The Etiquetteist: How many mulligans are too many mulligans?


If you’re a trivia geek, you might know that the term “mulligan” is often said to derive from a Canadian golfer named David Mulligan, who once re-teed his opening shot while playing with his buddies, only to have his pals never let him live it down.

That is only one of many mulligan “origin stories,” but this isn’t Jeopardy!. It’s an etiquette column. So the mulligan-related questions on our mind are these: When and where is it okay to take one? And: Is it okay to take one at all?

Conduct a random survey at your local course, and the answers will be as varied as the swings that you see.

But a general rule abides: In a friendly game, a 1st tee “mully” is permissible, if, and only if, everyone agrees on this beforehand. To shank your opening shot, and then request a mulligan? That’s poor form. In that instance, the pardoning power lies solely with your playing partners, who might take pity on you and offer you a re-do.

In which case, hmm.

While the laws of etiquette allow you to accept their unanimous gesture (and it must be unanimous), the laws of self-esteem dictate something different: Is pity really something you’re eager to receive?

In especially lenient groups, the spirit of generosity at time grows so extreme as to allow for mulligans throughout the round, on holes other than the 1st. But conduct of that nature demeans the game so direly, we hesitate to even bring it up.

“A roving mulligan is just ‘taking the piss,’ as we say in England,’” says Atlanta-based GOLF Top 100 Instructor Jon Tattersall. At that point, you’re not playing, you’re practicing, he says.

Of course, in serious competitions, mulligans are out of the question. Every shot counts, not only by rule of etiquette but also by rule of play.

What’s that you say? Your game isn’t tournament-ready? Join the club. It’s still worth trying to get into a tournament mindset.

“It can be helpful to get into the habit of hitting one shot only off the 1st tee, as it gets your adrenaline going and gives you a good idea of how your technique is doing,” Tattersall says. “Stress is the only real gauge. Anyone can hit a good shot with nothing on the line.”

Admittedly, we’re now straying away from etiquette and toward game-improvement. But we’ll stay here for a moment, because other knowledgeable golfers agree.

“Mulligans, breakfast balls — I just don’t really approve of them,” says veteran Tour pro Brian Henninger, who also works as an instructor and counsels his students to “test yourself by adding up every stroke.”

“There are exceptions if you’re playing some alternative formats agreed upon before you play,” Henninger says. “But there’s nothing worse than playing with ignorant players who don’t abide by, understand or fudge the basic integrity of score.”

In other words: It violates his sense of etiquette. You’ll note Henninger’s mention of “breakfast balls.” A reminder that mulligans go by many names, not all of them owing to David Mulligan. As in this story:

An American golfer, having scuffed his opening tee shot while playing in Scotland, turned to his caddie and inquired: “What do you call a mulligan over here?”

Replied the caddie: “We call it ‘three.’”

Link to article: Click here

Junior Golf Association of Northern California event at Dragonfly

The Bryson DeChambeau Junior Championship was held on Monday, November 19.  

Use the link for viewing the final results.


Recap of the AG Lenders Tournament

Actagro Golf Tournament Turnout

2018 Mayakoba Golf Classic tee times, viewer’s guide

The PGA Tour makes its first of two stops south of the border this week for the Mayakoba Golf Classic held at El Camaleon Golf Club in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The event, which began in 2007 as an alternate field event, became a FedEx Cup event offering full points and a Masters invitation to the winner in 2013. It has since produced a number of exciting finishes, including a playoff and a pair of one-stroke victories in the last five years, the most recent coming last year when Patton Kizzire edged out Rickie Fowler by a shot.

Both Kizzire and Fowler return to the field this year alongside a number of notable names including Jordan Spieth, who added the Mexico stop to his schedule to fulfill his minimum starts requirement. Spieth made his 2018-’19 season debut a week ago in Las Vegas and started strong, posting a 66 and a 68 to get into contention heading into the weekend. But he played his final 36 holes in one-over par, finishing in a tie for 55th. He’ll need to put four rounds together this week if he wants to get his season off on the right track, as 17 under or better has been the winning score here in each of the last five seasons.

Another to watch this week will be Cameron Champ, who was in the mix through 54 holes last week at the Shriners, but, like Spieth, struggled on Sunday, carding a two-over 73. He still managed to finish T-28, and once again showed why the hype is very real with some jaw-dropping drives that left him easy wedge shots into many of the greens.

Also in the field in Mexico are Tony Finau, PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Aaron Wise and reigning U.S. Amateur champion Viktor Hovland.

TV Schedule

The Golf Channel will carry live coverage Thursday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET.

Leader board

Follow all the action from Mexico on the Golf Digest PGA Tour leader board.

Thursday Tee Times

No. 1 Tee

7 a.m. — James Hahn, Luke List, Kelly Kraft

7:10 a.m. — J.B. Holmes, Bill Haas, Scott Brown

7:20 a.m. — Fabian Gomez, Chris Kirk, Richy Werenski

7:30 a.m. — Andrew Landry, Jason Dufner, Mackenzie Hughes

7:40 a.m. — Adam Hadwin, Hudson Swafford, Cody Gribble

7:50 a.m. — Gary Woodland, Brian Harman, Kevin Chappell

8 a.m. — Russell Henley, D.A. Points, Sangmoon Bae

8:10 a.m. — Brian Stuard, Sung Kang, Tom Hoge

8:20 a.m. — Charley Hoffman, C.T. Pan, Ryan Blaum

8:30 a.m. — Curtis Luck, Kramer Hickok, Brad Adamonis

8:40 a.m. — Chase Wright, Seth Reeves, Eamonn McLoughlin

11:30 a.m. — Danny Lee, Josh Teater, J.J. Spaun

11:40 a.m. — Robert Streb, Rory Sabbatini, Jamie Lovemark

11:50 a.m. — Martin Laird, Alex Prugh, Seamus Power

12 p.m. — Patton Kizzire, Pat Perez, Jordan Spieth

12:10 p.m. — Cameron Champ, Jhonattan Vegas, Tony Finau

12:20 p.m. — Scott Piercy, Jim Herman, Charles Howell III

12:30 p.m. — Graeme McDowell, Harris English, John Huh

12:40 p.m. — Freddie Jacobson, Steve Marino, Scott Langley

12:50 p.m. — Carlos Ortiz, John Chin, Viktor Hovland

1 p.m. — Jose de Jesus Rodriguez, Kyle Jones, Oscar Fraustro

1:10 p.m. — Sebastian Munoz, Roberto Diaz, Norman Xiong

No. 10 Tee

7 a.m. — Patrick Rodgers, Ollie Schniederjans, Sam Ryder

7:10 a.m. — Anirban Lahiri, Keith Mitchell, Tyler Duncan

7:20 a.m. — Bud Cauley, Abraham Ancer, Joaquin Niemann

7:30 a.m. — Aaron Wise, Rickie Fowler, Emiliano Grillo

7:40 a.m. — Billy Horschel, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar

7:50 a.m. — Jim Furyk, Kevin Stadler, Chez Reavie

8 a.m. — Ryan Moore, Bronson Burgoon, J.T. Poston

8:10 a.m. — Nick Taylor, Harold Varner III, Joel Dahmen

8:20 a.m. — Max Homa, Adam Svensson, Armando Favela

8:30 a.m. — Adam Schenk, Stephan Jaeger, Adria Arnaus

8:40 a.m. — Corey Conners, Sungjae Im, Sebastian Vazquez

11:30 a.m. — Hunter Mahan, Sam Saunders, Brandon Harkins

11:40 a.m. — Vaughn Taylor, Sean O’Hair, Beau Hossler

11:50 a.m. — Alex Cejka, Whee Kim, Dominic Bozzelli

12 p.m. — Brice Garnett, Grayson Murray, Kevin Kisner

12:10 p.m. — Ryan Armour, Si Woo Kim, Ernie Els

12:20 p.m. — Chris Stroud, Jonas Blixt, Wesley Bryan

12:30 p.m. — Peter Malnati, Kevin Streelman, Matt Jones

12:40 p.m. — Brian Gay, Shawn Stefani, Denny McCarthy

12:50 p.m. — Cameron Davis, Roger Sloan, Zach Bauchou

1 p.m. — Sam Burns, Martin Trainer, Shintaro Ban

1:10 p.m. — Anders Albertson, Kyoung-Hoon Lee, Matt Hutchins

Link to article: Click here

ALSC Golf Tournament

On October 26th, we hosted the Ag Lender’s Annual Golf Tournament! Proceeds from the tournament were used to benefit the California Farm Bureau Scholarship Fund, which aims to foster the next generation of agricultural business professionals.

We’d like to extend a thank you to the ALSC, the sponsors that helped make this event possible, & everyone who participated!

Farmer Mac
Gilmore Magness Janisse LLP
Premier Valley Bank
Pearson Realty

The Ag Lenders Society of California is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to serve as the premier provider of education and information for professionals engaged directly or indirectly in the business of agricultural lending.  The Society focuses its efforts on current issues affecting both agriculture and agricultural lending in the state of California, while providing a diversified network for agri-business professionals.

-ALSC Mission Statement


The Grand Prize winner!

1st Place Winners – Fidelity National Title

2nd Place Winners – Fresno Madera Farm Credit, Pearson Realty, and Rabobank

3rd Place Winners – Baker Peterson Franklin CPA