Story time with Phil is back, and Mickelson delivered a doozy.
On Thursday, Mickelson posted a video on his social media channels of himself sitting in a cart (Note to Phil: You need some help with your lighting. Also, bring back the Phireside chat) and detailing the time he stole a sign from Augusta National Golf Club.
To say that such an act at the home of the Masters would be frowned upon by the ghosts of co-founders Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts and the club’s powerbrokers today is putting it mildly, but Phil is gonna Phil.
He begins by recounting how in 2004, his short-game guru Dave Pelz introduced a towel drill that consisted of him placing towels on the range from distances of up to 175 yards and taking aim at them. Mickelson credits the drill with helping him win his first major at the 2004 Masters.
Augusta National opened its current practice facility for the Masters, which stretches more than 400 yards long, in 2010, but before that, there were separate locations, referred to as the East and West. Mickelson liked to do his towel drill at the East, and he claims when he showed up in 2005, there was a sign that read: “East practice tee for short game practice only.”
But Mickelson still wanted to practice there, so he cooked up a scheme that we’ll file under the category, ‘What will Phil do next?’ Let’s allow Phil to pick up the thread of this story:
“After the Champions Dinner, I let all the champions leave first, and I go down Magnolia Lane and I park the car, and I kind of crawl under the magnolias, and I take that sign and I wiggle and I wiggle and I lift and I yank it out and I throw it in the back of my SUV and off I go,” Phil recounted. “So, I show up the next morning and there’s no sign there, I start hitting my shots, I do my towel drill and I do it all week long.”
Story time with Phil (me:)
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) August 25, 2023
One year later, the sign had returned. Once is wild enough but Mickelson wouldn’t steal the sign twice would he? Apparently, he would. There was only one problem.
“I show up the next day and I’m going to go do my towel drill and there’s another sign there,” Phil said. “It never dawned on me there are cameras everywhere and there’s some video of me crawling under these magnolias with the guys saying, ‘Look at this idiot, what’s he doing?’”
The story is so outrageous that it’s hard to believe – even for Mickelson – but he removed any doubt.
“A lot of you might bet that that’s not a true story,” Mickelson says at the end of the video. “I’m not a betting man (said with a straight face!) so I’m not going to take it but I wouldn’t do that because…” and he sticks the infamous sign in the video frame and with his best goofy grin delivers the kicker: “It’s a true story.”