Two years ago, industrial-glue salesman Mike Langella took on the task of a lifetime. Chipshot.com, a now-defunct Internet golf retailer, hired him to play a par-three hole in all forty-eight continental states and a forty-ninth in the District of Columbia. The hitch: He had to do it in only fifteen days. Langella, a two-handicapper and two-time club champion at New Jersey's Spring Lake Golf Club, shot an exhausting 172, twenty-five over par.
This year Langella got the ultimate mulligan: To promote Spalding's new Strata Tour Straight ball and raise money for the families of New York City firefighters, he re-created his feat. Starting at Willis Case Golf Course in Denver, he put in 12,000 road miles, playing 147 holes measuring 8,575 yards. It took him one extra day and five more shots, but with the mayor, fire chief and firefighters of St. Petersburg, Florida, looking on, Langella completed his second cross-country round with a birdie on the 179-yard eighth hole at Mangrove Bay Golf Course. Asked if he'll try the stunt again, a weary Langella said, "Right now, all I want for Christmas is one of those magnetic back braces."