by Rich O’Brien
The ParaLong Drive Cup is one of the most awe-inspiring sporting events held anywhere in the world. The event brings together individuals with a wide range of injuries, illnesses, or challenges as they battle it out on the long drive grid to determine which hitters are capable of hitting the longest balls.
Now in its sixth year, the ParaLong Drive was originally known as the Amputee Long Drive Championship. The event was founded by Dean Jarvis who had his left leg amputated above the knee due to osteosarcoma, a deadly form of cancer.
Dean is a classic example of the indomitable spirit who did not let his amputation slow him down. He simply turned his attention to golf and began trying to master the game. Always driven by competition, he quickly found that competitive opportunities for golfers with disabilities were few and far between in the United States.
It was then that Dean decided to do something about it by creating events that provide amputee athletes, like himself, with more competitive opportunities. He chose the sport of long drive because it is ideal for those with mobility challenges, and championships can be decided in a manner of hours rather than an entire day.
Shortly after the first Amputee Long Drive Championship in 2012, Dean began getting calls from other golfers with blindness, paraplegia, cerebral palsy, PTSD, and TBIs. He decided to give these athletes their chance to compete, and renamed the event the ParaLong Drive Cup.
The 2013 ParaLong Drive Cup was held in Mesquite, and featured two lower leg amputees dueling it out in the Canyon with both eclipsing the 400-yard barrier. Jared Brentz won the event with a record drive of 409 yards, but not before Brandon Jacks became the first to eclipse 400 yards.
Over the past few years, the competitors have developed tremendous comradery and enjoy the opportunity of competing head-to-head with other golfers with similar challenges in a World Championship event. The event continues to gain in popularity, and this past August over 40 ParaLong Drive competitors teed it up in South Carolina to determine the champions.
The awe-inspiring event returns to Mesquite Sports and Events Complex on March 7-8. The participants are very excited about the opportunity to compete at what is generally considered the ultimate long drive grid. In many ways, this is the Augusta National of the sport of long drive. Many of the top competitors from around the world have already committed to the event. They will be joined by a growing list of challengers vying for the chance at a world championship.
You won’t want to miss your opportunity to see some of the most awe-inspiring athletes in the world battling it out in the Canyon on March 7-8.
Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the event. For more information contact Dean Jarvis at (865) 748-0771; or email him at email@example.com.