What Is A Mulligan In Golf?

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Luke is an avid weekend-warrior golfer from the East Coast who plays golf more than he cares to admit.

Golf is a very rewarding sport to play, but can also be quite hard for beginners. That’s where mulligan shots come in.

A mistake on the course, such as missing a shot or a putt that is crucial to the hole, might ruin an otherwise relaxing afternoon spent on the links.

what is a mulligan in golf

Another reason why beginners may find it hard to get into both watching and playing golf is because of all of the odd language used in the sport. But a player must understand all of these terms to play at their very best.

For newcomers to the sport who either watch or play in amateur/charity competitions, you may have heard the term “mulligan” thrown around.

This is when golfers are sometimes granted a mulligan, which allows them to take another swing at a shot. However, this privilege has a few rules.

Keep reading to find out all about the term “mulligan”, as well as when it is OK to use it, when it is not appropriate, and when you should never ask for one.

What Is A Mulligan?

In a nutshell, a Mulligan allows any amateur or charity player to repeat a shot from the preceding stroke, even though they will be subject to a penalty or other ramifications as a result of doing so.

During a round of golf played for fun, it is a Mulliganis used if a shot goes awry or an “Act of God” occurs, which refers to a sudden change in the way the weather affects the spin of the golf ball.

It has the advantage of allowing the game to be played more smoothly, in addition to accelerating play in general, which is a significant benefit.

The players don’t need to go looking for the ball if it gets misplaced since the shot may simply be taken again as a corrective shot.

Taking a Mulliganshot does come with a significant catch though, so keep that in mind. Before anybody may request a Mulliganduring a round of golf, all players must first agree on whether the Mulliganoption will be allowed.

If a tournament does not permit Mulligans, and a player attempts to take the shot, or even calls for one, it might be viewed as a significant enough infringement that a player can be dismissed from the competition.

What Can A Mulligan Be Used For?

When things haven’t gone quite the way you wanted them to, an opportunity to obtain a second shot is provided by the Mulligan in casual play.

It has the potential to make the entire game far less stressful for beginners as they know that if things don’t go to plan on the first shot, they have a backup shot to use.

There are a lot of different reasons why someone could ask for a mulligan, including:

  • An awful first shot on the tee
  • There is a golf ball that has gone missing
  • It appears as if the ball has landed in the bunker.
  • The ball travels into dense vegetation or rocky areas.
  • It was just an unfortunate shot.
what is a mulligan in golf

How Many Mulligans Are Allowed?

Even though Mulligans are a useful tool to have, there are certain circumstances in which they cannot be used in the game.

For example, they are only allowed to be carried out on tee shots, and the number of them that are authorized is always determined by the group’s decision in the form of a consensus.

If there has been more than one poor shot or lost ball, a few Mulligans may be permitted if all of the players agree to this.

When Can You Not Ask For A Mulligan?

On the golf course, there are times when it is not appropriate to request a Mulligan.

When a golfer swings a shot off the first tee and it goes out of bounds, it is a good opportunity to consider introducing the Mulligan rules since it gives the player another chance at the stroke.

It makes for a more relaxed atmosphere, but an excessive number of Mulligans might take away some of the pleasure for the more serious golfers out there.

A temporary Mulligan is usually not the greatest decision if it causes a disruption to the flow of play or if there are a group of players behind you that are making rapid progress down the course.

It is also not a good idea to ask for a Mulligan if you are playing well in general since this will not help your game.

Simply put, it is not considered very sporty because it may – theoretically at the very least – offer an unfair edge to others.

A Handicap Vs A Mulligan – What’s The Difference?

When a golfer hits a terrible tee shot that they would rather forget, they have the option to take a “Mulligan,” which is just a second chance shot.

There is no penalty for making one during a casual and pleasant round of golf since it is not considered a rule violation.

A handicap, on the other hand, is something quite different. It is a calculation that takes into account a golfer’s 10 best scores from the most recent 20 rounds that they have played.

The golfer’s present performance is considered to be superior the lower the handicap is.


A golf game can be played in a pleasant and stress-free way by using Mulligans, which allow for an additional shot to be taken if you played the last shot poorly.

When they find themselves in a difficult situation on the golf course, many amateur players choose to take a Mulligan, even though this strategy is banned from professional competitions.

Whether a player can take their Mulligan shot all depends on whether their group agrees to it.

Before the start of the game, you and your opponents should agree to the use of Mulligans if one or more players make a poor shot.

After all, golf is supposed to be a relaxing activity that is played with a high level of sportsmanship and even a little bit of humor!

Luke Griffin

Luke is an avid weekend-warrior golfer from the East Coast who plays golf more than he cares to admit.

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