Tiger Woods’ red shirt on the final day of a tournament is probably the most obvious superstition in professional golf. If you think about it for longer than 10 seconds, you realise it is completely ridiculous. Tiger could have won each of his 14 majors in a tiger costume if he wanted to but it has become a brand now. I’m not immune myself to wearing a red shirt on an important golf day. It hasn’t helped one bit mind you.
As a junior I had a semi-conscious superstition of playing odd numbered irons out of the rough. I realise it is ludicrous, so don’t ask questions but it may have been as a result of having a starter set with only even numbered clubs which become my favourites. It still doesn’t make sense. Only a few weeks ago I realised that I have a small belief that dropping my marker in my pocket rather than replacing it into its magnetic holder improves my putting. My putting did improve but anything would be better than the week before.
Ball markers are a constant source of superstition in professional golfers with Jesper Parnevik only marking his ball with tails up and Jack Nicklaus always playing with three coins in his pocket. There are many more instances of this sort of stupidity in professional golf but the big question is: can it help in any way?
One may argue that it’s a routine and we know how important that is in golf. The problem is that it is a routine not needed. With no basis whatsoever it clouds the mind and creates thoughts with no relevance to the shot at hand. My marker thing is going the way my odd iron routine did. In fact, I may even confine the red shirt to days at the beach and pull out the tiger costume for the important tournaments.