It’s golf’s first and to this day ultimate party trick; who can hit it the furthest?

When Cameron Champ first visited the Ping Testing Centre in Arizona, the lure of the back net was impossible to resist. Although he doesn’t possess the same soaring ball flight of many of golf’s longest hitters, Champ teed it up, aimed high and let it fly.

“They have a high fence and I don’t really hit it high but I tried to a few times and I hit it over,” Champ said ahead of his maiden appearance in Australia, this week’s Australian PGA Championship at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast.

“They kind of told me not to do that anymore, which was funny.”

Earlier today he was taken to one of the most picturesque settings on the Gold Coast and asked to launch balls 310 yards across Currumbin Alley onto Palm Beach, a feat he was able to achieve comfortably despite an unsure, sandy footing:

With athletic gifts that allow him to propel a golf ball extraordinary distances through timing rather than simply brute force, Champ averaged 317.9 yards (290.7 metres) off the tee to lead the PGA Tour in driving distance in 2018-2019, four yards clear of the next best, Irishman Rory McIlroy.

Since his days as a teenager, the now 24-year-old has left seasoned golf coaches gobsmacked with the way he can deliver immense power so efficiently into the back of the ball and it has already delivered two wins on the PGA Tour in little more than 12 months.

Spectators will come to Royal Pines to see and hear how differently Champ hits a golf ball but he hopes that they leave with a far broader understanding of what he believes in.

“I want to be known as a good guy. I couldn’t care less about distance or any of that stuff,” Champ added.

[Chris Hyde/Getty Images]


“The game is drawn to that no matter what. If you look at DJ (Dustin Johnson), DJ now has the accolades of winning, so that’s pushed it aside but it’s still there.

“To me it’s never going to go away, it’s just all based on results really. That’s how our world operates. When I’m playing good everyone’s for it; when I’m playing bad everyone’s saying that his this, that and that.

“For me I just want to be known as a good son, a good husband, a good grandson and everything else after that is what it is.”

Headlining the Australian PGA Championship alongside Queensland favourites Adam Scott and two-time defending champion Cameron Smith, Champ is joined in the field by fellow Americans Stewart Cink and Smylie Kaufman.

Comfortable with his standing as a tournament drawcard, Champ is also ready for any potential anti-American sentiment that may carry over from yesterday’s pulsating Presidents Cup finale.

“I’m all for the fun and games,” said Champ, who planned to familiarise himself with nine holes of the Royal Pines layout this afternoon.

“That was an incredible match on both sides. It came down to one match. After all that it came down to Kuchar’s match and he was able to pull it out.

“I’m not going to try and put any extra pressure on myself from being one of only a few guys from the States. I’m just going to enjoy my week and have fun. When I played Dunlop in Japan a few weeks ago, I played really well; got washed out the last day, which was unfortunate. Then my coach Sean Foley came in for a few days last week and I’m hitting it well.

“I’ve been playing as much as I can, fitting it in with the weather and the cold fronts [in Houston]. My game feels good, I feel confident so we’ll see what happens.”