When Dave Stockton Sr. met quietly with Phil Mickelson on Sept. 8, 2009, the plan was to do some coaching on the side until he’d recovered enough from shoulder surgery to continue his Champions Tour career.
Since then Stockton Golf has grown into a major player, and not just among the top short-game gurus. Mickelson’s victory on Sunday at Muirfield completed the Grand Slam for Stockton’s students.
In 2010, Stockton helped guide Lefty to his third green jacket at Augusta National. A year later he coached Rory McIlroy to his historic U.S. Open title at Congressional and last year to a PGA Championship crown. Mickelson’s Open Championship breakthrough last week completed the slam.
“Isn’t that cool?” Stockton, 71, said. “We play a small part but putting is a very important part. It’s certainly fun and I have three (major) flags on the wall of my office now and I will have to order a fourth one.”
As for his own competitive career, Stockton said he’s happy helping others, although he pointed out he broke his age last week (67) playing a casual round with his son and grandson.
“I get such a kick helping someone,” said Stockton, who plans to play this week’s Champions Tour event in Minnesota. “I’m not in any rush to go out there. I am living vicariously through these guys and gals.”