It’s generally acknowledged that baseball players are probably the most superstitious athletes as a group. Sure, there are outliers in every sport, like Michael Jordan and his famous UNC Tar Heel gym shorts and Les Miles’ appetite for football field grass.
But as a group, baseball players have no equal when it comes to trying to manipulate karma, not tempt fate, and showing the baseball gods proper deference. Don’t step on the foul line. Don’t talk about a no-hitter in progress.
And most importantly, don’t ever mess with a streak. Even at the lowly high school level, I remember teammates that wouldn’t wash certain uniform items and would forsake elements of personal hygiene so as to not mess with a hitting streak or a winning streak.
Just take a minute and Google-search “Turk Wendell.” Case closed.
However, golfers can be a superstitious lot, as well. In a game where so many elements of the game are beyond the players’ control, one could understand wanting to curry favor with the golf gods.
Our game is where “feel,” both physical and mental, is as important as the swing mechanics in delivering the desired strike to the golf ball.
A bounce here or there can mean the difference between birdie and double bogey. An ever so slight gust of wind or change of its direction may be the difference between whether you get your shot across the water hazard or if you’re pulling another ball from your bag.
Seriously, how many times during a round do you bark for your ball to “kick” or “bite” or perform some other violation of the laws of physics? And won’t you do everything you can to increase the chances of the ball actually listening?
I have no idea of how to satisfy the golf gods, but I suspect it’s a lot like staying on your parents’ good side when you were a kid. Keep your golf bag clean and organized. Follow the rules. Use that lucky towel until it isn’t lucky anymore.
If you have a routine, do you zealously stick to it? Does the slightest deviation from that routine “throw you off?” If it does, you’re not necessarily suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder, but rather, I’d argue you’ve developed your own superstition on the golf course.
My personal list includes using the same divot tool every round and carrying said tool, tee, and golf ball(s) only in my right pocket. Any deviation from this set pattern just doesn’t feel right.
So, this month, Dear Readers, I’m curious, how superstitious are you on the golf course?