Golf is a funny game.
Funny as in frustrating, unpredictable, exciting, demoralizing, enjoyable and more – all at once.
Just take the four major championships in the 2019 season for example:
- Who could forget Tiger Woods and his return to glory? Tiger – who triumphed at the famed Augusta National Golf Club – claimed his 15th major championship, his fifth Green Jacket, and first major title in more than 10 years.
- Gary Woodland, a former college basketball player, ousted the field at Pebble Beach to claim the U.S. Open.
- Brooks Koepka, the world’s number one ranked player, shot +4 in the final round but still escaped Bethpage Black with his second straight PGA Championship.
- Homegrown Irishman Shane Lowry – who went off at 105/1 betting odds – pleased the crowd at Royal Portrush with a dominating performance to win the Open Championship.
The World Long Drive Tour is no different. Coming off a victory at Fort Jackson, SC in May and a second-place finish in Atlantic City in June, the tour’s top-ranked hitter – Rochester native Ryan Steenberg – failed to qualify for the quarterfinals in a star-studded field at the inaugural ROC City Rumble at Home Team Sports Park in Rochester.
Kyle Berkshire, a 22-year-old from Maryland, put on a spectacular show of power and precision. Many hitters and analysts close to the World Long Drive Tour are calling his performance the most dominating they can remember. After German Martin Borgmeier smashed a 369-yard drive in his final set, Berkshire needed just one swing to launch a drive 380 yards to claim the title.
On the women’s side, three-time World Champion Phillis Meti took home the top prize. This marked Meti’s third win in her past four events – but it didn’t come without drama. Meti posted a 320-yard bomb in the finals before challenger Alexis Belton stepped to the tee box. Belton had to settle for second place as her best drive came up just short – 2 feet short – of 320 yards.
While it wasn’t the result he was looking for in front of the hometown crowd, Steenberg played an instrumental part in bringing a World Long Drive event to Rochester.
It’s a dream come true for me. I’ve been working on this for – in my mind – since I started competing in the World Long Drive in 2011,” Steenberg said.
“Just knowing how Rochester embraces its golf events here in this town. Knowing what type of golf community we have here, World Long Drive was the next logical fit. Obviously, Rochester likes to party a little bit. We like our festivals. This is a one-off. This isn’t golf; this is entertainment, adrenaline, big dudes hitting bombs, and big personalities.”
He wasn’t wrong.
Rochester fans of all ages showed up in droves to watch the finals, which was televised live on the Golf Channel. World Long Drive employees were impressed, saying it was the most-attended event they can remember – including world championships. The event MC even mentioned a few times that the tour would definitely be back next year.
Steenberg, also known as the “Beast from the Northeast,” is the founder of Twitch Trainer, a golf swing aid designed to increase club head speed and add driver distance for golfers of all ages and skill levels. Since emerging on tour as one of the biggest hitters and personalities, Steenberg noted how it has helped the Twitch Trainer’s brand.
“A lot of those guys (WLD hitters) train with it. They use it a lot,” Steenberg said. “We are a very close-knit bunch. We’re a big family. These guys out here are some of my closest friends. It really is special in that regard.”
When you launch a product like Twitch Trainer into a community like this, it’s nice to receive the validation from them, who are high-level elite athletes. I trust them, and I trust their opinions.”
And while Steenberg was unable to qualify for the finals, the Twitch Trainer brand was front and center throughout the entire Roc City Rumble. He, along with his team, offered free live demos, discount pricing, and sponsored the event. Steenberg is looking forward to Twitch Trainer becoming more of a household name.
“Establishing the brand and getting the market to understand the value that it brings because it’s really a non-traditional swing aid. That’s going to come from social awareness and social validation,” Steenberg said.
“We’re taking it one step at a time and building a brand around Twitch. Not just the product, but the brand of Twitch Trainer and what it represents. I think it’s a lot bigger than just one training aid. It’s multiple sports – there’s a lot of verticals we can launch within the brand.”
Be sure to follow Ryan Steenberg’s journey as he prepares for the World Long Drive Championship that takes place August 30 – September 4 in Thackerville, Oklahoma. Tune into the Golf Channel for live coverage.
For more information, be sure to connect with Twitch Trainer on social media. You can also visit www.twitchtrainer.com to purchase, view full workout programs, and more!