Maybe you were laying in your bed one night, unable to sleep, and suddenly wondered, how many golf balls are on the moon?
It is a very odd question to ask yourself, but maybe there is a good reason for asking it.
In this article, we will tell you exactly how many golf balls are currently on the moon.
How Many Golf Balls Are On The Moon?
Currently, there are 2 golf balls located on the moon, left there by astronaut Alan Shepard in 1971 during the Apollo 14 mission. Astronaut Alan Shepard shot both balls with a 6-Iron club head and left the balls on the moon.
In fact, there are currently 2 white golf balls currently located on the surface of the moon, held their by the moon’s gravity field.
The 2 golf balls were not always on the moon, nor brought their by aliens. The golf balls were brought to the moon by former astronaut Alan Shepard.
In 1971, Alan Shepard reached the moon during the Apollo 14 mission, and decided to take out 2 golf balls.
He also took out a Wilson Staff Dyna-Power 6-Iron golf club head and attached it to a space lunar rock sampling tool.
Alan Shepard then wanted to hit the golf balls with the club head, but he could only use a single arm because of the stiffness of his spacesuit.
In the Nasa’s Official Transcript, we have access to reports of what Alan Shepard said while on the moon; here is an excerpt:
“Houston, while you’re looking that up, you might recognize what I have in my hand as the handle for the contingency sample return; it just so happens to have a genuine six iron on the bottom of it. In my left hand, I have a little white pellet that’s familiar to millions of Americans. I’ll drop it down. Unfortunately, the suit is so stiff, I can’t do this with two hands, but I’m going to try a little sand-trap shot here.”
Trying to still manage good golf shots, Alan Shepard shot both golf balls, sending them “flying” at unimpressive distances of 24 yards for the first ball and 40 yards for the second.
Why could Alan Shepard not shoot the moon golf balls further away?
First of all, using only one arm severely limited the power and ability to make the club follow the correct swing path during the 2 moon shots.
In addition, the moon’s gravity is much weaker than the Earth’s gravity, so it is a lot harder to accelerate the club head across space on the moon. With less club head speed, it is a lot harder to generate power, and thus, carry distance.
Today, the 2 golf balls shot by Alan Shepard are still on the moon, but the 6-Iron club head used was brought back to Earth, and now lies in the USGA Hall of Fame, located in New Jersey.
You can see the improvised golf club up above, made from the Wilson 6-Iron club head and the lunar rock sampling tool. It is now located in the USGA Hall of Fame in New Jersey.
If you are wondering why there is a sock on the image, it is because Alan Shepard used the sock to hold both the golf balls and the club head before using them.
Up above is an image of one of the golf ball currently on the moon. You can see the ball in the middle of the red circle. It is amazing that we can have images of the moon like this one, all thanks to technology.
There you go! After reading this article, you have discovered that there are in fact 2 golf balls currently located on the moon, despite how crazy it is to think about.
You learnt that Alan Shepard was the astronaut who left the 2 golf balls on the moon in 1971 during the Apollo 14 mission because he loved golf.
Can you believe there are golf balls on the moon? Let us know in the comments down below!