Who Golfed on the Moon?

Did you know that we had one man golf on the moon? His name was Alan Shepard and he thought it was prudent to boldly take golf where no man has swung before.

As an American naval officer, aviator, test pilot and NASA astronaut, Alan Shepard commanded the Apollo 14 mission to the moon. He is most famously known as the oldest man to step on the moon at the age of 47. But more importantly, he hit two golf balls on the lunar surface on February 6, 1971.

Shepard was limited to holding his makeshift 6-iron with one hand while he swung. Because his spacesuit was bulky and his vision obscured by a large helmet, the first ball angled off into a crater. But his second shot was a solid hit. The ball soared an amazing 200-400 yards!

In order to get the golf club and balls into space, Shepard has to smuggle them into the Saturn V Rocket in a sock. NSA wouldn’t approve of any fun and games in space so everything was in secret. The idea came to Shepard when he gave Bob Hope a tour of the NASA complex, who was swinging an old driver he had brought with him while hooked up to a moon walker.

Since NASA wouldn’t allow a full golf club on board, Shepard had to be creative. He went over to the River Oaks Country Club in Houston and a man named Jack Harden jerry-rigged a retractable instrument used for rock and soil samples into a foldable 6-iron. All Shepard had to do was affix the head of a 6-iron to the instrument and unfold it for lunar golfing goodness.

We’re guessing nobody will ever find Shepard’s ball – it must have flown into some moon dirt. But think of it – transporting that golf club must have cost NASA $100,000 in fuel alone! Now that’s a passionate golfer.

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