October 18, 2004
Albany-- Alan Clanton doesn't just hit the golf ball, he knocks it into next week. "My furthest drive in training is 410 yards," Clanton said.
Clanton's ability to drive the ball long distances was noticed at young age. "I would hear people talk about how hard he could hit the ball. And I said you know, this is something you could do on the weekends but you've got to want to do it yourself," Alan's mother, Cile Askew said.
With a little encouragement from his mother, the Colquitt native decided to give this long drive competition thing a shot. "I went to a guy in Warner Robins who was on the senior tour a few years ago and they said he was the guy who knows if you've got the stuff or if you don't. "Halfway through the session of me hitting balls he said well you're going to be very competitive. And I said, well that's good to know."
That was just five months ago. Six competitions later and a third place finish in the districts and Clanton is one of 128 big boomers teeing it up this week in the World Long Drive Championships in Nevada.
"I've never flown before so that's what I'm more nervous about. I've never been nervous before any competition because I'm just out there to have a good time really," Clanton said. And with his mother and girlfriend at his side this week, Alan believes he can continue his rise to the top in a competition that is still relatively new to him.
"I want to have a good time at it but also I would like to win the whole thing. I'm not going out there just to be going," Clanton added.
The World Long Drive Championships begin Tuesday and run through Saturday in Mesquite Nevada.
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