Golf is a funny game. There are days when you love it, and days when you simply can’t stand it. In an effort to block the bad vibes and harness the good, many golfers believe certain routines or superstitions are the answer.
These can range from quirks and habits on the tee box all the way to the green. Here is our list of 10 of the most interesting golf superstitions we’ve seen.
Ernie Els’ Birdie Balls
South African golfer Ernie Els has a unique superstition that is apt for a professional who has access to an unlimited amount of quality golf balls. Each time Ernie birdies a hole, he immediately discards the ball and starts the next hole with a fresh one.
He believes that when he makes birdie, all the good mojo has been sucked out of the ball and is useless to keep playing with it. For example, Ernie drained almost 260 birdies on Tour back in 2013, which adds up to about $1,000 in discarded balls.
Jack Nicklaus’ Three Coins
Even arguably the best player to ever play the game had superstitions. Nicklaus would not tee off unless he had exactly three coins in his pocket. The denomination of the coins did not matter. It could be three pennies or two dimes and a nickel, as long as he had some change. It seems like this one worked for Jack.
Tiger’s Sunday Red
This is one of the more well-known PGA golfer superstitions out there. Tiger, who channels his inner killer instinct on the last day of all of his tournaments, always chooses to wear a red shirt. Red is a color that gives off an aggressive, strong, and powerful vibe. Tiger was thankful that he went to Stanford, a college where red is a primary color, to keep his tradition going.
Don’t Use Red Tees
On the flip side, red can be a color that causes stress for some golfers. This old golf superstition says that red tees are a no-go on the tee box. The tee box is a place where your inner zen needs to be channeled so you can use all your focus to start the hole off well. Red tees are can be a distraction from that.
Keegan Bradley’s Quirks
If you’ve ever watched Keegan Bradley play, you’ve probably noticed some weird habits going on during his round. Keegan takes his hat off and scratches his head for every missed putt. During bunker shots, you can see him hesitantly approaching his shot with jerky steps as he surveys his approach. In 2015, it was reported that he had still not unpacked his suitcase from the Ryder Cup in 2012 when the American team had a noteworthy collapse. Whatever works, Keegan.
Masters Par 3 Tournament Curse
A tradition unlike any other also has certain traditions in itself. The annual Masters Par 3 Championship tournament is always held before the real competition begins. Old golf lore says that if you win the par 3 tournament, you are guaranteed a lousy finish in the real thing. Some players that were considered to be in the top contention to win the Masters have admitted to throwing the par 3 tourney or not playing in it at all to keep their chances high.
Zach Johnson’s Ball Marker
Many players don’t think much about what they use for a ball marker when they are on the green, but for some this small tool has bigger implications. Johnson’s ball marker is a homemade gift from his wife. It has biblical phrases that Johnson recites throughout his round to keep him level-headed.
Never Use A Ball Found During A Round
It could be likely during any given round that you will be taking a trip into the trees to look for an errant shot. Some are easier to find than others. However, if you stumble across a ball that is not yours, don’t necessarily be so eager to pick it up and use it. This old golf superstition says that using a newly found ball during the same round you found it in will bring you a lousy score for the rest of the day. Don’t mess with the golf gods on this one.
Davis Love III’s 1960s Pennies
Davis employs a superstition that most Tour players would scoff at. It is common for pros to use different types of ball markers, but not many use currency. Davis is strict when it comes to this practice. He exclusively uses coinage. However, he claims that all coins minted after 1970 are deemed bad luck. As a result, he prefers pennies minted only from the 1960s.
Don’t Wash Your Ball If You’re Having A Great Day
It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon. You’re draining every tough putt, nailing your approach shots, and you’ve hit every fairway since the first tee. It’s looking to be a career best round for you. Just be sure of one thing – don’t even think about going near the ball washer. Cleaning your ball off on a day like that is basically cleansing the ball of its magic mojo that is aiding you in playing so well. It’s not worth the risk!