Much is often made about the intricate and arguably overzealous preparation by Phil Mickelson and short game guru Dave Pelz prior to each of the four majors. And to the amusement of many a golf wonk (and the chagrin of many a golf fan), these practice sessions have lead to such head-scratching “strategies” as two drivers (fade and draw) at Augusta, five wedges, and most recently (at the uber-lengthy Torrey Pines) no driver at all!
AP reports that Team Phil was back at it again today, doing the front nine at an Oakland Hills (dubbed “The Monster” in 1951 by Ben Hogan) layout that is now 400 yards longer than when it hosted the Ryder Cup four years ago.
Remember back then, Phil had just made the curious golf club switch to Callaway (from Titleist), arriving at the Ryder Cup with a new pair of irons that he proceeded to clumsily hack around with for three days. The highlight for many was ‘The Look’ that Tiger gave Phil during their Friday p.m. foursomes match after Phil severely blocked his tee shot on 18 into a thicket of trees (described by the BBC afterwards as “a cosmically poor tee shot” that “even you [the viewer] would have been embarrassed to hit”). Needless to say, the world’s one and two have not been paired together since.