Twenty bucks says a mulligan followed this shot. (Image:rowanbarrett/Flickr)

The mulligan golfer is a varied breed of golfer.

The less offensive of this breed is the golfer who occasionally drops a ball down after the unexpected snap hook into the woods. He’s not really keeping score, this is not an official round, and there aren’t any groups waiting behind him.

The most offensive of this breed is the mulligan addict. He’s the guy that brags about his 84 after taking 4 mulligans, two of which he took on the putting green. He’s the guy that takes a mulligan on the first tee—four foursomes waiting behind him—after having hit range balls for half an hour.

The mulligan addict has no tact or golf etiquette. He’ll turn in that 84 with no hesitation, oblivious to the fact that his inflated 10 handicap will be a detriment to him in the annual club championship. He’s a reverse sandbagger. That 84 will quickly turn into a 92 when a few playing partners are eyeing the mulligan addict like a hawk.

I’ll admit it. Around the time I started playing the game in my pre-teen years, I was a mulligan addict. Along with my playing partners, I decided that mulligans were fair game on tees, fairways, and greens—and, of course, we had the “all-purpose mulligan” to use anywhere on the course. Awful. By the time I started playing junior tournaments in the summer, I had long since broken that habit—thankfully.

Now I’m no legalist. Sure, if you’re out screwing around with friends, the course is wide open, and you’re not going to turn in your score, then break the rules every now and then.

But for the golfing gods’ sake, don’t take a mulligan if you’re keeping score, especially for a handicap. Have some common sense. Don’t be a mulligan addict.

Previous Golf Pet Peeves:

#2: The Shot Jinxer

#1: The Shot-By-Shot Recap Golfer