hit more fairways. make more putts. avoid the hazards. play by the rules.
Golf in Space, Part II

Posted on Thursday 2 March 2006

35 years ago Alan Shepard and Ed Mitchell took their second spacewalk of the Apollo 14 mission and Shepard became the first man ever to hit a golf ball while not standing on the face of the earth.

Now, standing before the television camera, he addressed his audience on Earth: “In my left hand, I have a little white pellet that’s familiar to millions of Americans.” Shepard wielded a makeshift golf club, made from a six-iron head attached to a sample-collection tool handle. In his pressurized suit he could only manage a one-handed swing. But after a couple of tries, Shepard managed to connect with the ball, which went sailing away in the Moon’s one-sixth gravity. While the world listened, Shepard exulted, “Miles and miles!” Alan Shepard had become the first lunar golfer, and no one minded if he exaggerated just a bit.

Now E21, a Canadian manufacturer of golf clubs, has managed to convince various space agencies to let a Russian cosmonaut use a club to hit a ball from an external platform on the Space Station. The ball will have a transmitter inside, allowing it to be tracked while in orbit for approximately four months. The company would not say how much it is paying for the stunt. Understandably. 🙂

Shepard’s club, by the way, is now on display at the World Golf Hall of Fame.


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