Golf preferences or superstitions?

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Superstition at sports is well know and observed in many “rituals” performed before, during or after a sport event. What does it take to be successful in sports? Motivation, confidence, focus and desire; all of these are important, but what about luck? Do you ever wonder why athletes wear the same “lucky shirt” in competition, or why some eat the exact same meal for good luck prior to competition or even why some teams even go as far as not washing their jerseys until they lose a game?

Some may call it preference instead of superstition but the fact remains that in sports some people strongly believe that if you do repeat a certain behaviour, you will have good luck. As in other activities many golfers are superstitious; for example golf balls with the number 4 or higher are seen as bad luck. Not many people, or even rules, dissuade golfers from believing in superstitions; many common superstitions in golf have to do with the coins used to mark ball placements. Some American players for example refuse to use anything other than nickels (5 US cents), and others must use coins that are heads-up. In the thin line that may separate preference and superstition some of the following examples may sound funny but they are followed with strong believe and are performed as part of the way to success.

Phil Mickelson uses Titleist’s with high numbers because it helps him to discern his golf balls from other players. John Cook marks his golf ball only with US quarters (25 cent coins that feature different US States) that reflect pictures of states in which he has not only played, but played well.

Famous golfer Arnold Palmer’s wife kisses each one of his golf balls before he uses them in a game. Doug Sanders denies playing golf with white golf tees, as he regards them to be unlucky, while Tiger Woods wear red to the fortune. Ernie Els is known for using his ball for one birdie and that everytime he makes one he switches it never to be used again. Paul Azinger always marks his golf ball with a US penny, which features the head of Abraham Lincoln. He also makes certain to turn the penny so Lincoln is looking at the hole. He thinks this brings him good luck!

Christina Kim doesn’t step on the edge where the fairway meets the green, as she considers this to bring bad luck to her golf game. Natalie Gulbis has an odd high-calorie McDonalds infused ritual before every round. Her treat is an Egg McMuffin and hash browns. Whether or not you have your own personal preferences or superstitions, you would not have trouble to find a fellow golfer who will be ready to give you some superstitious tips.