Superstitions were the topic du jour in Golf Fundamentals class. The discussion came about because ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike were talking about sports superstitions as PGA Instructor Jay Friedman was driving into campus this morning. Golfers, as Jay can attest, are very superstitious. Jay told us he never uses white tees and even goes so far as to kick them out of the way when he’s on the tee box because they remind him of white out of bounds markers, and he doesn’t want the bad mojo.
We went around the room sharing our different superstitions on the golf course. Some of the things we thought were superstitions were little more than routines we’ve developed over the years. A good routine eases tension.
One of my classmates said he thinks the color of the shirt he’s wearing will help him play better. The PGA Tour’s Patrick Reed always wears a red shirt and black pants on Sunday because he thinks he’ll play better. And who’s to argue with him? He already has four Tour wins before the age of 25. Tiger Woods wore red on Sundays and won 14 major championships.
During a Tonight Show appearance in the mid-1960s, Arnold Palmer was asked by host Johnny Carson if he had any good-luck rituals. Palmer replied, “Yes, my wife kisses my balls.” Carson quipped, “I’ll bet that flutters your putter.”
The closest thing I have to a superstition on the golf course has to do with the divot repair tool and ball marker I use. I got it from Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington, site of this year’s U.S. Open. I played a round there with my brother back in the summer of 2012, and I’ve used it ever since. I don’t know if it’s a superstition, but I would feel naked out on the course without it.