No thank you, Sir…I won’t have another: Why do Golfers take Mulligans?
Imagine: you’re watching football this weekend. A quarterback takes the snap, drops back to pass, releases it … right into the hands of the opposing safety. Interception! The safety is running the other direction, dodging tacklers attempting to score. All of a sudden, he stops. He walks over to the quarterback, hands him the ball and all the players on the field walk back to their original starting spots. The quarterback has decided to use his mulligan, so the interception didn’t count.
QBs would just love that! But they won’t hold their breath, because it’ll never happen.
It only happens in golf, where most of the amateur players I know think it’s a per-round birthright to get that extra shot. In fact, a lot of these warriors think you get one on each side of the course. They’re the same guys who also count every putt inside (10 feet) the leather as good.
Not trying to look down on anyone here, and I’m all about the fun on a golf course, so do whatever makes you smile. For me, I don’t like the feeling of posting an 84 when I know inside my deep, dark gut that I actually shot an 86. Or an 87. Or who knows what it would’ve been if I had actually played my ball.
Where did this come from? I googled it. There are a thousand theories. Most of them are centered on someone with the last name Mulligan, who begged for a re-do one day and it stuck. Flash forward years later and this guy’s last name is uttered, at least once, every round every day on every course.
As is usually the case, things evolve over time. And the mulligan has evolved in some advantageous ways for golfers. I don’t know which Mulligan story is true, but all of the possibilities had one thing in common: the mulligan had a reason behind it. In other words, a golfer would get a mulligan because he hadn’t warmed up or wasn’t properly prepared for a shot, usually his very first shot of the day. But evolution baby. Now, golfers are using mulligans whenever they choose, simply because they don’t like the landing spot of their real shot.
Ok, time for the gloves to come off. This is PATHETIC!
This is a tradition in exactly zero other sports. You’d be laughed off the field or court. Maybe Patrick Ewing should get another try at that layup. Maybe Russell Wilson would like to re-do that last pass in the Super Bowl. Maybe Jean Van de Velde would have won the Open Championship if his last name was Mulligan.
I know, I know. You want me to lighten up. Hey, I’m totally relaxed. I’m just wondering if you’re as good of a golfer as you say you are. If every score you’ve ever posted is 3 or 4 shots lower than what you actually shot, then your handicap is, well … ya know … wrong.
They say golf is a metaphor for life. And I agree, unless you use mulligans. Because in real life, if you get into a fender bender, you can’t back up and try again. If you forget your anniversary, your wife is not going to give you a do-over.
A quote from Eminem: “If you had one shot, or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted, would you capture it, or just let it slip?”
Notice he didn’t add the option of trying to do better on your re-do.