Michael Furrh is a professional golf entertainer.
I’ll let that sink in.
Thing is, he can smack golf balls with a custom-made 8-foot driver, which for you non-golf aficionados (like me) is double the length of a regular driver, making it an arduous, if not unattainable, feat for some. Probably most.
He can tee balls six feet off the ground and whack them off a ladder. He also performs Dorf Golf routines made famous by the skillful funnyman Tim Conway. (Look it up. You’ll get the idea.)
Furrh adds an extra measure of danger to these showy presentations by hitting golf balls off the top of people’s heads.
All of this is done within a trick shot show, a sort of Harlem Globetrotters on the Green sort of thing, which Furrh calls Michael Furrh’s Cheat4Charity Challenge.
He has raised over $400,000 for various fundraisers, usually staged during charity golf tournaments.
There’s more, of course.
Furrh is the reigning Guinness World Record holder for swinging the world’s longest usable golf club. It’s so long, in fact, it takes a couple people to actually swing the thing.
He and partner Mike Rausch drove a golf ball 145-feet with a 49.3-foot driver, which was 65 feet longer than what was required to capture the record held by the actor Anthony Anderson (he of Blackish fame). Furrh had held the same world record four times previously. Each time he made a longer club and hit the ball a longer distance, someone, at times on the other side of the world, made one even longer and hit it even farther.
“The golf clubs are comprised of 61 separate steel shaft segments epoxied together to create one continuous steel shaft,” Furrh told me via email, which is good, considering that I have no idea what that means.
So I went to my old standby: YouTube. These clubs have so much shaft lag in them it looks like a flimsy rope when making contact with the ball.
Even seeing it, it doesn’t look real.
Furrh has lived in Arlington since 1980. He’s a product of Duff Elementary, Bailey Junior High and Arlington High, where he was, coincidently, not a golfer but captain of the tennis team.
Acclaim aside, Furrh is most thrilled with the funds he has raised for Restore Hope, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County, Oakridge School’s Owl Club, and as a booster for both Martin and Arlington high schools.
He’s also a proud product of Fort Worth’s terrific First Tee program, which teaches kids not just how to play the sport but how to live by a code of conduct: respect yourself, others, and your surroundings.
“That message parallels my journey and perseverance throughout my career,” Furrh said. “It’s a message we want the public to know about and what it means to the participants of the program.”
You’d think Furrh’s incredible world-beating feat stands alone in Arlington when it comes to Guinness records. Not quite. Last summer, Arlington ISD’s Sherry Hall pieced together the largest homecoming corsage (mums as they are known in these parts) at 119.18 feet. Then there’s UT Arlington’s Brett Williams who broke the record to the highest standing jump at 5-feet-5 inches.
As for Furrh, he knows there’s a plateau of how long he can make these drivers, and it’s getting close. Furrh said he and Rausch actually attempted to hit a ball with a 61-foot driver but the club broke in half.
“My goal has been to take this world record and make it such an extremely difficult task to break,” Furrh said. “We do have one more club that we are prepared to swing in case anyone breaks our current Guinness World Record. But they’ll just have to stay tuned and see how long that one is.”