Mulligans are Not Always a Good Idea

Every golfer knows that there are games when they are just mucking around when they can take a “mulligan” and be alright.  A mulligan is a shot that was not intended and so the shot does not count on the overall score.  For instance, playing a par five hole and the golfer totally tanks his drive; he can reshoot from the tee.  If it takes him six shots to make the ball, including the tanked shot, he can actually claim a mulligan and the missed shot does not count leaving him playing at par.  The following are times when a mulligan is not a good idea:

  • Tournaments – When playing a tournament, even if mulligans are allowed, you should only go with your real score.  This is the only way you can gauge how well you are doing against other players.  If you are in the top of the pack and they are taking mulligans and you are not, then you know you’re a better player than others.  Even if you are only in the middle, you know you earned your spot by your play, not by taking strokes off your score.
  • Gaining a Handicap – When you are playing to learn what your handicap it, you should always be honest about your true score.  This is the only way the right handicap can be offered and the only way you can be competitive against others in your class.  The math that it takes to create a handicap is very complex so you really want to have an honest showing and taking a mulligan is not honest in that case.
  •  Turning Pro – If you are attempting to turn pro or if this is something you aspire too, you should never ever take a mulligan.  In a sense, you are cheating even if it is a fun and casual game because you are not representing your true ability.  No pro would ever take a mulligan because they know that they need to give their all every time they play.  So, taking one would not be beneficial to you over the long run.

There are those who golf but who are not golfers and the mulligan really applies to them, not to those who play seriously.  If you want to improve your score, taking a stroke off here and there and calling it a mulligan is not the way to do it.  Your handicap can suffer and turning pro is not possible if you are not really showing your true competitive nature.