Monday, May 20, 2013
Who's the bigger nerd, and why isn't there floating golf?
My first thought when I peer toward the ocean from a condo balcony is always, how many driver shots would it take me to hit a golf ball to that sail boat on the horizon and why such an epic idea isn't already an option for tourists. Then I wondered how one might calculate the distance to the horizon based on the altitude above sea-level of the observer. The calculation must include the curvature, and therefor the radius, of the Earth itself. So naturally I texted my step-son Kevin, an aero-space engineer, and asked him. Immediately he returned with the number 6378.137 km as the known radius of Earth and that standing on the beach I can see about 3 miles and from the 6th floor condo balcony, I could see about 11.2 miles.
The question is, who's the bigger nerd, Kevin for having that information and calculations in his head at the ready, or me for asking in the first place? My wife Dianne says it's me for asking since Kevin does this stuff for a living.
Remaining disturbingly unanswered however, is why there isn't an outing for golfers where you stand on a floating "tee-box" and you hit golf balls toward a floating "green" several miles away. After each person shoots, the boat motors out to where that guy's ball landed and you hit another. Beer would be served and par would be like 50.