I have seen my fair share of trick shots on the golf course but this past weekend at the Tour Championship, Rory McIlroy made a shot that probably will never be recreated in our lifetime. On Friday, McIlroy hit his golf ball, it ricocheted off of a tree, and landed directly into a spectator’s pocket! Fortunately, the guy was friendly enough to reach into his own pocket and take out the ball for Rory could keep on golfing. That could have gotten awkward really fast!
With all that can happen with a club hitting a tiny ball around hazards like water, rocks and trees, there is no saying what could happen on the golf course. In any case, let’s discuss some of my most favorite, most inconceivable and impossible-to-be-recreated shots in the history of golf!
At the 2012 Masters, Martin Kaymer was taking a practice shot and skillfully skipped his ball on the pond just before the 16th green and landed a hole in one! Too bad this shot didn’t earn him anything but bragging rights, cause it’s pretty awesome. Somehow he managed to skip his golf ball better than I can skip a perfectly flat rock on a placid lake… and then put it in the hole.
Last year, Matt Wheatcroft made an incredible shot at the Farmfoods British Par 3 Championships, in which he purposefully hit his ball towards a fence post and landed it just feet away from the hole. If nothing else, the shot was creative and strategic, but could have gone terribly wrong. “Luckily,” Brian Barnes said about the shot in an interview “one of the main posts was right in line with his ball and the flag.” Whether it was luck or not, it was quite ingenious. Oh, and did we mention? On purpose.
And then there is this, the luckiest golf shot ever when in 2005 Darren Clarke hit his ball and it looked like it was heading right into the pond. It did a little dance on the rocks and then, quite miraculously, it bounced back up onto the grass. The commentators couldn’t believe it and claimed Clarke had the luck of the Irish on his side. The shot went on to earn the title of The Luckiest Shot Ever Made.
Another memorably crazy shot belongs to Olympic Swimming Champion, Michael Phelps. While competing in the Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland, Phelps took out his clubs and took a 159-foot putt that landed cleanly in the hole. It was his second shot on a par-4. I guess some people get all the good, athletic genes. Golf is something Phelps says he really wants to get better at, but if we are judging by this shot, he won’t need to work very hard.
Jim Furyk had quite the shot at the 2013 RBC Heritage. From the bunker, Furyk hit a 58-foot shot, and the ball never even hit the putting surface. He pitched the ball straight up in the air and it landed right in the hole. With that shot, he made birdie on the par-4 18th hole.
But of course, not all incredible shots turn out to bounce the right way. Tiger Woods, of all people, learned this all too well during the second round of the Masters last year. On the 15th hole, his shot ricocheted off the flag and bounced right into the water. The shot itself was spot on, but the unlucky bounce earned him a bogey on the hole and was the first in a chain of events that finally led the the “Bad Drop” controversy of the 2013 Masters tournament.
Luke Donald made an awesome, but somewhat dangerous shot at the Northern Trust Open last year. I would be lying if I said I didn’t hold my breath watching this video waiting for the ball to hit one of the huge trees in the way and hit a nearby fan. However, Donald pulled it off and, not only did he get his ball out of the trees, he put it inches from the hole. Even the commentator thought the shot was ridiculous to even attempt saying, “there’s no way that ball can get close from here!”
The epitome of awesome golf shots was made by astronaut Alan Shepherd… on the moon! After Apollo 14 landed on the moon’s surface, he took out his clubs and hit golf balls. Can’t really beat that. Plus, the view!
And lastly, just for kicks, you can say what you want about putt-putt, but this shot is just plain awesome.