In casual ‘out with your buddies’ golf, Mulligans, or do-overs, are sometimes given (or taken, LOL). Obviously, this isn’t done in professional golf, or in money games like Vic plays in Difficult Lies. But when the game is just a friendly collection of men and/or women who are out for fun, a Mulligan allows the average player to trim a stroke or two and feel better about their game on the drive home.
A Mulligan in golf is pretty meaningless. The lower score doesn’t mean you are a better player. Everyone knows the score benefited through a bending of the rules. It is a temporary softening of the hard, cold and inflexible rules of a very difficult game.
Sometimes we are granted Mulligans in our everyday life. The ‘Mully” could come in the form of an early diagnosis and a successful medical treatment. It could come in the form of some great stroke of luck. The number and kinds of things in a life that could be considered Mulligans are limitless. Of course, many are wished for and denied, but we have all been granted Mullys in life. Unlike in golf, Mulligans in life are very meaningful.
In Difficult Lies, Vic gets a Mully of sorts. He can’t replay the six months that his story in the novel covers, but he finds himself in a position to benefit from recognizing and learning from his mistakes, and to move on with the rest of his life as a better person.
That’s a Mulligan, in the largest sense of the word. And it’s something to consider the next time a Mully is granted. I wish you all an important Mulligan the next time you need one.