Kyle Berkshire On Long Hair, Super-Vision, Hang Time, Shaft Flex

Kyle Berkshire, 2023 World Long Drive Championship, Atlanta,(Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images)
Kyle Berkshire, 2023 World Long Drive Championship, Atlanta,(Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images) /

There’s a lot more to Kyle Berkshire than see ball hit ball.  Of course, he does specialize in that, but he’s entertaining, funny, intelligent, and takes his profession seriously but doesn’t take himself seriously.

He’s become known for his long hair and beard, making him look a bit like D’Artagnan of Three Musketeers fame, although the real D’Artagnan apparently had a career in espionage. So far as we know, Berkshire isn’t a secret agent, but a real secret agent wouldn’t let you know, would he?  Berkshire’s also been likened to a Viking, which is just fine with him.

When it comes to Berkshire’s famous hair, the style was actually an accident. The overall look isn’t, at least not anymore.

“I had one of my buddies who’s like really into that kind of stuff like that style my beard out a certain way,” Berkshire admitted, adding that these days he definitely takes his appearance more seriously than he used to.

"“A lot of people believe the stiffness of the shaft is important to long drive success,” Berkshire said. “It’s actually the loft of the club, you know, spin loft.”"

“I think it’s important as a performer to look a certain way,” he said. “If I had my way, I would probably not have the hair. It’s just such a nuisance to deal with sometimes.”

Women all over the world can relate. And a few men. There was that Fabio guy. And a few NFL players.

The truth is, in college, Kyle Berkshire had short hair.

Even when he first started his path toward long drive, it was short. One day changed all that.

“I was in the barber shop, and my barber just never showed up to cut my hair, so I just left. That was it. The rest is history,” he explained.

A month later, there was a televised long drive event, and Berkshire’s hair was long enough to be different and get comments.

Kyle Berkshire, World Long Drive, Long Hair, Shaft Flex
Kyle Berkshire, 2023 World Long Drive Championship, Atlanta, (Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images) /

Jonathan Coachman, the announcer who moved from WWE to Long Drive, had started working the long drive telecasts. He noticed Berkshire’s hair was getting longer and started making a thing of it.

“I just kind of let it grow out the rest of the year, and then by 2019 it was pretty much in full force,” Berkshire said.

Full force is past shoulder length at this point. Whether he’ll go to the Miguel Angel Jimenez bun style or the NFL flowing mane look is unknown.  So far, he seems happy to take his hat off and let the locks bounce and flow after victories. Maybe he’s the next star in shampoo commercials with Troy Polamalu and Patrick Mahomes.


While we know that with lights, drones, and TV cameras, the balls in long drive can be followed or at least found quickly, those balls have typically traveled to the high 300s in yardage. In fact, it wasn’t until 1997 that Jason Zuback hit a ball beyond 400 yards.  He won with a drive of 412. No one else reached 400 until Clayton Burger 20 years ago who managed to just edge over the mark with 402 yards.

Then Jamie Sadlowski changed things, going all the way to 418 in 2006. All but five winners since then have broken the 400 mark, with the longest pokes, two of them at 427 yards, belonging to Tim Burke in 2013 and 2015.

At that point, the question becomes can they see the balls land? According to Kyle Berkshire, sometimes yes and sometimes no.

"“The world championship, you know we’re hitting — it’s kind of more neutral conditions — so like we’re carrying it like 370-380 when you hit a good one, and I’m seeing a lot of those balls land if they’re the yellow balls or the orange balls.” – – Kyle Berkshire"

But the other colors, white and pink, not so much. He said he is trained to know how to spot them, but not the one that went 579 yards in Wyoming.

“The ball that went 579, carried about 512 in the air, so you’re not seeing that, no way,” he insisted.

That’s why they have spotters.

Hang Time

When Kyle Berkshire was trying to break the world record for longest drive ever in Wyoming, he knew he had a short window that day. There was at least 30 seconds of hang time for each ball hit. That’s never mind stepping into it, taking a stance swinging, and hitting, which probably took another 15 seconds, minimum.

Then there has to be a short break between drives, even if it’s 15 to 20 seconds. That means it’s nearly a minute to a minute and 15 seconds per shot.

Berkshire said he had 20 balls in front of him, and if he had needed all of them, that would have been between 20 and 25 minutes, minimum, for him to hit all of them.

But the biggest issue of all was the weather. Experts guessed that he had, at most, a 30-minute window to attempt the record before the rain started.

“I did it on my eighth ball. 579. But what happened was the wind quickly started shifting from a helping crosswind to a straight crosswind and then the rain hit,” he said about the situation that day in Wyoming.

"“I can’t hit one ball in the air and then while that’s being tracked hit another one because then it won’t be good for the video. So that was the toughest part,” he explained. “I had to take like 40-45 seconds between swings so that the ball could be called back and captured on camera and all that stuff. So that was the toughest part.”"

Shaft Flex

And here’s the biggest shocking secret about Berkshire’s success: He often uses a regular flex shaft. Yes. Really.

“A lot of people believe the stiffness of the shaft is important to long drive success,” Berkshire said. “It’s actually the loft of the club, you know, spin loft. The lower we can make our spin loft at higher speeds the better we manage spin, so shaft doesn’t really matter too much.”

That might be the most surprising fact about Berkshire’s equipment, because PGA Tour pros usually use the stiffest shafts they can find. And it’s not a great leap of logic to think that a long drive expert wants what a PGA Tour pro wants, length.  If they all have extra stiff shafts, wouldn’t a long drive expert want that, too? Apparently not.

“The big thing with me is a more flexible shaft allows me to create a little more speed because it causes more toe rotation because a shaft will kick down the bottom of the swing,” he noted. “It’s certainly not as accurate, but it does produce similar amounts of balls in the grid.  It’s just the misses are much worse.”

As he added, it doesn’t matter if he misses the grid by five yards or 200 yards. It just matters that you hit the grid.

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“I found I hit the grid a similar amount of times with the regular flex shaft, but in golf (regular golf, playing 9 or 18 holes), I hit a 2X Flex because like it does matter if you miss the fairway by five yards or 50 yards,” he insisted.

“But for long drive, the regular flex shaft, I just can create more speed and, more importantly, it’s easier on my body.”