Golf has always had a unique range of athletes in the sport. From young champions like Tiger Woods to older pros like Mickelson himself, golf doesn’t really discriminate on age like many other sports.
(Though Tom Brady keeps trying to prove football wrong, of course.)
With his win of the 2021 PGA Championship, Mickelson became the oldest major championship winner in history at the age of 50 years, 11 months, and 7 days.
His most recent win came out of a long career where he’s spent more than 25 consecutive years in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking.
And he’s still going strong!
His Golf Prowess Started Young
Born in San Diego, California, Mickelson stands at an impressive 6 foot, 3 inches. He learned to play golf – starting at just 18 months old – by mirroring his own father’s swing. This unique skill has caused the right handed golfer to actually swing with his left, earning him the nickname “Lefty.”
His college career spoke of what was to come. While at Arizona State, he won three NCAA Championships (sharing the record for most collegiate wins with Ben Crenshaw).
Mickelson won the Northern Telecom Open as an amateur in 1991. In fact, his victory was the last time an amateur won on the PGA TOUR.
Following a stellar collegiate and amateur career, Mickelson started playing professionally when he was just 22 years old.
A Five Time Major Champion
Over the course of his 30 year career, Mickelson has 45 career PGA TOUR wins, which ranks him at eighth of all time.
He has won the Masters Tournament three times, the PGA Championship twice (including in 2021 at almost 51 years old), and The Open Championship once.
Inducted to the Golf Hall of Fame back in 2012, his impact on the sport is without question.
“The object of golf is not just to win. It is to play like a gentleman, and win.” – Phil Mickelson
Mickelson isn’t just about the golf course, either. Together with his wife Amy, they founded the Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation in 2004. With their focus on families, they support a variety of youth and family initiatives.
A child of a Navy veteran, Mickelson also founded Birdies for the Brave, the PGA TOUR’s national military outreach initiative. The foundation raises money for a variety of charities supporting veterans and military families.
It’s Not About Youth
Mickelson has been successful since his youth, but he’s also proof that age is not a limitation. His second PGA Championship came not only after he was 50, but 16 years after his first win.
If we can learn anything from an incredible example like this, it’s that there’s never a reason to stop training and fighting for what we want to be our reality.