Comedian Apologizes After Teeing off in Yellowstone

A golfer swings into Yellowstone Park field with a bison grazing.

People will do anything for social media fame these days, including a comedian who recently traveled across the U.S. filming himself teeing off golf balls in unique locations. While his Instagram followers got a kick out of it, national park officials didn’t find it funny. 

Recently he apologized for his actions, but some wonder if what he did was really so wrong. We’re curious what you think. Let’s examine where it all went wrong and what the consequences were.

“The Most Expensive Golf Outing Ever”

Jake Adams set out to tee off in 50 states over 30 days as a comedy bit. One of his stops was to hit a golf ball in Yellowstone National Park. But, unfortunately, this is where his light-hearted journey became a heavy burden. 

After Jake hit three golf balls within park limits, his experience went viral with mixed emotions. Many, many Instagrammers became upset, and the uproar alerted park officials of the incident. People commented that he should not be teeing off on protected land and called for action from the National Park. 

Screengrab from Instagram

Now, Yellowstone is investigating Jake for potential damage to the national park. Regarding the investigation, Yellowstone National Park released the following statement: 

“The individual who recently was captured on video hitting golf balls in Yellowstone National Park showed a lack of judgment and common sense. He violated regulations designed to preserve Yellowstone and protect the experience of other visitors. The National Park Service is investigating this illegal act.”

Jake has apologized. He has told the press he never intended to cause harm to any land, adding, “This turned out to be the most expensive golf outing ever.”

Who Is Jake Adams (And What Was He Thinking)?

Jake Adams is a comedian who lives in Los Angeles, California. It’s not surprising that he chose golf as the prop in his latest comedy series since he attended the Professional Golfers Career College. Rather than going pro, he went for a career in the entertainment industry. Now, Jake tours the country doing stand-up and performs monthly at the Hollywood Improv.

Recently, Jake decided to combine his love for golf and comedy. So he headed across the country to hit a golf ball in 50 states in 30 days. Filming himself teeing off in various awe-inspiring locations, he posted the clips on Instagram as a bit to build his audience. From hitting a golf ball while snowboarding in Colorado to teeing off at the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago, his viewership grew. 

It was all fun and games until the 25th day, which is when the Yellowstone incident happened. 

Is Teeing off in a National Park Illegal?

Yes, hitting a golf ball in a national park is illegal, as is anything that violates regulations set to preserve national parks. It’s considered vandalism and is a federal misdemeanor. 

Did Jake Take Any Steps to ‘Leave No Trace?’

Although Jake’s faux pas was disrespectful at best, he claims to have attempted to reduce his environmental footprint. However, he missed the mark.  

Jake claims he used biodegradable balls and a little golf mat to prevent ground divots. But he later learned that even though the balls biodegrade within days, they can still affect the park since they’re different from its natural ecosystem. 

This was new information to Jake, and he has now committed to picking up any ball he hits during future shenanigans.

What Kind of Trouble Is He In?

While a prank like hitting a golf ball into the wilderness might seem small, the consequences are nothing but. If the park decides to charge him, Jake faces up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine. 

To mitigate the damages, Jake has hired a lawyer and admits he’s learned his lesson. It’s hard to say if he’s genuinely sorry for potentially endangering the environment, but he’s definitely sorry for putting himself in the position he’s in. 

Recommit to Leave No Trace 

Hearing about Jake’s story should call all of us to recommit to leave no trace. Respecting the natural beauty of our national parks is essential to maintaining the recreational opportunities we have today. 

Respecting national parks will help us sustain them for generations to come. You can read more about national parks policies and regulations at NPS.gov

Tell us what you think about Jake’s transgression below.

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7 comments
  1. I think they are blowing this way out of proportion. But that said, if it was me, I would either have used a whiffle golf ball so I could easily find it so as to LNT, or don’t have a physical ball and add the ball in with CGI afterwards where it is illegal to hit an actual ball.

  2. Please follow the rules, no matter where you are! Doing something without considering the consequences and then apologizing doesn’t make everything OK.

  3. Although hitting a golf ball on the surface may not seem like a big deal but if you look at the bigger picture as an influencer on Facebook or YouTube his actions if left unchecked open the door for anyone to do the same. Think of the first person to carve their name in a tree, no big deal until 100s of others follow suit. Or the first person to hang a lock on a fence followed by hundreds after. We all need to respect our parks and natural resources. There are plenty of golf courses he could hit balls all day.

  4. Poor judgement is what this is. He is liable and should be held accountable. I tend to think the standard we all should use in our minds of protecting the environment isn’t what our individual actions do in terms of impact, but what if 10,000 people did the same. It might be sound reasonable to think that banana peals that I leave on the ground in my campsite will biodegrade. But what if everyone in my camp did it and 10 camper groups after me did that? What a mess is left behInd for those that follow. It’s not just the impact if our individual actions, but the actions of many to do likewise that should help us decide if something is appropriate or not.

  5. he is a comedian that is not funny, showed very poor judgement, should be given 100 hours of community service that educates his followers on how to improve our world, not make a joke out of it.

  6. Probably not exactly the 5 minutes of fame he was looking for. Showing an example of very poor judgement and what kind of example NOT to be.

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