"Until we can make it a legitimate, defined sport," says Dunaway, "long driving is nothing but folklore and bar talk. But that's all fishing was until they started those $1 million bass tournaments. If they can do it, we should be able to."
And they should. After all, long driving reflects the most elemental and, according to former Masters and PGA champ Jackie Burke, best part of the game—"watching the ball fly through the air." It's a sport that also has two young bucks in Pavlet and Scheinblum. Both Dunaway and Jim Dent, who for many years was the longest hitter on the PGA Tour and now maintains that status on the Senior tour, say Pavlet swings faster through the ball than anyone they have ever seen. "Brian is probably the longest hitter, best shot for best shot," Scheinblum says. Of Scheinblum, whose swing is considered the most fluid of the top long drivers, Pavlet says, "Monte's the most consistent of anyone at getting long drives in the grid."
Pavlet and Scheinblum hope they will be around when long drivers are as accepted as long jumpers. They look forward to the day when people will see them in person or on TV and talk about them the following morning with the kind of awe they currently reserve for that relative short-knocker, Daly.
"With all the wrong ideas about us, my favorite part of long driving is when people get to see us for the first time," says Pavlet. "You can see the disbelief in their eyes. Just the sound of the club on the ball seems to startle them. And then they finally believe."