NASA

Out of this world: Shepard put golf on moon 50 years ago


Left behind were two golf balls that Shepard, who later described the moon’s surface as “one big sand trap,” hit with a makeshift 6-iron to become a footnote in history.


Harmon is loosely connected with the shot through his relationship with Jack Harden Sr., the former head pro at River Oaks Country Club in Houston whom Shepard asked to build him a 6-iron he could take to the moon.


Walker, a space enthusiast with a skill and passion for astrophotography, worked with the USGA and Saunders as the Apollo 14 anniversary neared to see how far he could hit a 6-iron in one-sixth gravity of the moon.


According to USGA historian Michael Trostel, that’s what made Shepard realize a golf shot would be the ideal illustration of the moon’s gravitational pull.


“He was incessant tinkerer with equipment,” said Brandel Chamblee, a Golf Channel analyst and longtime friend of Harden’s son.


I want to wait until the very end of the mission, stand in front of the television camera, whack these golf balls with this makeshift club, fold it up, stick it in my pocket, climb up the ladder, and close the door, and we’ve gone.”






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