The Most Ridiculous Superstitions in Golf

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistOctober 6, 2012

Golfers don't like to tee off with a ball that has been in a water hazard.
Golfers don't like to tee off with a ball that has been in a water hazard.Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

There is little doubt that golf is a strange game.

You need long, skinny clubs to whack a little white ball around a course in the name of competition. You have to battle elements like wind, rain, heat and fog. The game requires strength, coordination, tenacity and a good sense of humor.

To help you negotiate all the impediments you may face during a round of 18 holes, you may develop your own set of "rules" that you try to follow every time you are on the course.

These rules or beliefs may make perfect sense to you, but they are nothing but superstitions to the outside world.

To the non-golfer, they are laughable and foolish. But to most other golfers, they are just part of your own golf signature.

The other members of your golfing foursome may think that your habits don't make sense, and they may roll their eyes, but they won't say anything because they know that their own habits are probably just as silly.

In no particular order, here are some of the most ridiculous superstitions in the game. (Some may come with explanations, but others have no reasoning behind them whatsoever.)

Never use a red tee during your round of golf

The only explanation for this one is that red is the color associated with danger and that if you use a red tee, you will have a dangerous round with a lot of inaccurate shots.

Never use a water ball on a hole with a water hazard

For the uninitiated, a water ball is one that you have hit into the water at some point or another. After doing so, you made the effort to recover the ball by scooping it out of the hazard.

However, using that ball to tee off on another hole with a water hazard is considered giving up before you started.

Never mark your ball with any coin with a smaller denomination than a quarter

While using a dime or a penny may be less distracting to the other golfers you are playing with, using a coin worth less than 25 cents indicates that you are cheap.

That may cause you problems on the course.

Never use a ball that you just found during the round you are playing

It's fine to use that ball in a future round, but never use that "gift" during the current round or you will end up hitting a bad shot with it.

Don't use a ball you just washed to tee off

Many courses have ball washers at every tee or every other tee. Go ahead and wash your ball, but wait at least one hole before using a ball you just washed.

Never wash your ball if you are having an exceptional round

Washing the ball will change your luck.

After you make a putt of any length greater than three feet, tap the inside of the cup with the ball as you remove it

This must be done in a rhythmic and smooth motion. Once you begin this habit, you must finish the round by doing it on every hole in which you make a putt of that length.

Starting your round with a birdie on the first hole means the rest of your round will go downhill

Many pessimists subscribe to this rule.

Never pick up an out-of-bounds ball that is not your own

Somebody else's poor shot means your game will soon be troubled if you pick it up.

Remove all your personal belongings from your pocket

Put your wallet, car keys and golf tees in your golf bag. This actually makes some sense, because a wallet or keys could impact your balance as you swing.

Carry a lucky club in your bag

You many never use it, but if you have a 1-iron, for example, you should carry it around with you.

Once you take a club out of your bag, never change your mind on the club selection

If you return the club to the bag without using it, your round will soon be ruined.


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