How Many Golf Balls Are On The Moon? Can We Play Golf On The Moon

by Alvin Daniel
How Many Golf Balls Are On The Moon

The question of how many golf balls are on the moon has long been asked with much curiosity and speculation. It’s a fascinating thought to consider, and even more so when you think that it might be possible to actually play golf on the moon!

But what does science have to say about this? Is there any evidence that golf could be played in space? In this article, we will explore what science has discovered so far about golfing in space, whether humans can tee off on our closest celestial neighbor, and other strange places people used to play golf.

 

How Many Golf Balls Are On The Moon?

The official answer is two golf balls.

There are some rumors that three balls were on the moon, but NASA said they found two balls that Shepard played with.

The two golf balls in question are the ones hit by astronaut Alan Shepard during the Apollo 14 mission in 1971, making him the first human to ever hit a golf ball in space. The other ball was supposed to be hidden under the moon’s surface. But that’s only a rumor.

how many golf balls are there on the moon
Two Golf Balls Are On The Moon Hit By Alan Shepard. Image Source: astronomy.com

The official answer is 2 balls. Then, how can Alan Shepard bring these balls and play them while it was not accepted before they boarded the spaceship? Dive into exploring the mystery of these balls!

Mystery Of Two Balls Played On The Moon

How Many Golf Balls Are In The Moon
Mystery Of Two Balls Played On The Moon. Image Source: Carolyn M.Walker

Two balls played on the Moon by Alan Shepard on board the Apollo 14 mission in 1971 have become a part of myths and legends since then. Alan Shepard took two golf balls, a six-iron head attached to a sample acquisition device handle with him as he prepared for a unique golf hit on the Moon.

When Shepard made contact with the lunar surface – becoming the fifth man to walk on it – he had already set up his makeshift club and was eager to tee off. The first shot that Shepard hit got lost somewhere in space when he “whacked” it using his modified Apollo Lunar Module Extension Handle. Astronauts Edgar Mitchell and Stuart Roosa, who stayed in orbit during Shepard’s moon-walk, watched the ball as it soared off into space only to disappear.

The second attempt was a bit more successful and yielded some results. Shepard hit the second golf ball with a fair amount of force, and it floated away from him. He then estimated that it had gone for around 200 yards – an incredible feat considering the lack of gravity on the surface of the Moon. However, Saunders et al., who conducted a study for NASA in 1972, concluded that the ball had merely bounced along the lunar surface and then ended up just about 40 yards.

NASA did not report much about Shepard’s game of golf until years later when he himself revealed the details of the event. Shepard became a part of history when he became the first person to take a golf swing on another planet, and although his scorecard has not been preserved, people have managed to record his feat in other ways. To honor this unique event, The Golf Course at NASA’s Johnson Space Center was named after him — The Alan B. Shepard Jr. Golf Course. 

How Many Golf Balls Are On The Moon
Mystery Of Two Balls Played On The Moon. Image Source: eBay

More than four decades later, Shepard’s lunar golf game still stands as an important moment for space exploration, and it is admired by scientists around the world who believe that it served its purpose of inspiring future generations to explore uncharted territories with courage and innovation. It is also a reminder of how the human spirit can be put in service of science and how we can all use our talents to achieve the impossible.

Although it remains a mystery where Shepard’s two golf balls ended up, their mark on history still stands strong as one of the greatest feats ever achieved by an astronaut. Alan Shepard’s visionary game has inspired people across boundaries and become a part of myths and legends that will be remembered for generations to come.

Take Away

Who Hit The Balls On The Moon?

Alan Shepard became the first and only person to hit a golf ball on the moon.

how many golf balls are there on the moon
Alan Shepard Became The First And Only Person To Hit A Golf Ball On The Moon. Image Source: alchetron.com

When The Golf Balls Were Hit On The Moon?

The golf balls were hit during the Apollo 14 mission in 1971.

What Type Of Club Was Used To Play On The Moon?

Shepard used a makeshift six-iron head attached to a sample acquisition device handle.

How Far Did The Balls Go On The Moon?

Specialist Andy Saunders estimated the first ball traveled 24 yards, and the second traveled 40 yards on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 14 mission.

How Did The World Record This Event?

NASA named The Golf Course at NASA’s Johnson Space Center after Shepard — The Alan B. Shepard Jr. Golf Course—in honor of this unique event. Shepard’s 6-iron club also hangs in the National Air and Space Museum.

Weird Places People Used To Play Golf In The World

In Frozen Lakes In Siberia

How Many Golf Balls Are In The Moon
The Golfer Plays Golf In The Word Ice Golf Cup in Siberia. Image Source: siberiantimes.com

The World Ice Golf Cup is held in the annual Lake Baikal challenge. It has become quite the tradition for participants to tee off on ice with temperatures hovering around -30°C. Competitors are kitted out in full winter gear, which includes a bonnet and heavy gloves.

On Top Of The Great Wall Of China

How Many Golf Balls Are On The Moon
Miguel Angel Jimenez Turns The Great Wall Into A Driving Range. Image Source: golfdigest.com

Golfers can make their way up the winding paths of the Great Wall of China to play a round of golf. The world’s longest wall was built over 2000 years ago and provides some spectacular views as players try to sink a putt in this ancient place.

Miguel Angel Jimenez – a Spanish professional golfer used to turn the Great Wall into a driving range in 2016.

On An Aircraft Carrier At Sea 

how many golf balls are there on the moon
Sailors played golf on the USS Carl Vinson. Image Source: Saturn_Ecplise

Some sailors turn The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson into a floating golf course. They played golf on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson. It was a fun and unique place to play a game of golf with the backdrop of incredible architecture.

Besides these strange places where people used to play, there are other places we don’t list here or even haven’t known because people can play anywhere, providing that they have a strong passion for golf, like Alan Shepard.

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Conclusion

Whether it’s on the moon, in Siberia, or anywhere else – golf is a game that people all over the world enjoy playing. Alan Shepard was an inspiration to us all when he became the first person to take a golf swing on another planet. His game has become part of history and is remembered as one of the greatest feats ever achieved by an astronaut.

Although the exact whereabouts of his two golf balls remain a mystery, their mark on history stands strong to this day. People can now play golf in some of the strangest places on Earth, thanks to Alan Shepard’s pioneering spirit. So grab your clubs and get ready to hit those balls!

FAQs

How Many Golf Balls Are Lost In The US?

According to the National Golf Foundation, over 300 million golf balls are lost each year in the United States.

Can I Hit Golf Balls Into The Ocean?

Yes, but it is not recommended, as the golf balls could be swallowed by marine life and cause them harm.

What Do I Do If I Hit My Golf Ball In The Water?

If your golf ball is in the water, you can declare it lost and take a one-stroke penalty. You are then allowed to replace the ball with a new one from the tee area without any additional penalty.

Can I Hit My Golf Ball Over Buildings?

According to USGA rule 13-4b, you cannot hit a ball over an immovable obstruction. This includes buildings, trees, or any other object that cannot be moved.

 

Author

  • Alvin Daniel

    Hello everyone, I'm Alvin Daniel. I was born in the Philippines and came to the United States when I was 16 years old. I started playing golf at that age and have loved it ever since. I turned professional when I was 21 and have been working as a golf instructor and guide ever since. My goal is to help everyone know more about this great game of golf. And, hopefully, through my instruction, they can improve their skills and enjoy the game even more.

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