket is the Sweden Championship at Täby Golf Klub May 4-5. The field of 40 long drivers is the largest field in the tour’s history, ensuring enough excitement to hold us over until the tour’s much-anticipated debut in Russia June 2-3.
Robin Horvath’s (GER) 399-yard bomb earned him the 2018 France Championships, and the no.1 ranking on the LDET. (Photo courtesy LDET).
The 2018 Long Drivers European Tour season opener showed France what it’s been missing. Hotel Golf Château de Chaillly played host to the tour for the first event in the country since 2014. And though there was a local name in the running heading into the final rounds, it was Robin Horvath of Germany claiming the first victory of the season.
Sunday began with a quarterfinal lineup that could not disappoint. Frenchman Maxime Bourzicot took on the top-seeded Bryan Roberts (WAL) while reigning LDET Champion Matt Nicolle (ENG) faced Martin Borgmeier (GER). Second-seeded Dewald Lubbe (SAF) versus Aleksi Kivini (FIN), and an all-German showdown between “The Hungarian Hulk,” Robin Horvath from Stuttgart, and Timo Petrasch, the “German Bomber” from Munich, filled the other side of the bracket.
Roberts (356/OB/372) bested Bourzicot (348/367/362) to earn a trip to the semifinals against Matt Nicolle (361/356), who ousted Borgmeier (357/OB). On the other side, Kivini fell to Lubbe 351/351/355 to 363/348/347, setting up a face-off against the winner of the the Horvath/Petrasch matchup. Horvath ousted Petrasch, 365/346/375 to 333/372/348, to continue his march to the finals.
The exciting championship match was shaped by Matt Nicolle’s 385/373 to 376/OB victory over Roberts, and Horvath topping Lubbe by the slimmest of margins, OB/375/371 to 375/372/OB.
In the final round, Horvath started strong with a 388-yard blast in the first set, a little too close to Nicolle’s 381-yard effort for comfort. But Horvath secured the France Championship with the longest ball of the day, a 399-yard bomb, over Nicolle’s 372-yard finisher, and vaulted into the no.1 spot in the LDET. (Lubbe took the 3rd place position on the podium after a 386/367 to 335/360 win over Roberts.)
(From to left to right) Matt Nicolle (ENG) 2nd-place, Robin Horvath (GER) 1st-place, Dewald Lubbe (SAF) 3rd-place. (Photo courtesy LDET)
“I’m speechless right now. Can’t believe it!” Hovarth posted on his Instagram page after the event. (He has, as of this writing, yet to comment further, so I’m guessing the emotion has yet to wear off, and understandably so.)
“Congratulations to @hungarian_hulk for pipping me in the final, impressive stuff going deep with a 399!” reads an April 8 post on Nicolle’s Instagram page. ” I will be back fighting harder than ever to regain that top stop!” he continues. Nicolle is now ranked no.2 on tour.
Hovarth is set to continue his hot start at Steenhoven Golf Club in Belgium later this month for the Belgium Championship, April 20th-21st. And he’s surely looking forward to competing in his own country later this year at the Germany Championship at Müncherner Golf Club in Munich, hometown of “The German Bomber” Timo Petrasch. Here’s to hoping for exciting rematch between the two that July weekend.
The 2018 LDET season is expected to one of the best yet, and the players came ready to live up to the hype. The bar has been set high for the remainder of the season but with an exciting mix of some of the best and up-and-coming players in Long Drive, new, marquee events and, of course, the long ball, it’s safe to say the best is yet to come.
No one brings the energy quite like Timo Petrasch. (Photo courtesy Timo Petrasch)
There are two ways to spell “energizing.” There’s the regular way, and there’s T-I-M-O. Going into his 5th season of the LDET, Timo Petrasch has cemented his standing as one of the tour’s most exciting players to watch. His athletic performance is one thing, but it’s his energizing charisma that’s made him a fan-favorite.
Asked about his mentality in the tee box, “The German Bomber” says he’s full of adrenaline. “I need to hit the ball so hard, and I when I hit a good shot I have to show the crowd my emotions,” he says. “And when the crowd pushes me I can hit the ball [farther]!”
The 29-year-old from Munich began swinging the clubs at age 11 and after 13 years joined the ranks of the professional circuits. His years of experience have shaped his mentality on and off the course with morning cardio routines and afternoon long drive sessions. During the winter months, training sessions move indoors.
Aside from the LDET, Petrasch, the no. 5-ranked LDET player, also competes in the German Long Drive, UK American Golf and New Zealand tours, and the World Long Drive Championships.
“It’s amazing to hit with these other golf freaks from around the world,” Petrasch saysof playing in the LDET. But when it comes to his competition, he’s focused on himself rather than sizing up his counterparts, and pushing himself whether fellow countryman and tour player Vincent Palm.
Petrasch is bringing a strategic goal into to the 2018 season. “I want to hit 50% on the grid,” he says. “When I can do that I have a good chance to win some tournaments!” Other than that, of course, “My main goal is the World Championships!”
Petrasch’s 2018 run at the LDET title begins April 7th with the France Championship at the Hotel Golf Château de Chailly, and he’ll certainly be looking forward to a home crowd atmosphere at the Germany Championship at Müncherner Golf Club, Munich, July 28-29, which is sure to be one of the most exciting events of the year.
Needless to say, this LDET veteran isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and his fanbase is only going to keep growing. Few things in this game are more exciting than watching The German Bomber on the tee box.
No. 2 ranked LDET player Vincent Palm has his eyes set on the top spot in 2018. (Photo courtesy LDET)
Vincent Palm isn’t like your average 22 year-old. The Koblenz, Germany, native — one of the youngest on tour— has his eyes firmly set on the no.1 LDET spot after finishing second to Matt Nicolle in 2017. Impressive as his own 2017 performance was, 2018 will be Palm’s third season on the Long Drivers European Tour, and he has no plans of slowing down.
“My goal is to be the best hitter in Europe,” Palm says, “and to push my name in the network all over the globe.”
His confidence doesn’t come without backing. Palm started golfing in his preteens before honing his talent for long drive. He won Germany its first LDET title in history in Hungary last year — that winning ball set last year’s season record at 424-yards.
“I train very hard in the gym and on the range improving my swing. I use speed sticks and follow a special plan I made for myself,” the young bomber says. “I’m looking forward to playing more tournaments in LDET … and in the two events in Germany which are very professionally organized.” He’s also looking forward to competing in the American Golf Long Drive Championship in the U.K., as well as other events “all over the world.”
And while Palm has his focus set on world domination — he’s hoping to compete in the World Long Drive Championships in Thackerville, Oklahoma, this September as well — he’s having a great time all along the way.
“I love the LEDT … so many nice dudes, friends and players,” Palm says. “It’s so much fun out there with these guys, it’s truly a really awesome relationship between all the players, and we make every tournament a really cool atmosphere for the audience.”
Among those dudes is Matt Nicolle, LDET no.1 ranked player. “Nicolle is a very quality hitter, and a good friend of mine,” Palm says. “There are so many hitters who are great, but I think he’s the biggest competition.”
The vivacious young man’s aspirations stretch beyond the course, too, as he’s pursuing a career in dentistry. “Sometimes it’s not easy combining my passion for the LDET with my studies, but I love it and and feel very successful right now,” Palm says.
Nestled at the foot of the mountains in Colorado Springs, The Broadmoor Golf Club’s East Course (1 Lake Ave., Colorado Springs, broadmoor.com) is one of Colorado golf’s most coveted crown jewels. The championship course is no stranger to the highest levels of the game, hosting 6 USGA Championships in its history (a total of 8 championships have been played on Broadmoor courses), and a number of NCAA Championships — and one now-famous black bear.
The world-renown resort is itself a dominant presence in upscale tourist offerings in the area, golf aside, and is celebrating its centennial anniversary through 2018. Perhaps as an early birthday gift, the USGA named the Broadmoor East Course as home of the 2018 U.S. Senior Open, bringing the track back into the limelight 10 years after the hosting its last Open.
At a summer 2017 launch event, Hale Irwin teed off into the wide no.1 fairway, setting up a good look at the uphill green from his second shot. The Donald Ross/Robert Trent Jones Sr. track plays like a country club: overly-inviting fairways in close proximity to one another, speckled with large trees dictating your shots, and highlighted by the manicured hazards, flowerbeds and the lushest of turf. Pristine conditions are a given — this is the Broadmoor we’re talking about — but what really sets the East Course apart from your everyday luxury private club are the greens.
While large and welcoming these greens will cause you a lot of grief, and several strokes, if you’re not extremely careful. The greens slope according to the mountains to aid in finding a line, but otherwise hidden undulations will send your ball sweeping away from the cup if your pace isn’t exact. And the super fast surface doesn’t make it easy, rolling as smooth as you can imagine. It’s no wonder how the Broadmoor East Course earned its challenging reputation in the elite levels of the game.
Reprieve can be found in the sampling of the property’s high end amenities found throughout the layout, topped only by the gorgeous green complexes and sweeping views of the mountains to the west, and the sprawling cityscape to the east. The incredible sunsets, glimpses of the historic hotel, and wildlife spotting seem only an added bonus — no matter how many three-putts are on the card.
The front 9 provides the most scoring opportunities with par 5s at nos. 3, 7 and 9, a short par 4 at no.2 and manageable par 3s at nos. 4 and 8. Players will need to capitalize early before making the turn if they want to stay near the top of the leaderboard. The long par 35 back 9 isn’t as friendly, and can be punishing if you’re mishitting or getting too aggressive.
The 240-yard par 3 at no. 12 isn’t making too many friends at this course. Though reachable, the green complex sits above four frontside bunkers divided by a tiny landing area. Outside of sicking the putting surface or threading the needle and catching the small patch of fairway, chances are you’re playing for par before your second shot. Sunday’s champion can expect another challenge at the finish on the par 4 at no. 18, possibly the most difficult hole in the course. Vacation cottages line the inside of the tight doglegged fairway leading to a creek cutting off the green. A birdie finish is possible with a good, well placed tee shot and a targeted approach, but a look at the elevated, heavily undulated green from the rough can cause a lot of trouble. (Stay below the hole if you’re playing damage control.)
The Broadmoor Golf Club is a world-renowned destination for historic decadence and its culture of perfection, and that reputation rightfully extends to the East Course. The gorgeous country club setting disguises the challenges of this track very well, making it an excellent choice to host the highest levels of the game. And after enjoying a century of iconic status, the East Course is moving into the mainstream limelight once again to showcase elite Colorado golf.