I remember it like it was yesterday. After running into an old high school sports rival and buddy, the previous weekend over drinks at a concert, we both realized we’d been located in the same city and needed to get a round in together ASAP. I shot him a text on Monday and we met for a quick round of 18 at the best park district course in town. After a long front 9, which included plenty of four letter words (“fore” was not one of them), club tosses, and a few Busch Lights, to attempt to calm the nerves, I wrote down a 59 on the scorecard. Ouch. It was an embarrassing start and show of athleticism for a first round with a guy that I’d competed on the baseball diamond with 10 years ago. Oh well, let’s turn it around on the back nine.
The 4 Iron
Following a couple of bogies to start the back, this round was looking better. If your golf game is anything like mine, playing bogey golf makes me feel like Jordan Spieth after consecutive birdies. So there we sat in our cart, looking at the slightly uphill 205 yard par 3. My buddy approaches the tee box and flushes a beautiful golf shot that is pin high but to the left of the green. I pull out on my 3 hybrid and shank it 20 yards to the right into the thick rough, which should’ve left me with my pants down. But wait – I have my mulligan left for the back! I can’t let a chance at a back nine of bogey golf slip through my fingers, to help me walk away from the course feeling content. I quickly asked my buddy what he used for his beautiful shot and he responds with a 4 iron. A 4 iron, eh? Typically, my 4 iron serves it’s purpose as a get back to the fairway punch club, but I’ll give it a shot.
After taking a few practice swings, I hit the most perfect, arcing golf shot that only comes around for me about six swings a round with an iron. It looks like it headed right to the heart of the green. My buddy quickly chimes in, “I don’t see it on the green…” This gets my heart racing fast. There’s no way. This can’t be it. Not a mulligan shot. I approach the green and quickly start checking the edges and the fringe, when I finally I take the slow walk to the cup. Yep. Bridgestone E-5. Center of the cup. Not how imagined it, but I’ll take it. At the same time, this is my worst nightmare. You still gotta snap some pics though!. It still counts right? Then we head to the clubhouse to sign the papers.
If I didn’t start every round with a mulligan per 9, and no kicks or fluffing, I wouldn’t have done it. I can only hope the Golf Gods understood. At least this helps me sleep at night. I know, I know. The technical rule of golf makes this the most difficult par to achieve in the book, but today, it’s an eagle.
Which brings us to the mulligan. For most guys that are members of their local country club and are frustrated with anything over a 79, the mulligan is something that is followed with tisks. But not for me. One redo per nine in exchange for a round of honest golf works for me. And I think it works for a lot of golfers out there. Heck, if it’s all talked about before the round with your group of competition and is agreed upon, anything should work, as long as you are keeping pace of play and not bothering anyone else on the course. Just be careful of who you tell your scores to after the round! Another thing I would advise trying is the team mulligan, which in a group of three or four golfers, if all guys shank their shots, everyone can get a do-over. No pressure on the last one up! The breakfast ball is also a common term that I hear, which is used for a free do-over on the first drive of the day.
I usually keep this one as an option if the driving range wasn’t visited before the round.
Play it Your Way
Mulligans, breakfast balls, whatever keeps your round competitive. I’m also a huge fan of the Bluetooth speaker on the course.
See, here at Golf Fore It, we want to encourage fun and enjoyment on the course. Have fun, be respectable, keep up your pace of play accordingly to the course, and as Jon likes to say, let’s make Golf Great Again.