Strange But True: The Longest Drive

The fifth hole of the Winterwood Golf Course at Las Vegas, Nevada, is par 4, a 450-yard layout. Par means the number of strokes good golfers take to get the ball from the tee into the hole. On September 25, 1974, Winterwood was the scene of the U.S. National Senior Open Championship. One of the contestants was a 64-year-old Michael Hoke Austin of Los Angeles. At 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, he could hit a golf ball a long way. But even he must have been stunned by what happened.

Austin’s tee-shot got caught in a 35-mile-an-hour tail wind. The ball bounced right on the green about a yard from the cup, but it kept rolling, finally coming to a rest 65 yards past the hole. It was a 515-yard blast, the longest tee-shot ever recorded on a golf course.

From The Giant Book of More Strange But True Sports Stories by Howard Liss. Illustrations by Joe Mathieu.

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When you can walk its length, and leave no trace, you will have learned.

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