Phil Mickelson Sr. is a man with a vision. In 1997 he not only figured out a better way to keep an eye on his son while at crowded tournaments but he also discovered a way to "give back to the game that given a wonderful livelihood" to all of his children including Tina (a contributing correspondent for the Golf Channel) and Tim (coach of the University of San Diego men's golf team which Tim just took to nationals for the first time in the school's history).
Phil Mickelson Sr. is the developer of the Sportscope, a modern-day twist on the traditional mirrored viewfinder as it not only gives golfing spectators the ability to peer over crowds but the ability zoom into the action. (think part periscope + part viewfinder + part binoculars) .
While the focus ultimately fell on Graeme McDowell and his father Kenny visiting from Northern Ireland, Phil Mickelson Sr.'s perspective is more focused on the big picture. Page 2 caught up with him to talk about his product.
How did you become involved with the Sportscope?
"Well I have to blame the wife on that as she first bought me a scope in 1997. When I brought the device to the course people kept pointing 'what the heck is that?' and soon after trying it everyone then would say 'my turn, my turn! So I knew something was there. Then I decided to contact the original manufacturer to get a dozen or so for Christmas presents, and it got me thinking. As it so happens the person who had originally developed he scope unfortunately had some health issues and his product was just sitting in storage gathering dust so I made him an offer to buy his company."
I see you are busy here fixing and personally adjusting people's scopes for them.
"After I bought the company, I made different improvements to the product. The most recent improvements include those to the slide bar attachment, rubber eye cup, top prism housing, and I also added wider overall field view."
Why is it you have never asked Phil or any other players to endorse it?
"I didn't want people to think here's an athlete's dad developing something based on the reputation of his son. It was important to me to have it stand on its own merit. Plus since Phil's career has gone the way it has, it is not really about the money. I want to give back to the game that has given so much to our family."