Let's go to Bob Rosburg on the 17th. Rossie?
"I have no idea."
The boys at the Royal & Ancient of St. Andrews were no help either, except to sniff that such an abomination of custom as the mulligan had to have sprung from the Colonies.
Golf Digest's Charlie Price, who used to help Harry Vardon adjust his grip, says, "I've heard all the stories about the mulligan, and every one is too convenient. I don't think we'll ever know for sure."
Several other golf icons, whose identities we will protect (because these people attend the company Christmas party), stammered, then told unplayable lies.
Through with kidding around, we spoke to a former golf writer named Hugh Mulligan, who had researched the mystery of his namesake. Mr. Mulligan conjectured about everyone from stately, plump Buck Mulligan, the blasphemous med student in James Joyce's Ulysses, to Hercules Mulligan, the forefather of the CIA. Collect call to Hugh from Earth. Will you accept?
Exasperated, we went to Mulligan's Pub in Manhattan in search of an answer or, if not an answer, a Guinness. "Do you know where mulligan comes from?" we asked of the barkeep.
"Sure," he said. " Dublin, originally."
We probably need a mulligan.