Hit a Golf Ball in Yellowstone Park? Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

It was a beautiful day in Yellowstone when I decided to hit a golf ball in the park. The weather was warm and sunny, the air crisp, and the golf course was spectacular, just what I needed to put a few extra yards on my drives.

There are plenty of achievements that seem like they would be easy to achieve. Hit a golf ball in Yellowstone Park? Seemed like a good idea at the time. Make a fist with your foot? Check. Be an astronaut? Why not? But trying to accomplish these seemingly impossible feats often turns out to be a big waste of time.

This week, while playing in Yellowstone National Park, British golfer Nick Dougherty found himself in a precarious situation: he was struggling to hit a golf ball into a very deep canyon. The odds of successfully hitting a golf ball into that canyon were one in a million. Dougherty had a one in a million chance of hitting the ball into the canyon, but he wound up hitting the ball, and it went flying into the canyon. That is the kind of story that brings us to our point: sometimes, we find ourselves in a situation that seems like a good idea at the time, but later it turns out to be a big mistake. It’s easy to figure out just how bad that mistake was, once we think about it. ~~

Like Jake Adams. In April of this year, he shot a golf ball from 280 yards away in Yellowstone National Park, not expecting to be in the crosshairs of the law. Now there’s a federal case against me, he said. It all started, like so many bad ideas, with boredom. Last year, on a chilly spring afternoon in Barnstable, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod, Mr. Adams, was hitting golf balls into Lake Wackett. He pushed one into the lake every day for 30 days. On the last day he dived into the cold water fully clothed, and this action was filmed and put online. Adams, 29, a professional comedian and avid golfer, said it was just a silly challenge he had given himself. But now he wanted to do something more to get attention. On a trip across the country last February, Adams stopped off Highway 89 near Holly, Colorado, close to the Kansas border, and hit a golf ball on the Eastern Plains. It looked so cool, he said. He then decided to visit each state in 30 days with a golf ball and post his adventures on social media. More likes and followers might draw attention to his comedy, he thought. I’ve always been amused by things silly enough to be watched, he said. Adams. It started in California, driving from Griffith Park in Los Angeles to the Hollywood sign. It looks like it’s going to be a bad life decision, Adams said in his Instagram post. Nobody minds. He continued to post videos of his ball striking on social media while traveling the country, making sure, he says, to use biodegradable golf balls and driving his 2012 Subaru Outback Green up to 12 hours a day to keep up with his schedule. He mostly used his drive, but at West Virginia University’s football stadium in Morgantown, he made a 50-yard field goal attempt and used a sand wedge. He missed to the left. He used his putter on the basketball court at Xavier University in Cincinnati. In Rhode Island, he had to find a handhold to get her over the railing of the Providence River. In the end, I just did it, he said. word-image-2940

Jake Adams attempted to kick a golf ball into the goal from the 50-yard line at West Virginia University football stadium. It was turned far to the left.

Photo: Jake Adams. He kicked the ball into the Oklahoma prairie as state police officials watched and stopped to see what was going on. He snowboarded from a small patch of snow in Lizard Head Pass, Colorado, and from a beach in Biloxi, Mississippi. Adams hit the ball off the tee at the Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. This is as close as I can get, he said. In Maine, he had trouble finding a lobster roll early in the morning. Most restaurants didn’t open until 11:00. He managed to convince one of them and said that money was no object and said: If you have lobster, do it. We charged him $30 for the sandwich. In Boise, Idaho, Adams had access to a lower-class ice hockey rink, where he fired bullets at a friend defending the goal. Adams, a lifelong hockey player, felt good on his skates, but obviously I can’t make a full swing, he said. They can only turn a little. In Des Moines, he aimed from the lawn at the Iowa State Capitol, while a state trooper looked on with his arms crossed. Adams said the police officer was the father of one of his Instagram followers who had offered to hire him. Mr Adams recorded this video and asked a police officer to approach him and ask what he was doing. It cost him several takes because the officer kept calling him buddy, Mr…. Adams. I became a little manager because I had to tell him that state troopers don’t usually say dude. word-image-2941

Mr. Adams hits the site of the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines.

Photo: Jake Adams. In several states, Mr. Adams had visited a national park and played a game of golf before continuing his journey. The 25th. Arrive in Wyoming in the afternoon and drive to Yellowstone National Park, passing elk and bison. He parked, pulled a wedge from his bag and hit two golf balls, then pulled out a used Callaway Epic Speed Driver and hit a third ball. I didn’t want to leave a separation in a national park, so I used my little golf mat, he said. I thought I had taken every precaution to use biodegradable golf balls. I haven’t given it much thought. Adams was nearing the end of his tour, heading to Alaska and then to the finish line in Hawaii, when the negative comments on Instagram started pouring in. People were angry, saying he was desecrating the grounds of a protected park. I hope you rot in jail, was one of the comments. That’s why no one likes golfers, someone else wrote. Mr. Adams left his job in Hawaii on the 30th. The month of April is coming to an end. On the same day, Yellowstone issued a statement. A man who was recently filmed hitting golf balls in Yellowstone National Park demonstrated a lack of judgment and common sense, the report said. He broke rules to preserve Yellowstone and protect visitors. The National Park Service is investigating this illegal act. word-image-2942

On the ice on day 26 in Boise, Idaho.

Photo: Jake Adams. Four days later, Adams was driving through Sacramento, California, when Wyoming’s number rang on his phone. According to Adams, a Yellowstone National Park investigator told him that a file had been opened and an active investigation was underway. She told him he could face up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine. Sir, I want to thank you for your support. Adams paused to sort out his thoughts. I felt like my breasts…. were just growing. I’ve never been so scared, he said. National Park Service spokesman, Cynthia Hernandez, Said: Visitors who violate park rules risk fines and/or jail time. NPS law enforcement agencies in several national parks, including Yellowstone National Park, are investigating this activity. No one is allowed to damage or deface national park property. Vandalism in parks is a federal offense under the Code of Federal Regulations. When asked if hitting golf balls in Yellowstone violates park rules, Hernandez said: In this case, yes. Ms. Hernandez stated that the investigation is ongoing. In the past, people have written graffiti on rocks in Mesa Verde, Colorado, painted a rock monument in Organ Pipe National Cactus Monument in Arizona, and ripped out cacti in Saguaro National Park in Arizona. Recently, someone placed a stainless steel obelisk in Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. In those cases, the vandals were unknown, but in 2016, a New Zealander was fined $8,000 for trespassing at a Yellowstone spa after posting a video online. In the same year, a New York woman was sentenced to two years probation and 200 hours of community service for graffiti on rock formations in seven national parks. Mr. Adams stated that his act was the result of ignorance and that he did not intend to cause harm. Now he is awaiting the results of a federal investigation and is concerned about the possibility of followers on social media mimicking him. He issued a statement urging them not to do so. He went to an attorney and paid a fee of $2500. It has become the most expensive golf event of all time, according to Adams. He said he regretted his action but would not stop hitting golf balls elsewhere. Next year he will travel to Europe and perform in each country in 30 days. word-image-2943

Mr. Adams brought golf to Madison, Virginia.

Photo: Jake Adams. Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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