The golf course at the Pittsburgh Field Club features a 75-foot-high elevator that connects the 17th green to the 18th tee box. As far as I know it's the only golf course in the world that includes an elevator.
The original 18th hole at the Pittsburgh Field Club was a severely uphill 277 yard par 4 that played to the top of "Pike's Peak"; the site of the present day practice putting green. The hole was modified in 1930 but the strenuous, severe uphill climb for golfers was still there. Golf cars were unheard of and on hot summer days, the risk of fatal heart attacks was real. Tradition and anecdotes indicate that fatal heart attacks did occur and as a result, the final chapter of the hole was written in 1938. In that year, an elevator was erected beside #17 green which transported golfers up 70 feet to the 265 foot long bridge leading them to the newly constructed 18th tee at the top of the hill. The hole became a par 3 and remains that way today. The elevator ride to the top takes 39 seconds and still transports thousands of golfers every year.
Posted By: Alex - Wed Aug 16, 2023 -
In 1926, Philip S. Kane of Pennsylvania received a patent for his "fuse ball" (Patent No. 1,583,721). It was a golf ball with a fuse. Before teeing off, you'd light the fuse, which would then start emitting smoke. That way, you could find the ball wherever you hit it, even if it landed in tall grass.
According to various media reports, while testing his ball Kane accidentally set a wheat field on fire, but I haven't seen any proof to back up that story.
Oct 1951: Edward Harrison died in a freak golf accident, by managing to stab himself in the leg with a broken club. As he lay bleeding to death, he screamed for help. "Two other golfers said they twice heard screams, but thought they were the cries of peacocks from a peacock farm."
Shaver's golf = a game to find out the smallest number of strokes with which you can shave your face.
Minneapolis Star - Aug 6, 1939
A useful aid for this game would be the "stroke-counting razor" invented by engineers at Gillette a few years ago. Using this tool, Gillette determined that the average man takes about 170 strokes to shave his face. So, in the game of shaver's golf, I guess that 170 would be considered par.
In 1989, a Canadian company tried to promote the idea of burying people at golf courses. They imagined that courses could add memorial walls made out of their patented "mod-urns" — hollow, cremain-filled building blocks that could be snapped together to make instant memorial walls.
A company rep argued that this could be "a potentially lucrative business for golf courses, who could pack in up to 50,000 new 'members' per acre."
The Valley of the Eagles golf course in the small town of Haines, Alaska boasts an unusual feature. It’s currently a nine-hole course, but due to the geological phenomenon of isostatic (or post-glacial) rebound, in a few decades it may be an 18-hole course.
Post-glacial rebound is the phenomenon of a land mass rising after the weight of a glacier has been removed from it. This is occurring in Haines, at a rate of about 0.9 inches per year, and because the golf course borders the water, it's steadily growing in size as it rises above sea level, exposing more land. The course has already doubled in size since the 1960s.
A demonstration that what is possible may not be what is practical.
Developed by nuclear physicist William Davidson in 1950, a small amount of radioactive material at the core of the atomic golf ball allowed it to be found using a Geiger counter, should it be hit into the rough. But there were a few problems with the concept:
1: The Geiger counter needed to be pretty close to the ball (within 5 feet) to actually detect it.
2: Not many people own Geiger counters.
3: Even though a single ball didn't pose much of a radiation risk, a bunch of the balls stored together would be a problem. So, it wasn't possible for stores to stock and sell these.
The Yips are defined as "a disorder in which golfers complain of an involuntary movement — a twitch, a jerk, a flinch — at the time they putt or even when they chip. This interferes with their ability to perform that activity.” It was the subject of a multidisciplinary study by researchers at the Mayo Clinic, who concluded:
For <10 handicap male golfers and <12 handicap female golfers, the prevalence of the yips is between 32.5% and 47.7%, a high proportion of serious golfers. This high prevalence suggests that medical practitioners need to understand the aetiology of the yips phenomenon so that interventions can be identified and tested for effectiveness in alleviating symptoms. Although previous investigators concluded that the yips is a neuromuscular impediment aggravated but not caused by anxiety, we believe the yips represents a continuum on which 'choking' (anxiety-related) and dystonia symptoms anchor the extremes.
The Yips should not be confused with the Yip Yips, which are something completely different:
Back in in 1969, a golfer accidentally managed to hit a plane with his ball. The ball went through the plexiglass windshield and into the cockpit.
Which raises the question: Do golf balls pose a potential hazard to planes? This is discussed in a thread over at aviation.stackexchange.com, and the consensus seems to be, not really. Even if a golf ball were, somehow, to get into a plane's engine, it's probably small enough that it wouldn't cause damage.
Oakland Tribune - Jan 16, 1969
I was curious about how often golfers hit planes. Apparently, not often. But some googling yielded this video, which purports to show a golfer hitting a 757 with a ball. Though no one in the YouTube comments seems to believe he actually hit the plane.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.