At the Arizona state, Phil Mickelson had made a name as the reigning U.S Amateur and an NCAA champion.
Most recently, he had gone home with a win in the PGA Tour event in Tucson, and was to play in the Masters soon enough.
Young Phil had called up Arnold Palmer, asking if they could play a practice round together. Till date, he still cherishes the impact made by Palmer on him at Augusta that weekend.
And recently, Golf Digest, in collaboration with the Monterrey Peninsula Foundation decided to honor Mickelson with the Arnie award, considering his several acts of kindness, as one of their Golfers Who Give Back.
During Mickelson’s 25 years on tour, some of his acts of kindness were quite noticeable’ tipping extras to the locker room attendants, handing a ball to a kid, and signing a glove or ticking in a little cash.
He has also been instrumental in mentoring several young tour players such as Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson. Mickelson, speaking about Arnold, had said,
“I know how good Arnold made me feel that day at the Masters,”
“I was nervous and didn’t feel like I belonged, but he made sure I felt like part of the club – the way he put his arm around me, told me stories and invited me to join him for lunch.
“I’ve tried to do that for others because I know how much it meant to me.”
And apart from giving back to others at tour events, Phil, and his wife are big supporters of several charitable organizations linked to education and the military, through their foundation, the Phil and Amy Foundation.
In 2005, the duo had helped to create a tour umbrella program, the Birdies for the Brave, which helps in funding different military support organizations, such as the Homes for our troops, and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.