How to play golf across an area the size of the Atlantic Ocean

Ed Butler is an Englishman obsessed with chronicling his golfing adventures using stats and data.
He reached peak ‘golf nerd’ during his University years at St Andrews, the ‘Home of Golf.’

Read more to find out how he maps out his golfing miles.

Is it possible to hit a golf ball across the Atlantic Ocean?

Well, I think it is and I’m going to show you how!

Let me start by saying I’m good at Maths.

This is essential for golfers.

We need to know how far we hit each club and how far it is from our drives to the centre of the green.

We usually do this with a trusty course planner, you know those yardage charts that are slowly being replaced by distance measuring range fingers, watches and talking clip-on pager like objects that tell you what club to hit.

I am the ultimate golf geek because I know that I have played 1010 rounds of golf (give or take to the nearest ten).

The astute reader amongst you will immediately say how on earth does he know he has played that many rounds.

Well, when I took up the game my Father gave me a golf record book and encouraged me to write down the names of all the clubs I have played.

This book has now evolved into a spreadsheet, so, I now know precisely how many rounds I have played.

Back to our transatlantic voyage – given that the average course is approximately 6300 yards then I can quite easily calculate that I have walked 6,363,000 yards playing golf.

Map of the North Atlantic
Ed Butler ponders what’s required to play golf across the Atlantic

This is perhaps a conservative estimate as if you take into account looking for lost balls and zig-zagging fairways then the real yardage is, in all probability, a lot more.

However, for this exercise let’s just assume that I am playing beautiful golf and not messing around in the rough.

I also know that one mile is equivalent to 1760 yards so I have walked a total of 3,615 miles playing golf.

London to New York is 3458 miles. I can, therefore, safely say that I have walked and hit enough golf balls to have played across the North Atlantic Ocean.

Quite a feat I’m sure you would agree?

But let’s take the analogy further.

Not every golf shot goes the same distance and it’s one the vagaries of the game that a 300 yard drive can count for the same as one foot putt.

I hit the ball a rather modest 270 yards so I will need 23 blows to reach the end of the usual 6300 yard course if I was allowed to do this.

Possibly the biggest lateral water hazard in the world, my Transatlantic golf game would be one heck of a challenge.

Indeed it would be tricky to avoid grounding your club as the large waves swell past me on my adventure.

If I could miraculously play the North Atlantic as one hole it would take me about 23,000 blows of my driver to reach the Big Apple.

So there you have it, it is indeed possible to hit a golf ball across the Atlantic. Obviously I have too much time on my hands and should be working out where my 1011th game will be.

You can read some of Ed’s other contributions to Global Golfer here:

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.