Always in the hunt for new ways to play this most diffcult game called golf and make it more fun, how about this: ‘Criers and Whiners’ – courtesy of Brent Kelley and long-time good-guy Art McCafferty’s Michigan Golf News. Here, your bona-fide handicap is converted into ‘free shots’ that you can use as mulligans or ‘do-overs’. They are allowed anywhere on the course and at almost any time during the round with the exception of a mulligan off the first tee where normally, golfers just might traditionally enjoy one of those.
Let’s say your handicap is 20; in most cases, you’ll get 75% of that, unless you amend these ‘rules’ and use full handicap. As a 20, you will get to hit up to 15 shots over again. Top one into the lake on #4? Hit it again. 19 left……miss a two foot putt on #5? Do over! 18 left. One other rule is that you only get one shot at it, not a ‘hit-til-happy’ non-stop marathon.
This format still does force you to think and carefully ponder exactly when you want a re-do. Case in point: When you are playing in an event that allows only one or two purchased mulligans, you do feel a certain extra confidence in knowing you have those mullies in your back pocket if need be…..and anything giving extra confidence in golf is a winning idea. However, you DO use those mulligans with great care. And how often have you ever ended up not using a mulligan because you either forgot about it or waited too long for terrible shots that never surfaced? Often, you play a little bit better. But in hindsight, you really could have made a second attempt at that 20-foot downhill slider or hitting the green on your favorite par-3.
Add this fun format to your tournament players handbook of good ideas – or just enjoy it during a casual round with your buds. Odds are, your game will improve.