What Do You Call a Mulligan for a Mulligan?

Sometimes in golf (well, often, actually), things don't go as planned. Such as when, with your golf buddies watching, you hit a terrible opening drive to the round. Luckily, in your group, mulligans are allowed off the first tee. So you hit your do-over. But, yikes, that one is terrible, too! Now what?

Most groups that play mulligans would say, sorry, you have to play that terrible mulligan shot you just hit. But some groups might agree to allow multiple mulligans — mulligans for your mulligan, do-overs for your do-over, so to speak.

But what are those do-overs-for-a-do-over called?

Let's go back to our example. Our golfer hit a terrible drive, so pulled out another ball for a mulligan. Then he hit another terrible drive with the mulligan. If his group allows mulligans for the mulligan — and again, most groups don't, but some do — that golfer can now pull out another ball, and hit another do-over.

In that case, that third stroke is most likely to be called a Finnegan. Golfers like to stick with themes, and in this case the theme for naming do-overs is Irish surnames.

If a fourth stroke follows — a drive, a mulligan, a Finnegan, now a third do-over — most golfers who have ever heard of such a thing will call it a Branagan.

After that comes Flanagan, which is, let's see, a mulligan for a mulligan for a mulligan of your original mulligan. And if you make it this far, you might want to consider giving up golf for tennis.

So the order is: mulligan, Finnegan, Branagan, Flanagan.

As noted a couple times already, most groups do not allow do-overs for your do-over: If your group plays mulligans, you will likely be expected to play your mulligan shot regardless of how it turns out. We do not recommend allowing do-overs for your do-over, because it slows down the game. And certainly, groups should not allow multiples mulligans for the same shot when the golf course is busy and doing so will hold up the group behind yours.

We really don't need to say that mulligans-for-mulligans are never allowed under the Rules of Golf, do we? (A single mulligan is "illegal," too.)

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