What Is A Mulligan In Golf

What Is A Mulligan In Golf?

If you’ve recently started playing golf then you might have heard other golfers talking about mulligans and not understanding what they mean.

A mulligan is a “do-over” or chance to repeat a shot that didn’t go well without counting it. Often restricted to just the first shot of the day.

In life, we usually deserve a second chance. In golf, we typically have to accept our first attempt no matter how bad the result is, but if your playing partners agree to allow mulligans, you can replay your shot with another ball without counting the previous stroke.

Are Mulligans Legal Under The Rules Of Golf?

Unfortunately for you mulligans are not ‘legal’ under the Rules of Golf. If you are playing in an organized competition or trying to keep a handicap index then mulligans are a no-no! If you are playing a casual round with your friends then you might decide among yourselves that everyone is allowed one mulligan per round or maybe just the first tee shot.

Who Invented The Mulligan?

There are two possible origins of the term. The first took place in the 1920s and concerns David Bernard Mulligan a Canadian amateur golfer and hotelier. There are actually three different versions of the story revolving around him. The first is that after hitting a poor opening tee shot he simply turned to his playing partners and said he was going to play a “correction shot”.

The next version of the story suggests that the road leading to his golf course was so bad he would arrive shaken and was therefore allowed a second shot on the first hole.

The final version is sort of a combination since he arrived late to his club in Montreal because he had overslept. This caused him to hit a bad tee shot and he was allowed to hit another extra shot.

The other person with a claim to be the original mulligan man is John A. “Buddy” Mulligan. Buddy was a locker room attendant at Essex Fells Country Club in New Jersey in the 1930s. Some players invited him to join them for a round of golf after he’d been working all morning. Buddy messed up his opening tee shot but asked for another go since they’d been practicing all morning while he had been working.

We’ll probably never know who originally asked for a mulligan  

Are Mulligans Part of Professional Golf Tournaments?

No, Rory can’t have another go if he smacks his ball in the pond! Professional golf events are played under the Rules of Golf laid down by the Royal and Ancient (R&A) and the United States Golf Association (USGA). No such term is recognized in the rules and if a pro did decide to have another go then he would be playing under penalty.

How Many Mulligans Are Golfers Allowed to Take?

Golfers are allowed to take as many mulligans as they like as long as they have agreed with their buddies beforehand and they aren’t playing in a competition or trying to maintain their handicap.

Check With Your Group Before Taking A Mulligan

To avoid falling out with your buddies always make sure to agree on the mulligan rules before starting play. Are you only allowed a mulligan on the first tee? One mulligan at any time? A mulligan on each nine?

Bill Clinton And Mulligans

The former president was apparently so fond of the mulligan that he used them often during his rounds of golf to the point where some people even referred to them as billigans!

Two former presidents golfing

What Is A Mulligan In Golf: Summary

So that’s another bit of golf lingo you can confidently discuss with your pals. Try to avoid taking too many though!

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