Historical Longest Driver -Jamie Sadlowski
Most of my life on the golf course has been spent doing what I should not do – crank back the driver and see if I can hit it out of the county. Millions of us do the same thing, and millions of dollars are spent calming us down so that we can actually make contact more often, and hit it straighter, by not overswinging.
Now, along comes an international competition, in Las Vegas this year, that celebrates this universal dysfunction, the Re/Max World Long Drive Championship. They even celebrate golf’s biggest score trap on TV, and they give the winner 250,000, winner take all.
. There is a gentleman who dies this better than anyone ele on the planet, and just as I prepare to get snyde and say something like, “Yeah, but can he chip and putt?” I find that he doesn’t play on the tour at all, none of them. He isn’t a professional golfer in the traditional sense. It turns out that there is an industry in hitting the golf ball farther than anyone else – who knew?
But, this guy who hits a drive over 400 yards on a regular basis. his name is Jamie Sadlowski. his nicknames are Crankenstein, Golfzilla, The Beast, Big Cat – wow, he must be a man-mountain. To be more accurate, Jamie Sadlowski, from St. Paul, Alberta, is around 5′ 11′ and weighs about…165 pounds. Wait a minute. How does that work? A guy this size manages a clubhead speed of almost 150 mph, and a ball speed of almost 220 mph? He has won the event before, a few times, acctually, most recently with a 418 yard drive. He hits about 330 down on his knees, and has put a ball through a driving simulator, leaving a gaping hole.
Photographs give a clue. The backswing goes back to where most of us take it, then it goes farther…and farther, and down the left leg until the clubhead is almost resting on the ground to the FRONT of the ball! I image an old Disney cartoon that shows him unwinding like a rubber propeller until coming around to smack the ball on the last revolution.
So, why isn’t this guy on tour? Maybe he will be someday. He’s never qualified, and besides, he’s in a different business, the power golf business. Seems like the thing to do for a fellow who used to be a pretty good hockey player. He has been doing this for a while, though – Sadlowski was also the junior champ a couple of times.
Referred to by one writer as a “superfreak,” it is said that Jamie Sadlowski is the longest hitter in the history of the game, and it’s safe to say that no one from the goose feather period of ball making is going to put up much of an argument.
I haven’t seen video of Sadlowski’s special “talent,” but I read that it’s rather scary as he ratchets back his 48 inch driver into pretzel mode. One could wonder if there is any danger of him letting go of the club. And besides, can the club take it? Why doesn’t it disintegrate in his hands? For that matter, how does the ball survive, and speaking of survival, what about your house or car window, which you purchased and located just out of range from those driving golf balls?
Apparently, Sadlowski does this a lot, in a lot of places, and spends around 170 days a year doing it. Unlike tour golf, it’s done at night under the lights
Of course, a fantasy jumps to mind about being able to hit a distance like that straight every time. After qualifying, you’d drive half of the par 4s, and putt eagle all day. Win the Masters with a couple of 58s on the weekend, and there you are. But, we all know it doesn’t work that way. No, I’ll just go back to my short backswing, think about straight, and forget about the years when I really could take my backswing back that far.