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THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass is home to many iconic PGA TOUR moments. From Tiger Woods’ triple breaker on No. 17 to Jerry Pate launching himself into the water on the 18th after winning in 1982, THE PLAYERS have left its impression on the world of golf.
But what the TV or play on the course cannot show you is the preparation that leads into these significant moments. Hard work and mental toughness help players develop for the game’s toughest tests, and while warm up routines and range sessions can vary greatly from player to player, there’s one pre-round routine that may best them all for uniqueness. No stretch bands, alignment rods or foam rollers needed here.
Just a ping pong paddle perfectly suited for a lefty.
Driving up the recently renovated entrance road to TPC Sawgrass, an open expanse of scenery quickly gives way to an extravagant, pristine clubhouse – one of the most spectacular of its kind. Its remarkable structure and design call for a proper attitude with a sure etiquette.
For Phil Mickelson, it calls for a game of ping pong.
Mickelson has always had quite the skill in table tennis and his style of training requires an enjoyable practice round or three before competition before strenuous Thursday comes around.
Thus, the player’s locker room was exposed to its first ping pong game, becoming one of the more bizarre events inside TPC Sawgrass’ clubhouse. Always ready to play, Mickelson even carries his own ping pong paddle everywhere, challenging opponents like Tiger Woods and numerous others over the years. His competitive nature keeps him focused while still relaxed as he challenges the TOUR’s best.
So while if you’re looking for Phil Mickelson this week and can’t seem to find him – you may want to check the ping-pong table. He’ll be there – relaxed and ready.
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