Make An Ace, Go To Space
By Torleif Sorenson on 9/11/14

Organizers of the European Tour's KLM Dutch Open will still hand out a winner's check to the player with the lowest score on Sunday. But for the first golfer who aces the 163-meter par-3 15th hole on the composite Tournament course at Kennemer Golf & Country Club, organizers will give the golfer something almost completely out of this world:

A trip into space.

XCOR Space Expeditions, an American company based at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, is supplying the ride as part of the prize package. A full-scale model of the Lynx Mark I reusable space transport vehicle is on display next to the green on the course.

Michiel Mol, founding partner and CEO of XCOR, said, "With this prize we wish to create awareness among the public that space is now also accessible for everyone. Journeys into space can be made starting from the end of 2015. We already have 300 bookings."

The roughly 45-minute flight is planned to take a passenger into the Earth's mesosphere, some 61 km (338,000 feet) above Earth. After three or four minutes, the Lynx will then descend, including a 4-g pullout maneuver before landing again at the spaceport in the Mojave Desert.

In a way, promoting this at a tournament in the Netherlands makes sense. After all, the port of Rotterdam is the largest in Europe and transportation is a primary element of the Dutch economy. Automobile, rail, and bicycle transport is among the most advanced in all of Europe, while Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the fourth busiest European airport.

As of this writing, no golfer has yet aced the par-3 15th, although England's James Heath aced the par-3 11th.

It almost sounds like something out of The Muppet Show:

"Professional golferrrrrs... innnnn... spaaaaaaaace!"

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Image via KLM Dutch Open

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