It’s not a shot that’s performed in the UK too often but we’re told ‘the mulligan’ is a popular option in other parts of the world where they don’t take the game quite so seriously.
When the result of a player’s initial attempt is not to his or her liking, the player allows themselves the luxury of a re-tee and re-wind as if nothing had happened.
Golfmagic will ask later to tell us about your own ‘mulligans’ - the strikes or experiences you would have liked to have taken another shot at - but here we reproduce excerpts from the personal admissions of Tour golfers, past and present offered to Golf Digest in this recently published article.
“I’d take a look in my bag before the last round of the 2001 Open at Royal Lytham and I’d have seen the extra driver. It was unfortunate that the first hole is a par-3, and I didn’t need my driver off the tee. But that’s how it goes.”
[Woosnam’s caddie, Miles Byrne, didn’t notice until the second tee that his man had been trying two drivers on the range, and both ended up in his bag. After he uttered the immortal words, ‘Boss, you’re going to go ballistic’, Woosnam incurred a two-stroke penalty and finished tied-third, four shots behind David Duval.]
“Tom Watson’s chip-in on the 17th at Pebble Beach in 1982, I want a mulligan on that one - for Tom! Seriously, the only thing I wish I had finished but didn’t was college. As for golf, the mistakes I made, I learned from them. At the 1963 Open at Lytham & St Annes, I bogeyed the last two holes to miss the Bob Charles-Phil Rodgers playoff by a shot. I was probably better off not winning because of the learning experience.”
“At the 15th tee on Sunday at Royal St George’s for the 2003 Open, I thought if I could win again, I’d be tempted to call it a day, to go out on a high. After a birdie at five, an eagle at seven and birdies at 11 and 14, I’m level par and thinking I have a shot.
“On 15, I look at the leaderboard and see Ben Curtis at 5-under and think, ‘After all that I’m still five back.’ That dented my concentration and I went bogey-bogey-bogey. I wish I hadn’t reacted that way. Curtis gets in and wins at 1-under. If I could have got to two under, I could have had a great last day.”
Feature continues. Click here for mulligan wishes from the likes of Ryder Cup 2010 heroes Colin Montgomerie and Graeme McDowell.