How Many Golf Balls Are On The Moon?

January 9, 2022 7:53 am Published by

The Golf Trip Destination of a Lifetime – The Moon!

Golfing on the Moon?

That’s right, a game of golf on the moon! How many lost golf balls are up on the moon?
Well, two. There are two golf balls currently on the moon. Why is this a thing and how did I even think this is relevant?

Humanity Signature Litter

American astronaut on the moon

Probably trying to recover the lost balls.

Well, I was thinking about how humans are good at littering and thought hey I wonder if golf balls are lost in places unexpected? What could be more unexpected than “humanity’s signature litter” ending up in outer space? We talk a lot about how golf balls are bad for Earth’s environment and the explosion in microplastic pollution on Earth which golf balls play a small role in. We have no idea how long these golf balls will last on the moon, but we expect them to be up there for a long time!

How Did Golf Balls Leave Planet Earth?

How did golf balls get off planet Earth? Let us go back to 1971 and the space race. During the Apollo 14 space mission astronaut Alan Shepard wanted to be more than the first American into space. He wanted to be the first, and so far only, person to play golf in outer space!

This legend smuggled a clubhead and a pair of balls aboard the mission, attached the head to a rock collecter and had himself a good time. Here are his words as officially recorded by Nasa:
“Houston, while you’re looking that up, you might recognize what I have in my hand is 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.”

Alan Shepard had to smuggle the club and balls aboard the Antares since NASA did not approve of golf balls being hit on the surface of the moon. Space litter is as bad as Earth litter, we can only imagine how many years it’s going to take for those balls to break down! Perhaps the next time someone wants to hit golf balls in space, they should bring up a 3-ball sleeve of biodegradable golf balls with them! Planting a flag is a popular way for countries to flex and let everyone know they made it to the moon, why not print the flag on a ball and make their mark that way?

Did You Hear The One About Bob Hope and Space Golf?

At the nexus of American popular culture and golf at the time, you would always find Bob Hope. The story goes that “Three-Put” Hope made a trip to NASA HQ in preparation for a TV special that involved the Apollo team.

Hope was well known to always have a golf club on hand. When Bob was being shown the simulated moon gravity testing device, an idea was born! Why not test the effects of lunar gravity on the flight of a golf ball?

Shepard talked a local golf professional Jack Harden into making a special lubhead for the occasion. They came up with a Wilson Staff Dyna-Power 6-iron head that could be attached to the lunar rock sample scooper for discreet transport.

Who Exactly Was Alan Shepard?

Everyone probably knows the names of Buzz and Neil, but let’s talk about Alan!

Alan Shepard was the first First American in Space. Born on November 18, 1923, in East Derry, New Hampshire, Alan Shepard was a space trailblazer. On May 5, 1961, he hopped aboard the Mercury-Redstone 3, aka Freedom 7, rocket. Zooming up to 116 miles at a lightning 5,134 mph, he became the first American to venture into space.

Shepard’s space swagger made him a national hero, and he didn’t stop there. In 1971, he led the Apollo 14 mission, strolling on the Moon as the fifth human to do so. He was an avid golfer and made national headlines by being the first to play a round outside of Earth’s atmosphere.

He passed away on July 21, 1998, but his legacy in space exploration still shines as brightly as the stars.

The Exploit was Caught on Film and Camera!

The entire thing was also captured on video! Check out the YouTube video of all the action. The best part of this video is that Crewmate Edgar Mitchell and Capcom Fred Haise didn’t miss a beat with a few good jokes at Alan’s expense. Lines like “you got more dirt than the ball” and “looked like a slice to me, Al” are great lines to use on the course as well as the moon as it were.


Some cool photographs of the impacts of the lunar golf game can be seen s part of the Apollo Remastered program.
enhancing and digitizing the archival footage and audio recordings from the Apollo missions, particularly the Apollo 11 Moon landing in 1969.

This effort involves improving the quality of images and audio recordings, making them more accessible to the public and researchers, and preserving this historic material for future generations. The remastered content provides a clearer and more immersive view of the Apollo missions, offering new insights into one of humanity’s greatest achievements in space exploration. Now we can see exactly how it went down! Pretty cool!

The Legacy Of Lunar Golf

Those two balls are still there today. As we enter a new age of space exploration and travel, I imagine others are going to want to drive a few balls into the great unknown of the universe. What a perfect place to use our biodegradable golf balls! Let’s not clog up the moon or Mars with litter when a great alternative exists. I can see it now, Elon and Shatner driving a few biodegradable balls from a moon or a Mars base seeing who can drive them the furthest! I wonder if any of our customers have an in with a space agency, we could send a box up for testing!

Even if you don’t plan on leaving the planet’s atmosphere anytime soon, biodegradable golf balls are still a hit! Don’t mess up our ecosystem when you can still have fun driving balls and not ever have to worry about where they will end up or how they will impact the environment.

If you are interested in learning more, you should check out the Golf Association Museum.  Alan dominated the club used to hit the ball to the museum when he returned from the trip and they have taken great care to preserve this item in the same condition as it was used back then. Also the National Air and Space Museum, in D.C. has crafted a pretty cool reproduction of the club.



Categorised in:

This post was written by dyllan