What Is A Breakfast Ball In Golf? [Explained]

While playing on the golf course, you might see someone hit a very lousy first shot in the morning. It’s often followed by the others saying, “Take a breakfast ball”. But you’re bewildered thinking exactly what is a breakfast ball in golf?

A breakfast ball is basically the chance to redo the first shot in the morning for a particular player. It’s not an official golf rule and only allowed once at the beginning of the day. 

To clear up the entire concept of a breakfast ball in golf, let’s dive down to the intricacies of it. 

What Is A Breakfast Ball In Golf? [Explained]

What Is a Breakfast Ball in Golf? 

The term breakfast ball in golf is officially defined as “A mulligan on the first tee shot of an early morning round”. 

It means that if a golfer messes up his first shot of the day, he could take another shot that counts as the first. The first poor shot won’t be counted in the game in this way.

A breakfast ball was created when it was evident that most golfers can’t start off the first shot perfectly. 

At the beginning of the day, the golfers tend to have a poor result upon the first shot. Therefore, they are given a chance to redo or get a do over of the same shot. 

Breakfast ball is the allowed shot that they can take at the same hole without any penalties.

A breakfast ball is not an official golf rule. It’s only noticed in friendly and unofficial golf matches. Furthermore, breakfast balls are not pre announced most of the time. 

Once the golfer hits a poor shot at the first tee, he can be granted a breakfast ball. Meaning, he can abandon the missed shot and take a second shot.

Why Is It Called a Breakfast Ball? 

The breakfast ball was named after the first meal of the day. It’s because a breakfast ball is a redo shot which is only ever allowed the first shot in the early morning. 

It’s a way to start off the round in a good way for the golfers. It is to shake off their weariness on an empty stomach.

Many golfers don’t stay in their top shape first thing in the morning. They could lack proper sleep, breakfast, adequate warmups or be under pressure. 

Whatever the reason is, granting them a practice shot really seems to awaken their spirits and gaming skills. Hence, the invention of a tee shot called the breakfast ball.

According to sources, the breakfast balls were first applied by a Canadian hotelier David Mulligan. 

He used to take these morning correction shots while playing golf which then later was named as breakfast balls.

Why Is It Called a Breakfast Ball

What Happens When You Take a Breakfast Ball? 

The terms and conditions for a breakfast ball depend upon the game and the golfers you’re playing the round with. 

If the whole group decides on granting breakfast balls before the game, they can use it freely. Therefore, after the first tee shot, they can proceed to take a second shot.

One thing to keep in mind in this case is that the second shot will be counted as the official ball. 

The first shot termed as a breakfast ball will not be considered even if it ends up being the better one. However, in some cases if you’re playing with friends,  

Differences Between a Breakfast Ball and a Mulligan Ball  

A mulligan and a breakfast ball are extremely similar as both of them are redo balls. 

The only major feature of the breakfast ball is that it is only awarded in the morning, usually before breakfast. Mulligan balls can be used at any time of the day.

Breakfast ball is actually a type of mulligan ball. But not all mulligan balls can be considered as a breakfast ball by definition. 

Let’s take a look at the stark differences between the two for a better understanding:

Mulligan ballBreakfast Ball
Mulligan balls can be requested at any time of the day during the playing rounds.Breakfast balls are only allowed during the morning. Sometimes it is strictly allowed only before the player has had breakfast.
Mulligans are intentionally meant to be used for poor shots.Breakfast balls are used to shake off the weariness or stiffness of the morning.
Mulligans can only be called after swinging and making a poor shot.A player can call a breakfast ball before swinging and then take a shot.
Multiple mulligans are allowed during a round.Only one breakfast ball can be used during a round.
Mulligan balls can be used on the fairway.Breakfast ball is only valid within the tee box.

How To Correct A Breakfast Ball? 

Hitting a breakfast ball is basically learning how to hit a golf ball with the correct swing. 

By analyzing your previous shot and following the steps to hit a perfect golf ball swing, you can hit the best breakfast ball. Here’s how to hit a breakfast ball easily:

  • First you have to choose the correct moment for a breakfast ball adhering to the rules. 
  • Analyze your previous shot and distinguish what was wrong in the method of swinging.
  • Hold the golf club with a secure and firm grip to avail the right hand pressure.
  • Keep your feet shoulder width apart. Remember to bend your knees a little to get the correct stance.
  • Bend your hips about 35 degrees forward and hold it. 
  • Hit the ball with your practiced swing towards the targeted hole.

Tips and Tricks For Hitting Breakfast Balls 

Breakfast ball is basically your chance to correct your previous mistake of the shot taken right before. You could be weary or drowsy during the first shot so it is forgiven. 

However, knowing the right tricks to hitting the perfect breakfast ball can really turn the game around for you. We have a few recommendations for you for hitting a breakfast ball:

  • Get familiar with the golf club you’re using by taking some practice swings beforehand.
  • Include a pre-shot routine with your warm up regime.
  • Learn how to focus on your target ball without any distractions.
  • Align and sync your body movement to the correct position for the maximum impact of the ball.
  • Avoid any kind of hand tension and opt for a relaxed hold onto the golf club.
  • Apply the correct amount of force on the downswing.
  • Maintain the ending stance after hitting the ball for the perfect swing.

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Breakfast balls can be a bit confusing for someone just getting to know the term. Some of the most common inquiries that come to mind after learning about this term are mentioned below.

Can You Take More Than One Breakfast Ball? 

No, it is not allowed to take more than one breakfast ball in a round. However, the breakfast ball is not part of an official rule. So, you can agree upon more than one during the pregame discussion with your friends.  

Is it legal to take a “breakfast ball” on the first tee? 

No, it is not legal to take a breakfast ball on the first tee. The professional golf rules don’t allow anything like a redo without a fair penalty. The rules made it illegal to avoid unfair advantage of a player and controversy. 

Can You Ask For A Breakfast Ball After Swinging? 

It is possible to ask for a breakfast ball after swinging. If on the first swing you hit a bad shot, you can call for a breakfast ball. Though it is not a 100% fair play, it is very much allowed in unofficial games between friends. 

Final words

There is no doubt that a breakfast ball can be a savior for you on the off mornings when you’re not at your best. 

Now that you have an extensive knowledge about what is a breakfast ball in golf, only use it in the best circumstances. 

However, refrain from relying on breakfast balls every morning. It will negatively impact your golfing skills and confidence in a real game. 

Additionally, make sure your golfmates are okay with you playing a breakfast ball every time.

Reference: https://thegolfnewsnet.com/golfnewsnetteam/2021/08/04/what-is-a-breakfast-ball-in-golf-what-does-that-mean-for-a-golfer-123650/

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