The Australasian and Asia-Pacific long-drive champion on hitting bombs and training for the big stage

Standing 201 centimetres tall, Steffan Scutti once dreamed of a professional basketball career. But a heart condition thwarted that ambition and it was a chance encounter with a TrackMan launch monitor that convinced him to pursue long driving. Scutti announced himself by winning the 2019 Australian Long Drive Championship with a 352-metre drive in the final. The COVID pandemic put a sudden halt to his aspirations of competing on the world stage. But he re-emerged last year to win the Professional Long Drive Association event in Melbourne with a 358-metre blow. He validated that success by capturing the Asia Long Drive Championship in Thailand, setting a tournament-record with a 369-metre drive.

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What’s the longest drive you’ve
ever hit?

On a golf course, 412 metres at The National’s Ocean course before it was redeveloped. It was a par 5 and I had 39 metres [into the green]. In a long-drive tournament, 403 yards. That ball was in the semi-final of the 2022 Asia Long Drive Championship.

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When did you realise you had a talent for long driving?

Growing up, I played a lot of basketball. So I didn’t take up golf until I was about 16. Got really good, really quickly. Went from a handicap of 20 to scratch within a couple of years. I was just playing pennant for the club at Yarra Yarra and looking to turn pro from there.

With general golf background, I had no courage and quit on my aspirations. I quit golf altogether for a couple of years, came back and got into playing pennant for Yarra. Then one night we had pennant practice on a TrackMan – a bit of a long drive comp. And our head pro Andrew Bertram found that my speeds were a lot faster than usual. He suggested looking into [competitive] long drive. I didn’t even know it was a sport back then, seven or eight years ago.

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What’s your best asset?

I was a very good basketballer growing up and had a college lined up in the States. I was going to fly over at the end of 2016, but I have a heart condition that affects the rest of the body. It was the reason why I had to quit basketball, but the benefits of this condition have actually helped me with long drive.

I’m fairly tall and lanky and that comes from the condition called Marfan Syndrome. Basically, my bones overdeveloped. They grow a bit longer than usual. The muscles are a lot more elastic, therefore I’ve got a lot more movement in my body as well as the joints. Over-mobile joints allow me to get a lot more rotation in my golf swing, which obviously generates a lot more clubhead speed.

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What are your driver and shaft specs?

We’re always mixing around. You always bring two to three drivers to the tee at a time, depending on the conditions of the event. But a lot of the modern long-drive guys are moving into a very soft-flex shaft to generate a little bit more whip through the ball. I’m not personally a fan. Under pressure it’s a lot tougher to hit because we’re hitting between 3 and 5-degree loft drivers at 48-inch length… To go and put in a senior-flex shaft, it almost feels like a fishing rod. It’s very hard to time.

So I tend to go the more basic option, which is always as stiff as possible. So I’ve got shafts between XX and XXXX stiff shafts with your 3 and 4-degree loft head. I use a standard, tour-issue Hazardous Hulk shaft. I’ve got a whole bunch of different shafts [including] Autoflex. My driver head is Reve Toxic.

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What practice aids do you use?

I have a Spornia [SPG-7] Golf Practice Net in the backyard. I’m always smashing balls in there. It’s a fantastic net that is very sturdy and I haven’t put a ball through the middle of it. I’m hitting balls at 215, 220 [miles per hour] ball speed into that net. So they’re fantastic nets and good for my training. I think it’s $400-$500, depending on the size, that you’re looking at [to buy one].

I use T-Claw as well to tee up a ball. They’re a fantastic little tool for every golfer that uses artificial mats. They’re very effective. We tend to use them in our long-drive events as well. It makes it a lot easier during your set when you’re teeing up six balls. Bending down and teeing up each ball can get a bit annoying.

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What’s one tip you give golfers about how to hit it further?

The most important thing is high hands in the golf swing. So you need to take the club back and get your hands as high as possible. As far away from the body as possible before then generating power on the downswing. And ripping the clubhead down from the grip.

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What’s the biggest mistake that golfers make when seeking further distance?

They’ll tend to sway their body. So they’ll try to generate power in their legs. But instead of turning and coiling their hips, they’ll just sway and shift their weight.

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When is your next long drive championship?

I just got back from a trip around Europe. I had an event in Germany, had an event in Budapest in Hungary. I’m off to Japan in August. I’ll be defending my Australasian Open soon as well – the one I won in Thailand. The biggest will be the World Long Drive Championship [in Atlanta in October]. 


AGE: 31

HOMETOWN: Melbourne

HEIGHT: 201cm (6-foot-7)

WEIGHT: 103kg

CLUB AFFILIATION: Ranfurlie Golf Club


OCCUPATION: Personal trainer (golf-specific coach) at Yes Fitness, Brighton

• To book Steffan Scutti to attend your corporate golf event, phone him on 0434 208 740 or e-mail [email protected]