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  • Writer's pictureBig Rick Stuart

50 years ago, an Apollo 14 astronaut played golf on the moon. Here's the inside story

Most golfers really want to avoid sand traps, but NASA astronaut Alan Shepard had no choice but to deal with one when wielding a six-iron head on the moon's dusty surface 50 years ago this month.

Shepard took a few moments during the Apollo 14 landing to show off his hobby during a live broadcast from the lunar surface on Feb. 6, 1971. He took two shots, with the second ball going "miles and mile," he said on-camera.

Like any good astronaut, Shepard simulated his golf shot long before making it to the moon. He would regularly haul his more than 200-lb. (90 kilograms) spacesuit to a local bunker to practice his shot while suited up, away from the public eye, just to make sure he could land it, USGA said.

Decades after the historic golf excursion, Shepard still had pride in the accomplishment. "So far I'm the only person to have hit a golf ball on the moon. Probably will be for some time," he told NASA in the February 1998 oral history, a few months before his death at age 74. He marveled at how different an experience was golfing on the lunar surface. "What a neat place to whack a golf ball."

stock Wix photo

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