New Biography Claims Phil Mickelson Lost $40 Million Gambling Over A Four Year Period


Back in 2016/2017, you couldn’t turn on prime-time television without seeing a commercial starring professional golfer Phil Mickelson. The main Mickelson commercials I remember promoted a prescription drug called Enbrel. Though, perhaps it’s a bad sign that even after seeing those Enbrel commercials thousands of times, I still had to Google it.

According to another quick Google, Enbrel apparently treats autoimmune diseases and can help with arthritis and joint pain. An honorable pursuit, but, as you’ll see in a second, these commercials always stood out because Mickelson had a habit of coming across like an alien who recently read a book on how to act like a human:

In addition to Enbrel, Phil Mickelson sported endorsement deals with over a dozen brands and companies, notably:

  • KPMG
  • ExxonMobil
  • Titleist
  • Ford
  • Callaway
  • Amgen
  • Grayhawk
  • Rolex
  • Intrepid Financial Partners
  • VistaJet
  • Melin
  • Workday

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with signing as many endorsement deals as possible, believe me, I wish that was my life. However, if the revelations in new book are accurate, Phil Mickelson may have had another urgent reason for making as much money as possible as quickly as possible…

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Recently, an author named Alan Shipnuck released an excerpt from his upcoming book, “Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar,” which can be pre-ordered here.

Among the juiciest claims in Shipnuck’s book is that in the four year period between 2010 and 2014, Phil Mickelson’s gambling losses totaled..

$40 million

During those four years, Phil was earning “just north” of $40 million per year. Shipnuck further claims that after giving about half to taxes and spending millions on his mansions, private jet, caddie, trainers and more, Phil netted right around $10 million before his gambling losses. So if he was then losing $10 million per year gambling, he was netting out with a big fat bagel for his net worth.

Here’s the full excerpt:

Mickelson’s love of gambling is fundamental to understanding his style of play as a golfer… 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. According to a source with direct access to the documents, Mickelson had gambling losses totaling more than $40 million in the four-year period (2010–14) that was scrutinized.

In those prime earning years, his income was estimated to be just north of $40 million a year. That’s an obscene amount of money, but once he paid his taxes (including the California tariffs he publicly railed against), he was left with, what, low-20s? Then he had to cover his plane and mansion(s), plus his agent, caddie, pilots, chef, personal trainer, swing coaches and sundry others. Throw in all the other expenses of a big life—like an actual T. Rex skull for a birthday present—and that leaves, what, $10 million? Per the government audit, that’s roughly how much Mickelson averaged in annual gambling losses. (And we don’t know what we don’t know.) In other words, it’s quite possible he was barely breaking even, or maybe even in the red. And Mickelson’s income dropped considerably during his winless years from 2014 to ’17.

The good news for Phil is that he has continued to enjoy an extremely successful golfing and endorsing career up to the present. In some recent years he has earned $80-100 million, but in a typical year he still earns $40-50 million just from endorsements.

To date he has won around $100 million in tournament prize money and by our count, Phil Mickelson’s career earnings total $800 million. Despite his massive gambling losses, we still estimate that Phil Mickelson’s net worth sits at a very comfortable $300 million. For now.

And to make him feel a tiny bit better, fellow professional golfer John Daly has gone on the record admitting that he gambled away $90 million during his career. Though he won back $35 million, leaving his loss total at $55 million.

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