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Monica Lieving leaves mark on World Long Drive

The Colorado resident is currently the No. 2 ranked Long Drive golfer in the world, after battling back from injuries and illnesses.

WESTMINSTER, Colo — Not everyone takes the path most traveled. Monica Lieving, a former standout golfer at Arkansas State University, left most of her clubs in the bag when she graduated college and found a new sport that suited her spirit a bit better in World Long Drive.

"I can't replicate the feeling that I get when I'm standing up there and competing and when you hit a good shot when you need it," she said. "I mean, I've never felt anything like it."

A feeling she needed to soak in. Lieving is living proof of perseverance. Prior to one tournament, she suffered ocular migraines with auras, which she later learned were from a stroke. Lieving pushed through and won that tournament. Later that season, she was told she had a herniated disc and had a cancer scare -- and won again. She battled through all of that and catapulted to the top of the rankings, taking back control of her own life.

"I kind of felt like I was the main character of my story, right? I have all of these things that could be pushing me down, just like I had all of these things during college, even before then, people, situations, things that made me feel like they were getting in my way and stopping me from my potential, and Long Drive for me has been like I get to take my story back," she said. "The confidence that it gave me, that I could still go out and win under those circumstances, has changed my life and there's still a lot of things that will happen in life, but in that situation, I just felt on top of the world that I could overcome that."

Now, Lieving is the number two ranked woman in World Long Drive with two wins out of three tournaments in 2023 for a total of 562.5 world points, trailing Devon Cassazza by only five points in the standings. In what she describes as a male-dominated sport, Lieving said she loves leading a pack of strong women at the tee box.

Credit: KUSA Sports

"I think that the fun part about it, it's kind of that feeling and storyline of not necessarily like proving people wrong but like proving myself right," she said. "Yes, I'm capable of doing this, yes, this is what I do, and I'm good at it. I think that going out there and being a woman who can do that, which is predominantly a male thing, is really empowering and I'm really passionate about showing women can do this, too. There's a lot of amazing women who do compete in this sport and they're incredible and we put on a show and we're really fun to watch and people love watching it."

Lieving is from Geneseo, Il and currently lives in Lakewood, CO. 

The next World Long Drive tournament is July 30 in Portland CT. Three of the next tournaments will be featured on Golf Channel this year, with the World Long Drive Championship teeing off in Atlanta in October. Lieving has the chance to be a first-time world champion.


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