13 Ridiculous Golf Superstitions

Every sport has it’s superstitions and golf is no exception.

I’m not alone – there are plenty of golfers with strange superstitions. Here are some of my favorites. 

1. Don’t Use Red Tees

This isn’t a superstition I’m prone to believing, but red is the color of stress and aggression – maybe that’s where it comes from. It’s hard enough keeping your focus on the course without added subliminal pressure.

2. People Have Their Lucky Club

I know some golfers who just love certain irons or woods – they swear by them. They take their favorite club with them and it never leaves their bag. Most of them probably don’t even remember why they love that particular club. In fact, many of them barely use their favorite.

The best I can figure is that they nailed an amazing shot with their favorite club a very long time ago. After that, they don’t want to use it because they’re afraid to destroy that memory with a bad shot.

3. Don’t Use Water Balls On Holes With Water Hazards

Somewhere inside some golfer’s head the thought occured: “Maybe a ball, once it lands in the water, is forever attracted to every other water hazard that exists.” Or, maybe the golfer who was first bit by this superstition thought that water worked like a magnet.

4. The Curse of The Stray Ball

I think this was started by people who couldn’t keep their shots on the fairway and got tired of having their balls stolen. This superstition says that if you pick up another person’s ball that was hit out of bounds, your game will be cursed and your score will suffer. I can’t hear this superstition without hearing a witch in the back of my mind chanting, “Double, double toil and trouble.”

Sure, it’s bad manners – but it’s not going to screw your game.

5. Don’t Use Found Balls During The Same Round

Okay, sometimes you’ll stumble across balls that aren’t out of bounds. The karma gods of golf aren’t going to penalize you for nabbing this ball. Well, unless you use it during the same round.

You see, if you nab another person’s ball that is in bounds, you just have to wait until the next round. Then you’ll be safe!

6. Tap The Inside Of The Cup After Long Putts

So, you just sunk a putt where the ball was more than three feet away from the hole. First, great work. Before you take the ball out of the hole, you need to tap the ball on the cup’s wall. If you don’t do this, says the superstition, you’ll suffer on every hole for the rest of your round.

The only possible explanation that I can even think of for this is that some golfers need routines. We know that pre-shot routines help golfers focus – maybe the same thing can be said for post-shot routines. If you don’t start this habit, you’ll never have to keep it up.

7. Don’t Wash The Awesome Off

Are you having a great round? Have you just birdied three consecutive holes? For goodness sake don’t wash your ball off! After all, your success on the course is clearly the result of some magical, invisible substance coating your ball and not you and your skill.

8. Use Only Low Numbered Balls

Two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw doesn’t use any balls that are numbered higher than four. Why? Because he doesn’t want a score higher than that on any hole.

Could he have won two Masters without this? Maybe, but he’s a two-time champ and I’m not calling him out.

9. Picking Lucky Clothes

Remember that round you hit a 79 in the blue Nike shirt? Then, the next day you shot 103 in a black Nike shirt? Clearly the blue shirt is just a good luck charm. Lee Bacchus, writing for Golf World, admits he falls for this superstition. He writes, “It’s a damn good thing I’m a consistently bad golfer or else I may be still wearing the same Calvin Kleins I donned when I started the game two decades ago.”

10. Don’t Keep Extra Balls In Your Pocket

It’s pushing your luck, tempting fate, and you’re going to lose whatever ball you’re swinging at – all of this because you kept one in your pocket. I’ve also heard that you should never golf with anything in your pocket, but that makes a bit more sense. Sure, something in your pocket could cause discomfort and a messed up swing – but I don’t think it alone will cause you to lose your ball.

11. Only Golf With Stuff In Your Pocket

Throwing concern to the wind, some golfers refuse to tee off unless they actually have something in their pocket. Tom Weiskoff needs three cents and three tees in his pocket, and Jack Nicklaus will only golf when he has three coins in his pocket (the denomination doesn’t matter).

12. Every Ball Has Only One Birdie In It

This one comes from Ernie Els. Again, the man has been incredibly successful – so maybe he’s onto something. If you watch Els, every time he birdies he switches balls because he doesn’t think you can get more than one birdie with the same ball.

13. Ball Marker Madness

This is another common area where superstition prevails. There are many different beliefs about ball markers – some people will only use coins with pictures of states where they played a good round and others will only use coins of certain denominations.

While it’s fun to get laughs from superstitions, ultimately they can benefit players. Like I said earlier, many superstitions can be thought of as pre-swing routines – just a habit that helps golfers focus and stay calm. Sure, they may be silly, but they can help, too.

What superstitions do you follow? Leave a comment and let us know.

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