As we all know, golfers are a superstitious lot. Everybody has their lucky club, special coin, or morning ritual that is necessary for a decent round. Of course, we know that these things don’t actually have lucky powers; even so we HAVE to have them. It may not affect the results of the game, but it does impact out state of mind. Bob Deraney, a women’s hockey coach, said this about superstitions, “A ritual or superstition really doesn’t affect your performance. It does affect your state of mind. All athletes have their rituals, and I think they’re good things because it helps them find that zone they need to be in.”
Golf Digest featured a German study that tested our belief in luck. One group of golfer were given what they were told were “lucky” golf balls. A second group of golfers were given golf balls and told that the balls were “just the same golf ball as everyone used.” The group with the “lucky” golf balls drained 30% more putts than the group with the “regular” golf balls. We all know how much of golf is a mental game, but this study reinforces it.
So, I’ve scoured the internet for the Pros’ superstitions and this is what I’ve found:
- Tiger Woods always wears a red shirt during his final round of a tournament.
- Ernie Els believes that every golf ball only has one birdie in it, which is why he always changes his ball after making a birdie putt.
- Fred Funk always flips a coin before marking his ball on the green. If his coin lands on tails, then he marks his ball with the tail facing up in a normal fashion. If it comes up heads, he’ll turn the coin to make sure the head is facing the hole. If the head lands facing backwards, then he feels that he will three putt the hole!
- Paul Azinger always marks his ball with the coin heads up.
- Lexi Thompson, wears ladybug earrings as well as carrying some special lucky items in her bag.
- Ted Eleftheriou, PGA Director of instruction at Orange County National Golf Course, only uses white or natural tees.
- On the other hand, Doug Standers refuses to use white golf tees.
- Jerry Kelly only uses dimes to mark his ball that are from the year 1969 or prior.
- Chi Chi Rodriguez used a quarter to mark his ball on birdie putts, a buffalo nickel for eagle putts, and if other coins weren’t getting the ball in the cup, he’d switch to a gold coin.
- Natalie Gulbis has an odd high-calorie McDonalds infused ritual before every round. Her treat is an Egg McMuffin and hash browns.
- Jack Nicklaus would never use his own tees on par 3’s, he’d always find a broken one to use.
- Duffy Waldorf has his kids write on his golf balls.
- Karrie Webb always used consecutive balls from Thursday to Sunday, start with 4’s and ending with 1’s to finish her round on Sunday. Why? “Of course, I like to be number one on Sundays”, she said.
Do you have any superstitions Rockheads? Let me know in the comments!