English Club Launches 2 Million Practice Balls in One Year

Officials at Chichester Golf Club are celebrating a celestial ball-striking bonanza. A whopping 2 million balls were smashed down the West Sussex club's busy driving range last year – with the total yardage of all the shots smacked into space enough to stretch all the way to the Moon.

And that was enough to get nearby Selsey's very own monocled star-gazing marvel – the BBC's “The Sky at Night” presenter Sir Patrick Moore – to dust off his golf clubs and mark the lunar milestone.

Sir Patrick (82), Britain's most famous astronomer, has always had a strong fascination with the Earth's sole satellite. He mapped the Moon's surface for NASA before the Apollo space missions in the late 1960s and has written numerous books on the subject.

But Moore’s love of all things lunar is matched by an intense love of sport, including golf and cricket. The 82-year-old was keen to help Chichester Golf Club in Hunston mark its impressive driving range exploits.

Sally Haygarth, owner of Chichester Golf Club, said: "It's no secret that Sir Patrick has always had a love of sport, and when he heard about our golf range milestone he was delighted to offer us his support. Two million golf balls hit the equivalent distance of the Earth to the Moon on a driving range in a calendar year is a phenomenal achievement by anyone's standards, but maybe this year we can top that and see if we can rack up enough yardage to reach Mars!"