In celebration of Phil Mickelson's 2017 calendar year debut on the PGA Tour at the CareerBuilder Challenge, we decided to put together a list of our favorites from the shot he's most well-known for: the flop shot.
Hitting a flop shot isn't nearly as easy as the 5-time major champion and 42-time PGA Tour winner makes it look.
The common golfer knows how difficult it can be to execute the shot around a practice green. Imagine what it's like under the pressure of tournament conditions -- where you can't fix the lie -- and in front of thousands of people.
If you pull it off, you're a hero. If you don't, you're an idiot.
THROWBACK THURSDAY: Phil Mickelson demonstrates how to hit backwards flop shot
Mickelson brings that wow factor every time his 64-degree wedge comes out of the bag. In no particular order, here are seven times Phil dazzled us with a flop shot.
7. The backwards flop he didn't actually pull off. This one happened in the third round of the 2015 Barclays. Inside a bunker, with the hole to his back, Mickelson attempted to hit a backwards flop shot to escape. As you'll see, he didn't pull it off -- though it looked awesome -- and he eventually makes par. Come on. Who else would even try to hit that shot in a tournament?
6. Riviera is one of the classic courses on the PGA Tour and is the annual host of the LA Open. Its famous sixth features a bunker in the middle of the green. Mickelson found himself in a tough spot on the green with the bunker obstructing his line to the hole. Rather than putt around it, Mickelson made superintendents around the world cringe. He pulled a lob wedge out of the bag and hit this mind-blowing shot:
5. A man of the people, Mickelson found himself practically in a concession stand at the Safeway Open in October. As you'll see, the conditions weren't ideal. That was no problem for Phil.
4. In 2014 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, Mickelson got an awful break when -- playing a par 3 -- his tee shot took a terrible bounce and his ball settled into some deep rough. No problem. From 62 feet away, Mickelson delivered a buttery flop shot to within 4 feet of the hole, saving par.
3. The time Phil hit a flop shot over the head of short-game guru Dave Pelz. I remember when I saw this for the first time years ago and thought the same thing I think today: "What in the hell was Pelz thinking?!" Luckily for Pelz, Mickelson expertly pulled off his signature shot with Pelz just inches away from his fully extended club. Catch that ball just a little thin and we're probably talking about a trip to the ER for Pelz.
2. At the 2014 Barclays, Lefty was stuck in some wispy fescue behind a bunker. As usual, no problem when a killer flop is part of your arsenal.
1. For my money, this is the best flop shot I've ever seen Mickelson hit. It didn't settle closest to the hole, but it all but closed out the 2013 Scottish Open in just absolute stunning fashion. It's not often you see players take it high on links courses over on the other side of the pond.
Here's how you can hit flop shots, hopefully, like Phil Mickelson: