Phil Mickelson’s Upcoming Biography Shares Past Gambling Addiction

Written By Eli Hershkovich on May 5, 2022
Phil Mickelson Gambling

There are plenty of amusing tales of Phil Mickelson betting on the golf course with fellow professionals. But in an exclusive reveal from “Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar,” author Alan Shipnuck explores the darker stories behind the Phil Mickelson gambling addiction.

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History Of Phil Mickelson Gambling Addiction

Within Mickelson’s biography, Shipnuck discloses that the Phil Mickelson gambling addiction really intensified from 2010-14. During that span, Shipnuck noted that Mickelson compiled over $40 million in gambling losses.

Moreover, Mickelson’s earned roughly $40 million per year before taxes during this time — beyond the payments for his mansion, chef and agent.

Another expense, involving his playing career, was his caddie Jim Mackay. Shipnuck wrote that Mickelson racked up enough delayed, unpaid fees to Mackay that “Bones” decided to leave Mickelson’s side in June 2017 after a 25-year ride.

Wrote Shipnuck:

“The massive scale of Mickelson’s gambling losses has never before been made public, but, as noted in the book, during the Billy Walters insider trading investigation, government auditors conducted a forensic examination of Phil’s finances.”

John Hawkins, whose established journalism career included a 14-year stint on the PGA Tour for Golf World, also figures prominently in Shipnuck’s excerpt. Moreover, the writer’s wife worked for Hugo Boss while aiding Mickelson with his clothing partnership.

According to Shipnuck, Hawkins observed Mickelson wagering on early-season college basketball games in the locker room at the TOUR Championship. The date of the event wasn’t detailed, and Hawkins never reported the situation in his accounts with the golfer.

“Over 20 minutes he must’ve made 50 bets,” Hawkins said. “It was like he was showing off.

“I’ve wondered about Phil’s motivation in being so brazen in front of me. Was he trying to co-opt me? Was he testing my loyalty?”

The biography release date is set for May 17.

Think You May Have A Gambling Problem?

If you or anyone you know is struggling with a gambling addiction, the National Problem Gambling Helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-522-4700.

You can also visit If you’re worried you may have a gambling problem but aren’t sure how serious it is, the National Council on Problem Gambling has a 10-question quiz you can take to assess your situation.

Continue the discussion in our Discord betting chat, where we discuss responsible wagering on upcoming golf tournaments. You can also follow TheLines on Twitter.

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Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

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