The Day I (Sort Of) Talked to Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson’s Masters win yesterday reminded me of my personal story about him. It happened a couple of years ago when I wanted to buy one of his company’s “Sportscope” spectator periscopes.

The Sportscope seemed like a perfect birthday gift for my dad. My sister had told me about them and knew that Mickelson’s company often set up a sales booth at PGA events. The tour stop that week was just a short drive for me, in Westchester County, so I decided to call the company to find out whether I’d be able to buy one if I drove up to the golf course.

On a Friday afternoon, as the golfers were on the course in Westchester, I dialed the number listed on the Mickelson Group website. The call took longer than usual to go through. I heard someone fumbling with a cell phone and a voice came on.

“Phil Mickelson.”

For a moment, I could say nothing. By my calculations, Mickelson would have been somewhere on the course competing at that moment. But instead of concentrating, he was fumbling to field a sales call - from me. 

Even though I felt horrible bothering him at such an inappropriate time, I managed to say, “Hi. Sorry to bother you. I got the number off your website. I just wanted to find out if you’re selling the Sportscope at the Buick Classic this week?”

“Yeah, that’s where I am right now. I’ve got the office phone forwarded. We’ve been busy this week. You can buy it here or we’ve got some online dealers as well. We’re here until Sunday.”

The man on the other end was very friendly and seemed willing to chat about the product. But I was a little freaked out about ringing him on the golf course so I wrapped up quickly: “OK. Thanks. Good luck.”

Immediately, I called my sister to tell her that Phil Mickelson answers his office phone even when he’s on tour. She follows golf more closely than I do and came up with the more likely explanation for what had just happened. The golfer has his father run much of his business empire. We assume now that I really did talk to Phil Mickelson that day. But it was Phil Mickelson, Sr.

Congrats to both of them on Masters win #3.


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