When you think of ‘golf’ and ‘San Diego,’ it’s hard not to add ‘Phil’ to that word series … Phil Mickelson, that is. But another San Diego Mickelson is equally passionate about the game of golf. I recently talked with Phil’s talented sister, teaching pro Tina Mickelson, about the game she loves and why this golf “ambassador” believes time on the links is good for body, mind and spirit.
Carol: When did your passion for golf start?
Tina: At 18 months! An avid golfer, my Dad put my first club in my hand.
Carol: You took lessons?
Tina: I don’t actually remember learning the game. Dad just let us (brothers Phil and Tim) develop our own swings.
Carol: What about the fundamentals?
Tina: Because golf is so much rhythm, timing and tempo, you can know the fundamentals, but if you’re not performing them in unison, you won’t have success.
Carol: What about hopeless cases like me? No hand-eye coordination? No finesse?
Tina: It’s more than hitting the ball. It’s the swing. The ball stays still.
Carol: Is it too late for someone like me to learn?
Tina: Absolutely not! Like anything, it takes practice. Don’t get discouraged. No one masters the game, but your misses will get better. Golf is a game of misses!
Carol: You’re an advocate of golf as a means to promote health. Why?
Tina: Golf is a wonderful tool in the quest to stay healthy. You’re in the fresh air. Your swing involves every part of your body… especially the muscles supporting your core.
Carol: What’s the best way to make the most of your game?
Tina: Instead of using a cart, walk the course when you can. You’ll get in more than 4 miles! Instead of a hot dog at the turn, opt for a cup of tuna salad.
Carol: I’ve heard you speak on the relationship between golf and relationships?
Tina: Certain topics tend to come up walking along a golf course that can’t get addressed over a quick cup of coffee.
Carol: Is that true for you?
Tina: I can honestly say some of the most memorable times with my family have been on the golf course.
Carol: As a new mom, will you be passing the torch (er, club!) to little Lucas?
Tina: As soon as Lucas can walk, we’ll put a club in his hand … just not in the house!
Tina Mickelson is Ambassador of Golf at the Santaluz Club where her mission is to grow the Women’s Club and make golf more enjoyable and accessible to women. She regularly donates her time and talent to help in the success local charity golf tournaments.
Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.