Not only do you need long, skinny clubs to hit a little white ball around a grass course in the name of competition, you also have to walk miles and endure the elements like wind, rain, heat and fog. The game requires strength, coordination, tenacity and a good sense of humour – for 18 holes at a time.
These rules or beliefs may make perfect sense to you, but they are nothing but superstitions to the outside world. To the outside world, golf’s rules, beliefs and superstitions may be foolish, ridiculous or even laughable, but to most other golfers, they are just part of your own golf signature.
Even the other members of your golfing foursome may think your habits do not make sense, but they won’t say anything because they know that their own habits are probably just as silly. There’s the lucky ball, the lucky socks, and the lucky club.
Sports superstitions have been around for as long as the game has been played, and many people believe that having positive superstitions improves your game. Here are some of the most ridiculous superstitions in the game.
(Some may come with explanations, but others have no reasoning behind them whatsoever.) - Never use a ball you just washed to tee off. Wait for at least one hole before using a ball you just washed. - On that note, never wash your ball if you are having an exceptional round.
- Never use a water ball (a ball that you have hit into the water at another time) on a hole with a water hazard. Using such a ball is considered giving up before you’ve even started. - Don’t use a ball that you just found during the round you are playing.
You can play with it in a future round, but using it immediately, will cause a bad shot. - If you start your round with a birdie on the first hole, the rest of your round will go downhill. - Don’t pick up an out-of-bounds ball that is not your own or your game will suffer.
- Don’t play with stuff (like your wallet, keys or tees) in your pocket. - Never mark your ball with a coin smaller than a quarter. It indicates you are cheap and may cause problems on the course. - Never, ever use a red tee during a round of golf or you will have a dangerous round with a lot of inaccurate shots.
- Make sure you have a lucky club in your bag (ven if you never use it). - Once you’ve selected a club, don’t change your mind. Even some pros rely on superstitions to improve their game. - Tom Weiskoff believes in the power of threes – before he hits the green, he needs three cents and three tees in his pocket.
- Jack Nicklaus is also a believer in the number 3 – he’ll only golf when he has three coins in his pocket. - Paul Azinger marks his ball with a penny with the head of Abraham Lincoln towards the hole. - Ernie Els believes that every ball only has one birdie in it.
Once your ball has hit that birdie, time to switch it out for another ball. - Tiger Woods almost always wears a red shirt for the final round of a tournament. This superstition comes from his mother, who believes the colour represents power.
- Paula Creamer’s final-round dress code is her signature colour - pink. - Ben Crenshaw does not use balls numbered higher than four. - John Cook marks his golf ball with the quarters that have pictures of the states where he played well in tournaments.
- Zach Johnson’s ball marker is a homemade gift from his wife with biblical phrases that he recites throughout his round to keep him level-headed. - Doug Sanders believes white golf tees are unlucky and never uses them.
- Davis Love III only uses white tees and marks his balls on the green with only 1965 or 1966 pennies. - Keegan Bradley takes his hat off and scratches his head for every missed putt.