Climber's golf shot bid

Drive from the top of Everest!

Bob Warters's picture
Thu, 24 Apr 2003

Climber's golf shot bid

It’s 50 years in May since Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tensing Norgay climbed Everest for the first time. Now TaylorMade engineer Jay White aims to mark the anniversary by striking a golf ball off the summit.

White (48) who works in research and development at the Carlsbad headquarters in California and is the resident expert on high speed cameras is already at base camp below the 29,035-foot mountain.

He will make gradual ascents before reaching the final launch point, Camp 4, at 27,500 feet in mid-May. Then with his climbing partner Loren Stowe will start the final 12-hour climb to the summit.

Once there he will screw together a specially adapted TaylorMade 510 driver – not an easy task with two pairs of thick thermal mittens in temperatures of minus 25 degrees centigrade – and hammer in a special tee with his ice-axe on which to place a Maxfli ball.

As well as the freezing cold wind and encumbered by extra clothing an extra problem for White, will be the effects of altitude.

Humans tend to suffer from hypoxia – a lack of oxygen to the brain – which tends to make us hallucinate with a feeling of euphoria.

However, he told the San Diego Tribune that if he can control this malady and can strike the ball 100 yards – it should provide an unofficial record as the longest drive in history – maybe 5,000 feet vertically!

"You're going to be stupid when you get up there," says White, who has already struck balls from the top Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina (22,834 feet) and two years ago from Mt. Elbrus in Russia used a TaylorMade Rescue club to hit another shot. Awestruck Japanese climbers bowed and called him "Golf Man."

Scottish Ryder Cup star Colin Montgomerie has already revealed that a major ambition would be to climb the world’s highest mountain for his favourite Lung Cancer charity – but wasn’t planning to take his new Hogan clubs within him!