Another sort of Do-Over


taking a Mulligan (words)I heard one of the characters from Blue Bloods (a TV show) talk about “taking a Mulligan” and wondered what on Earth that meant.  According to the Urban Dictionary, “A Mulligan, in a game, happens when a player gets a second chance to perform a certain move or action; usually due to lack of skill or bitter luck. A “Do-Over”. Like getting an “Extra Play” in pinball due to sinking the ball before obtaining an arbitrary amount of points.”

Source: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=mulligan

golf ball1But, where did this strange turn of phrase come from? There is no one definitive explanation about the origin of the term, but if you believe Wikipedia it hails from the world of golf.

“The United States Golf Association (USGA) cites three stories explaining that the term derived from the name of a Canadian golfer, David Mulligan, one time manager of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, who played at the Country Club of Montreal golf course, in Saint-Lambert near Montreal during the 1920s. One version has it that one day after hitting a poor tee shot, Mulligan re-teed and shot again. He called it a “correction shot,” but his friends thought it more fitting to name the practice after him.

golfer taking a shot1David Mulligan then brought the concept from Canada to the famous U.S. golf club Winged Foot. A second version has the extra shot given to Mulligan due to his being jumpy and shaky after a difficult drive over the Victoria Bridge to the course. The final version of the David Mulligan story gives him an extra shot after having overslept, rushing to get ready to make the tee time.

Source cited: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulligan_(games)

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