Halloween is just around the corner and with it comes the lure of trick-or-treating, the over-the-top horror stories, and of course, superstitions. You heard the one about the black cat, right? Apparently if you see a black cat on Halloween, a witch is nearby. And if you want to see a witch on October 31st, just put your clothes on inside out and walk backwards, and a witch shall appear.
In the spirit of Halloween, I have come up with the best of the best golf superstitions. Now I doubt we will be seeing any witches or black cats out on the links (well, maybe), but these superstitions are just as scary if they come true.
Don’t pick up a stray ball – For if a golfer picks up another golfer’s ball that was hit out of bounds, your game will be cursed for the remainder of the day. This superstition suggests that the ball was attracted to the ‘out of bounds’ area, and if you touch the ball while it is out of bounds, all of your drives will curve out of bounds as well.
Red Tees- Traditionally, red tees are the most forward tees and in casual golf lingo, they usually are the tees women tee off at. However, there is a superstition about red tees, suggesting that the color is one of anger, stress, and frustration, three very bad qualities to have on the golf course. To stay mentally strong and calm throughout the day, stay away from red-colored tees.
Talk to your ball to get it where you want it to go – You and your ball should be on a first name basis. You should tell it nice things, compliment it when it goes where it should go, and whisper sweet nothings to it before each drive. But NEVER talk to an opponent’s ball. This will jinx their ball, sending bad karma into the universe, and that bad karma will only reflect on your golf game.
Tap the inside of the cup – When you make a putt longer than three feet, make sure to tab the inside of the cup when taking the ball out. If you fail to do so, you will struggle on every remaining hole for the round.
Never wash a good ball – After you whisper those sweet nothings to your ball, and it goes right where you want it to go, don’t even think of washing that awesome off. A ball should never be cleaned when you are playing well. However, if a ball lands into a water hazard, get rid of it immediately. That ball is now attracted to every water hazard on the course.
Lucky ball markers – The higher the denomination, the luckier the marker. And always carry three (it was the habit of Jack Nicklaus). A quarter made in your birth year provides the most luck and although a bit bulky, a casino chip is a good idea, too. Just make sure it’s a winner.
Do not walk in front of the tee box – ALWAYS approach them from behind.
Tee off in order – Always allow the person who just made birdie on the previous hole to tee off first. If you cut them in line, this is certain to disrupt the Golf Gods. You can expect a poor showing the remainder of your day.
Lucky items – Perhaps not specific to golf, but in general athletes are some of the most superstitious people out there. There is the lucky shirt (Sunday Tiger wearing red), the lucky ball, the lucky tee, the lucky ball marker, the lucky head covers. For some of the most superstitious, golfers will use their college mascot as a head cover to bring the most luck to their game.
Use a low numbered ball – When it comes to number superstitions, they may be the most logical. Never use a ball with a number higher than par. And double-digit numbered balls?! Are you joking? This just seems to defy logic. Golf is a game where the lowest number wins, so keep your ball numbers low.
No matter if you are a casual golfer or one we can find out on the links every weekend, you must admit to having at least one superstition. Do you put your left sock on first? Do you approach the tee and take three practice swings? Do you leave the flag in the hole before putting? Whatever it may be, it works for you. Just make sure if you see a black cat on Halloween to steer clear of those witches.