Here's an idea for a sport: What if a bunch of poorly-dressed athletes wandered around a grassy park for four hours casually hitting balls with a long stick? Here's a less boring idea: What if those athletes were instead racing the clock to put the ball in the hole as quickly as possible? That's the basic idea behind The Fastest Hole of Golf.
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Video: The new world's longest golf club is 6.87m end-to-end, shattering the previous record of 4.37m. Its inventor, Michael Furrh, also typically pulls muscles in his back, legs and both arms just from swinging it. Because lifting even a small weight with such a long pole is so freaking difficult that it was part of the training regimen in old Kung Fu movies.
Golf is a dying sport, and country club memberships are seen as an elitist relic of the past. But cultural changes are only one reason golf courses are falling out of favour: The chemical-laden, water-guzzling greens are especially irresponsible for areas hit by drought. Here's an idea from Japan for those sunny green fairways: Use them to generate solar energy instead.
Video: Golf balls are really, really weird. Especially the old ones used over a hundred years ago. The dimpled shell can hide things like goose and duck feathers, wound rubber and all other sorts of colourful and bright polymers and rubbers and plastics. The current balls are super fancy, I wish each golf ball still hid the rubber that looks like tobacco leaves.
If you've been paying attention, you know that insides of golf balls are unexpectedly beautiful — like psychedelic bullseyes or surreal alien planets. But what is all that colourful stuff made of? As this video from Wired shows, golf ball is a serious piece of technology crammed into a mere 46g.
I don't where people come up with the ideas to do these things sober, but if you were ever wondering what the the Guinness World Record for world's longest golf club was, the answer is 4.4m. Karsten Maas from Denmark used the club to drive the ball about 165m.
If you make it to the top of La Rhune, a 900m tall mountain in the Pyrenees between France and Spain, you can look up and out to the natural panorama: peaks and valleys stretching unobstructed into the distance. Or you could look down to the playful Panorama: an eight-hole goofy golf course at your feet.
Video: You would think that you could only do so much with golf trick shots but David Kalb, trick shot extraordinaire, takes it to another level. He rigs his trick shots so they have to be absolutely perfect because they eventually turn into Rube Goldberg machines that can make hot dogs and create flaming watermelon heads. Watch.
Shooting down a flying drone is challenging even for machine gun-wielding sharpshooters. But professional golfer Keegan Bradley just made it look easy, swatting a DJI Phantom out of the sky with just a well-aimed golf ball. Thankfully, the quadcopter was carrying a GoPro, so we could see the whole thing unfold. Poor drone.
Mastering the perfect golf swing is a lot harder than it looks, and putting is even harder than blasting a golf ball down the fairway. So while it will probably never be approved for use in PGA tournaments, the Jedi Putter — designed by students at Rice University — provides real-time feedback helping an amateur golfer master their putting game.
Video: I don't care that The Masters is a tradition unlike any other because I know a mini golf version of the illustrious golf tournament would be way more fun to play and so much more hilarious to watch. Imagine Tiger getting screwed over by the windmill course. Or Phil mucking up the castle shot. It'd be like Happy Gilmore in real life. Simon Connor spliced golf highlights from the Masters with traditional mini golf courses and it's perfectly goofy.
Researchers at UC Irvine have determined that golfers who can't keep their shots out of the rough might actually be responsible for wildfires in California in recent years. Specifically, certain clubs made from a titanium alloy have been found to produce sparks up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit — more than hot enough to ignite dry foliage — when they make contact with rocks and stones in the rough.
Excuse the portrait mode video, but this golf trick shot is so impressive that we can ignore the blatant disregard of proper mobile phone video-recording etiquette. Here's what goes down: the guy behind hits a golf ball to the guy in front who swings and hits the same ball without the ball ever touching the ground.