Friday the 13th: Superstitions in golf

Friday the 13th: Superstitions in golf

PGA Tour

Friday the 13th: Superstitions in golf

Maybe it’s a lucky ball marker. Perhaps a certain tee color. Whatever the case, most golfers from pros to hackers have their own superstitions on the course.

And on this Friday the 13th, the most superstitious of days, let’s take a look at some of golf’s biggest superstitions.

The comfort zone

One of the first orders of business each week on the PGA Tour is the defending champion press conference. The previous year’s winner usually takes questions on Tuesday or Wednesday before the tournament, regardless of how well they’ve been playing lately. Being creatures of habit, a lot of guys will try to replicate their success by sticking to the exact same routine at that particular tournament. Even if it doesn’t always do the trick.

“I try not to be superstitious, but every time I talk it seems like I do the same thing. It does end up that I am very superstitious,” Jim Herman said at the Shell Houston Open in March, where he picked up his first career victory in 2016. “I’m in the same hotel … I do find myself falling into superstition things and I need to get out of it as much as I can. It just doesn’t work.”

Maybe Herman just needed to take things a step further. Daniel Berger successfully defended his title at the FedEx St. Jude Classic back in June with some very familiar scenery.

“I’m staying in the same hotel room, exact same room number that I was last (year),” Berger said after his second straight win in Memphis. “I thought there was no chance this could be my week, but apparently it was.”

The jinx

“Wow, you’re driving it well today. I don’t think you’ve missed a fairway yet.”

“Hey, you can break 80 with bogey here.”

“He’s got a nasty little 4-footer to save par here after scooting that one past the hole, Jim. He does not have a three-putt this week.”

Like talking to a pitcher working on a no-hitter late in the game, some things are better left unsaid. PGA Tour Player of the Year Justin Thomas usually subscribes to this theory, but it’s one he broke the night before winning the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow.

“I’m kind of superstitious and weird about the night before, or when I get in contention, about people saying stuff,” Thomas said. “Like, ‘Oh, let’s go out and get it done tomorrow, let’s go do this.'”

Thomas’ girlfriend, Jillian Wisniewski, was scheduled to fly out before the tournament was over.

“I was like, ‘You need to change your flight to later because, I don’t know, I just feel like I don’t want you to miss this. I feel like I’m going to get it done.’ She’s the first person to tell you that I don’t want to talk about golf when I get in that situation. So I don’t know, I was just very confident.”

The threads

Tiger in red. Rickie in orange. These aren’t so much superstitions as Sunday staples on the PGA Tour.

Ala Woods, Patrick Reed almost always wears red and black in the final rounds of tournaments. But he apparently gets a lot of use out of his Team USA Ryder Cup pants as well, even wearing them on Saturday at this year’s U.S. Open to try to capture some of that magic.

“I’ve worn them a lot around the house and stuff like that, and practice,” said Reed, who shot 7-under 65 while wearing them at Erin Hills. “It was the first time putting them back out in play. They felt good.”

Brandt Snedeker used to pay extremely close attention to his wardrobe as well, but has since ditched the routine.

“I used to be really superstitious, and now as I’ve been out here for a few years, I realize superstitions are what you make them,” Snedeker said. “I used to eat the same meal every night, used to make sure I wore the same thing every Sunday, put my socks on the same way. And after a few last-round 75s, that didn’t last very long.

The weird

We dug up this gem from the 2009 Kraft Nabisco Championship, where Karrie Webb was looking to win for the second consecutive week. Webb is superstitious and said she used the same number golf ball based on the day – Four on Thursday, three on Friday, two on Saturday and one on Sunday. She also started an unusual routine en route to victory the previous week in Arizona.

“As crazy as this is – This is probably a little too much information for you guys, but I went to the same toilet in the bathroom last week after I played well the first day,” Webb said. “I figured that was a good one to sit on before I went out every other day.”

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