Callaway Talks’ most recent episode featured ebullient host Harry Arnett (@HarryArnettCG) alongside Callaway staffer and 6-time U.S. Open runner-up (most ever), Phil Mickelson. The two discussed Phil’s highly-anticipated return to Pinehurst, his most ideal playing conditions, and of course, Callaway’s current #BerthaPayDay promotion.
Below are some of our favorite exchanges and where you can jump to find them on the video (just click on the timestamps). But you should probably take our advice and watch the whole thing.
Harry: Do you get excited this time of year? I mean, you have to!
Phil: I love* the U.S. Open…What’s interesting is that if you look at my career, you’d think the U.S. Open is an not an event I would play well at because the premium is on driving, the fairways are tight, the rough is so long. And yet I’ve had six seconds, I’ve played arguably the best golf in the U.S. Open, even though I’ve been without a win.
*He really emphasized “love”
Harry: Does the way that you practice change heading into this tournament?
Phil: It does, now here’s the real intricate thing about Pinehurst: You have multiple options, you can putt from off the green, you can bump it from off the green, you can flop it, you can hit little skipping/spinning wedges, which is the shot I like to hit.
A lot of it is varied on the conditions, because the grain of the Bermuda is rolled into you. If it’s dry, it grabs the ball, you can’t hit that skipping/spinning shot I like to hit, you have to putt it, or run a hybrid along the ground. But if it’s wet, putting along the ground is very difficult…whereas when you hit that bump/skip shot when it’s wet, the ball skips through one or two times and checks when you want it to. It’s so much easier when it’s wet, so I don’t know what the conditions are going to be but the shot I like to hit is most effective when it’s wet.
In ‘99 when I played well there, it rained. And I feel like if it rains, I’ll have a really good chance.
Harry: Heading in, will you be playing a lot (I don’t mean Tour events) on the golf course?
Phil: My practice is to go out and play. I don’t fee like I can stay focused on a driving range for six hours or what have you…Now what I will be doing, though, is play a lot of short game games. Whether it’s with Dave Pelz or some other tour pros that require some real competition, forces me to focus, and get my touch sharp.
Harry: Who wants to get into a short game game with you? Who would wanna do that?
Phil: Fortunately there are a lot of guys on tour that like to try their luck. And they’re not afraid to back it up with some cash, which is always a good thing.
Harry: We’re doubling down on you. And should you win, (we think you will) some lucky person out there will win the same amount of money as you.
Phil: We did this one other time in 2006 at the Masters. If you bought a driver, and I won, you got it for free. And I ended up winning. So I feel like the history says it helps me. I don’t know if I need the little extra pressure or not, but maybe I do to help me focus better.
Harry: Feels like enough seconds, we’re getting kind of tired of that in the U.S. Open. I know we are, I don’t know if you are. We are. You are a little bit?
Phil: Yeah that’s kind of a sore subject…
Phil (in regards to the BB promotion): I like that deal because a lot of people out there have not had the chance to feel what a putt for half a million dollars, million dollars, feels like. And yet we have those opportunities almost on a weekly basis. And now, even though you’re not the one hitting it, you at home have a chance to feel that same anxiety.
Harry: Yeah, it’s like splitting aces…now we gotta double down on that putt!