Hats off to whoever at the Union-Leader spotted this little bit of analysis about the distance traveled by the golf balls hit on the moon by New Hampshire’s own Alan Shepard. The story is here.
The conclusion: the first ball went 24 yards and the second 40 yards, according to the research released on Friday. Saunders used high-resolution scans of the actual original flight film and other image enhancement techniques to come to the conclusion.
Shepard said they went “miles and miles” which shows that he’s a typical sportsman when evaluating his own achievements.
After reading your article, I wonder whether a human could hit a golf ball into the moon’s orbit. My scientific, objective, mind tells me the boring answer “NO!” So, then, how much force would it take to knock a golf ball into lunar orbit? (Maybe Nicklaus X 3?).
As a very young boy, I once caddied for Mr. Shephard. It was during a pro-am/celebrity event on the USLPGA tour. He was a gentleman. I don’t remember how well he played. I asked him what brand of golf balls he hit on the moon. He said he wouldn’t tell me — or anyone else — because he feared it’d end up as a promotion.