ST. GEORGE — An avid golfer born and raised in St. George made his mark on a national level when local resident David Watson won the super senior division title in the 2021 Amateur Long Drive National Championship.
Watson told St. George News he was a “pretty good” golfer back in the day.
“In St. George back then, golf was kind of what there was to do,” Watson said. “I learned on Red Hills Golf Course back when it was put in, then played high school golf and college golf at Weber State.”
Watson made it to the amateur state finals in1970. He said that he got interested in long drive competition shortly before he turned 50.
“A local friend of mine who was very into it got me into it too,” Watson said. “Greg Walker is his name, he was ranked nationally.”
Watson joked that the only reason he’s got a good long drive is because of his birth certificate.
But there was plenty of training and practice that went into it as well over the course of the year, as he had to go through separate qualifying rounds just to make it to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where the national championship was held in August.
The qualifier that sent him to the national championship was held in Mesquite, Nevada back in April.
“I won the senior and super senior divisions with drives of 291, 292 yards,” Watson said. “That qualified me into the nationals.”
At Myrtle Beach, he said, he did not compete in the senior division but did swing with the super seniors.
“In the finals we had one round, hitting six balls,” Watson said. “We were hitting into the wind, at sea level, so the drives weren’t going as far.”
Watson’s winning drive was 268.7 yards.
“It was long enough,” Watson said. “I guess I can say I’m a national champion.”
Watson said he’ll be back out on the range next year and will try to qualify to defend his title.
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