Technology and the game had both greatly advanced by the time golf enthusiast Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. lifted off to the moon on January 31, 1971, with a golf club stowed away in his gear on Apollo 14. Shepard even helped design a special club for his historic lunar shot. NASA engineers fashioned four pieces of aluminum normally used for geological exploration into a six iron, which folded up like a telescope. The late astronaut’s first swing on the Fra Mauro region hit a clump of moondust. The NASA transmission to earth was: “Got more dirt than ball. Here we go again.” No official yardage was ever reported, but like many golfers, Shepard had an excellent excuse for the lack of distance: ” Because of the cumbersome suit I was wearing, I couldn’t make a very good pivot on the swing and I had to hit the ball with just one hand.” Shepard later retired to the California golf mecca of Pebble Beach, and the club is now part of the collection housed at the United States Golf Association in Far Hills, New Jersey.
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Apollo 14