September 17, 2014 by Speakers' Spotlight
Lisa Longball On Top of Her Game as She Vies For First World Title
Seven-time Canadian Long Drive Champion Lisa “Longball” Vlooswyk, who—just over ten years ago—went from being a high-handicap recreational golfer to a professional player who hits farther than most men, shows others how to determine what drives them, where they want to go, and how to get there. With valuable lessons drawn from her experiences both on and off the green, Lisa’s wisdom can be applied immediately to improve achievement in both business and personal aspirations. Next week, Lisa competes in her 13th World Long Drive Championship and, as The Calgary Herald reports, she’s feeling better than ever:
Lisa ‘Longball’ Vlooswyk might have just the perfect combination going for the stars to align perfectly for her this week.
First, she turned the magic number of 40 back in May.
Secondly, the Calgarian is heading to her lucky 13th Re/Max world long drive championship.
If ever there was a time for her to win it for the first time when the event begins in Mesquite, Nevada, on Saturday, this is it.
Even more important than the numbers, though, Vlooswyk reports she’s hitting the ball better than she ever has right now.
“I’ve never been going into a world championships where I feel better,” she exclaimed, pointing to a swing change she’s been working on with coach John Wilson of Lakeside Greens as the difference.
“Every time I go into world championships, I’m always looking for something or trying to find something,” she said. “(This year) I’ve found it.
“I’ve been very Furykey (translation: like Jim Furyk’s swing) in the past and we’ve really been working on me making a better lateral turn. It took a full year, but it’s finally starting to click for me.
“It’s a feel, that feel of hitting a ball like butter, where you hit it like you absolutely know you hit it on the screws,” she added. “That’s the feeling I’m going for.”
That more than a specific distance is what Vlooswyk is targeting in an attempt to beat her personal best in the event: twice a runner-up, the last time being in 2011. Last year, she finished fourth, missing out on the three-woman final by two yards.
Still, the first woman to hit a ball over three-and-a-half football fields — she cranked one 350 yards, two feet, two inches in a Long Drivers of America event — Vlooswyk is hoping to hit over 320 in Nevada next weekend.
“At world championships, you need to have a ball where you feel like you absolutely nailed it,” she explained. “That’s my No. 1 priority, but if you have to say a number for the women’s division, no wind, that number to win the world title will be between 320 and 330.
“I’m right there and I feel that I have that number in me. I recently hit 327 in a competition, so if I can hit that ball at the world finals, I feel like I can bring home that title to Calgary.”
Vlooswyk, who goes by the moniker Lisa Longball (@lisalongball on Twitter and lisalongball.com) has become much more than just a long drive competitor in the past few years. First off, she became a mother in 2007 when her son Luke was born (she actually competed in the 2006 world long drive championship while six-and-a-half months pregnant and placed 10th!).
And in recent years, she has built an entire brand, branching out from motivational speaker to golf journalist and entertainer to running her own clinics. And that’s garnered her even more attention.
Vlooswyk was hired by the Champions Tour to do a clinic and speech at the Greater Hickory Classic in North Carolina last year and none other than pro golfer Steve Elkington came to watch (the pair had connected on Twitter). They ended up hitting some balls together which led to Elkington inviting her to appear on an episode of his show ‘The Rural Golfer’ which appears on the RFD-TV network or at the ruralgolfer.com website.
When the 51-year-old came to Calgary for last month’s Shaw Charity Classic, he taped that episode, which included a three-hole match against Lisa Longball.
“I was first guest to beat him,” Vlooswyk said of their match at D’Arcy Ranch, noting her birdie on the second hole was the difference.
“Then I did a backflip on the green, which I think kind of freaked him out. He wasn’t expecting that.”
You can imagine the celebration if she wins next week.