As much as your sporting ability depends on skill and hard work, many people have gotten by with plain old good luck. It’s possibly the most annoying thing when you work tirelessly on your craft only to have a first timer miraculously beat you (unless of course, you are that lucky first timer). Sometimes luck really can make a difference in your game, so it’s no surprise that some golfers don’t leave luck to chance. Where you might have a lucky pair of shorts like famous basketball player Michael Jordan or need to tap your bat on the ceiling like South African cricketer Neil McKenzie, sports superstitions come in all shapes and forms.
In the game of golf, these oddly specific superstitions can be quite amusing. Or you might have your own quirks and tricks for great games. Here’s our countdown of some of the weird and wonderful golf superstitions we’ve found to be our top 5:
5. Don’t wash your ball during a great round.
Resist the urge to wash off that ball in between tees. Superstition states that if you are using a single ball and the games going great, you can actually wash off its luck. Maybe there’s a magical force surrounding your ball, or maybe it’s got just the right amount of oil – whatever it is, you don’t want to mess up your round by washing it off!
Just make sure you wash your ball after the round – because what is really terrible luck is ruining the inside of your new golf bag with mud or grass. Yuck.
4. Finders, keepers – just don’t use the ball in that round.
Find a stray ball on the course? You can’t let it go to waste, so don’t worry about taking it home. What you really can’t do is use that ball during your current round. The “Golf Gods” have given you a gift – so be grateful and save that ball for your next game. Don’t push your luck, or that ball may just bring you a bad round.
3. Keep your pockets full- but not that full.
Jack Nicklaus will only play golf with three coins in his pocket, no more, no less. Other’s feel that keeping money or a wallet is actually unlucky. Clearly what you’ve got in your pockets really matters – whether it’s because the weight holds down your swing or the actual objects are unlucky. Most golfers believe you should only have an extra ball, a tee and your gloves on your person. The superstition that works for you could just be the one that makes you feel the most comfortable.
2. One Birdie Per Ball – The Ernie superstition.
Ernie Els has a very particular superstition when it comes to his ball. He believes that after you score a birdie with a ball, all its luck is used up and you might as well throw it away. Knowing our luck, we’ll probably only hit birdies with your most expensive balls. A costly superstition to upkeep – but only if you’re scoring well. A real catch 22 isn’t it?
1. Finally, your luck really lies in your clubs.
You’ve got a set of around 14 clubs in your bag. Each one of them holds the power to better your game (or make it way worse). You may have a lucky club that helps you nail a fantastic shot every time. There is even a superstition that the first club you take out of the bag should be the one you make your first shot with – never switch clubs on the first shot. No changing your mind.
While these superstitions may seem totally true, or completely ridiculous to you, there’s no doubt that the game of golf is a little more than smacking a ball and hoping for the best.
Do you have any of your own weird golf superstitions?