Scottsdale, Arizona - Chip Fairway, here at the world famous PGA Training Facility of Scottsdale, where pro players can undergo any number of tests they think will help lower their score out on the course. A well-trained team of doctors, swing coaches, psychologists, massage therapists and coke dealers are all here, all hanging out in their cars in the main parking lot.
But for America's beloved golfer, Phil Mickelson, he seems to have one particular problem that none of these professionals can readily solve - namely, his hat-tipping motion after each and every stroke.
We caught up with Dr. Felix Sweetspot, PHD in swing-construction, who first brought the problem up to Mickelson. "I first noticed it was a problem at the Bay Hill tourny in Orlando back in March. On one particular hole, I think it was on Friday morning, Phil five-putted for a double-bogey. Worse still, he tipped his cap after each and every putt. Plus, there was almost no one in the gallery! I thought to myself: 'Uh oh, Mickelson's addicted to hat-tipping.'"
But Phil Mickelson, himself, seemed to be completely oblivious to the fact that he was hat-tipping, at all. "Yeah, if Dr. Sweetspot hadn't of told me, I would never even have known I was doing it. Now, it's driving me fricken crazy! It's all I think about! Swing, tip. Swing, tip. I can't stop!"
So Phil, now 45, has a new challenge to overcome if he plans to ward off the slew of non hat-tipping rookies looking to take his crown. "I'm getting older, I've got to conserve more energy," explained a tired looking Mickelson. "This is one place where I think I can improve my game, Chip."
Mickelson's playing schedule has been cut way back for the foreseeable future, to try and put a stop to all this hat-tipping nonsense once and for all. "And please," Mickelson adds, "I don't want to offend any military folks out there, or cowboys, the tipping was never about that. It was just a funny little thing that I picked up from a doorman, at a hotel in London, and just kinda rolled with it. I guess it got a little out of control- and I apologize. (But as he said it, he tipped his cap in apology - even though he wasn't wearing one!)
Yes, it's going to be a very long climb back for America's favorite left-hander. Even Dr. Sweetspot's 'Giant Sombrero Therapy' seems to be having little affect on Phil's affliction.