10 Bizarre and Unbelievable facts about golf
“Although golf was originally restricted to wealthy, overweight protestants, today it’s open to anybody who owns hideous clothing” – Dave Barry
From Alice Cooper and Samuel L Jackson to Barack Obama and Bill Murray, golf is still massively popular among the rich, famous and powerful. A sport that brings the personalities of its often obsessive players to the fore, golf’s greatest anecdotes, stories and facts are as nutty and extravagant as the players. From miracle shots to off the green antics, these are 10 bizarre and unbelievable facts about golf.
1. Contractual obligation
Pulp Fiction and Shaft star Samuel L Jackson is so keen on golf that he has golf breaks written into his contract for any film he acts in guaranteeing him two golf sessions for every working week.
2. Sink it!
A staggering 125,000 golf balls are committed to a watery grave at the infamous 17th hole of the Sawgrass Stadium course every year.
3. Bad first impression
The first recognized mention of golf appears in a parliamentary act in 1457 banning it outright. It was feared by James II of Scotland that golf (and football) were robbing people of time that should be spent practicing archery for the war against the English.
Ironically, the first recorded golfer was Mary Queen of Scots.
4. Extreme sport
While golf will never be considered alongside daredevil sports like mountain climbing or base jumping, some entrepreneurial individuals have taken the sport to its limits. One famous course features a tee located 1,300ft up a mountain with the green at its base! A hole in one bags you a cool $1 million though, so it’s worth a shot.
5. Out of this world
Golf is one of two sports to have been played on the moon, javelin being the other. Why during the lengthy planning of Apollo 14 someone decided to bring a six iron and ball is anyone’s guess.
6. Start as you mean to go on
World famous golf legend Tiger Woods began his astonishing career very early. Among his countless accolades and trophies he can also boast an ace at the age of 8!
7. Expensive customs
In Japan, it is tradition for golfers who get a hole in one to throw a party and give gifts to their friends and family as a way of sharing their good luck. This has led to a boom in sales of ‘hole in one insurance’, whereby golfers pay a premium so that if they do score this wonder shot a company will cover the cost of their celebrations!
8. Miracles happen
With odds of 1 in 64 million Kassandra Komma scored a miraculous 2 hole in one shots in a 9 hole course in 2013 … neither of which she saw land on the green.
9. The mighty ‘Condor’
Held in greater esteem than the humble hole in one, the ‘Condor’ is considered to be the rarest event in golf and is achieved upon managing four under par, which is often scoring a hole in one at a par five. Scoring two on a par six would also count but has never been done.
Only four ‘Condor’ shots have ever been recorded!
10. Shoot your age
An aim of most golfers is to ‘shoot their age’, which requires the golfer plays an 18 hole course recording a score of their age or less. The oldest golfer to do this was a 103 year old Canadian man!