Hopefully, Phil Mickelson doesn’t plan to spend too much time on this U.S. Ryder Cup task force that will decide future captains because the theory is that American skippers are the reason the Europeans have become the dominant force in that premier event.
It is conceivable that Mickelson could spend way too much time stirring that magic potion and adding eye of newt while the Europeans laugh, but he has work to do on the golf course and off.
Off the course, he’s the man whose name goes on an 8,000-yard golf course in Springbank, Alta., near Calgary, a facility that is already being touted for a future RBC Canadian Open.
When that announcement was made in mid-September, it got a lot of splash as the media went gaga over just writing Mickelson’s name and the connection to Canada, which is silly.
Just like being a great hockey player doesn’t guarantee a person is a great coach, being a great golfer doesn’t ensure being a standout designer, but hey, this is Phil – show some respect.
I will do just that if he comes up with something spectacular. To be fair, Whisper Rock is one of the few courses I haven’t played in Scottsdale, Az., but that Mickelson design is said to be awesome. He’s also doing a reno on the Torrey Pines North course, among other projects.
We’ll see what he comes up with near Calgary, with the finished product taking over for a designer’s star power when it comes to long-term success.
Slapping a big name on products is what we do in golf, but personally, I believe quality of product and brand loyalty means more long-term when it comes to golf clubs, for instance.
Likewise, the Mickelson course grabbed media attention, but it remains to be seen if it stands the test of time.
If the RBC Canadian Open does come to Calgary for the first time, it likely won’t be until 2020 at the earliest and at that point, Mickelson, not exactly a regular visitor to the national championship over the years, will be 50 and ready for the Champions Tour.
As far as actually playing regularly at the Open, it won’t be the same as when Jack Nicklaus finished Glen Abbey and became a regular at the Open which established a permanent base for years in Oakville. Ont.
The best the Calgary course could hope for is to become part of a regular rotation for the Open, but for now, it would be a one-off that might change as time progresses.
Whether Mickelson would play a few Canadian Opens between now and 2017, when the Calgary course is expected to open, in order to land that PGA Tour event remains to be seen, but there’s still the fact that the Open is in an awkward position on the schedule.
So, the final product and how Mickelson engages the Canadian golfing community will likely play big roles on how long his star power lasts.
What do you think?
Will Phil Mickelson’s name impact the long-term success of the course he’s designing near Calgary, or will it be more of an initial splash, then fade away?
- Short term, then fade away (91%)
- It will stand the test of time (9%)
As always, feel free to expand your thoughts in the Comments section below.