Phil Mickelson grew up in southern California and played his college golf at Arizona State University.
That's all you need to know about where Mickelson plays his best. With 42 career victories on the PGA Tour, Mickelson has won on public and resort courses from coast to coast. If you want to follow in his footsteps, get ready to rack up some miles in the rental car and at the airport.
He has conquered Florida's toughest PGA Tour venues -- the Bay Hill Club & Lodge in 1997, The Players Championship on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in 2007 and the World Golf Championship-CA Championship on the Blue Monster at Doral in 2009. He's won in Texas at the 1996 GTE Byron Nelson Golf Classic on the TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas in Irving.
And don't forget his magical Scottish double in the summer of 2013 -- winning the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart Golf Links, followed by his stunning comeback during the Open Championship at Muirfield.
But the Left Coast is where Lefty dominates. Mickelson has won multiple times at five different tournaments in Arizona and California -- all held on resort and public courses open to hackers and heroes alike.
Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale
Mickelson has played some spectacular golf in Scottsdale near his old Sun Devils stomping grounds. His three Phoenix Open wins span three different decades, the 1996 Phoenix Open, the 2005 FBR Open and the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open, when he nearly shot 59 in winning wire-to-wire.
How to play the TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course: Normally it's not too tough to get on the Stadium Course, but currently the course is closed for a $15 million renovation by original architect Tom Weiskopf. It is schedule to reopen no later than December and be ready for the 2015 tournament.
North and South Courses at Torrey Pines
Mickelson doesn't own Torrey Pines like Tiger Woods (eight victories, including a U.S. Open), but Lefty's track record still looks pretty good. Mickelson captured the old Buick Invitational three times (1993, 2000 and 2001) on the North and South courses. It's no coincidence Mickelson hasn't won at Torrey Pines since Rees Jones redesigned the South Course prior to the 2008 U.S. Open. Mickelson, who is spearheading renovations on the North Course, hasn't been shy about expressing his displeasure with the work of Jones at numerous championship venues.
How to play the Torrey Pines South Course: Mickelson's renovation of the North Course, scheduled to be completed in 2015, could make it harder for everybody (including San Diego residents who have first priority) to get tee times at Torrey Pines. The easiest way for nonresidents is to book a stay-and-play package at the two hotels on site, the Lodge at Torrey Pines and the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines.
Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill and Poppy Hills
Mickelson's magical comeback at the 2012 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am -- his fourth title in the event -- will go down as one of his greatest triumphs. Playing with Woods in the final round, Mickelson outclassed his rival by 11 shots, shooting 64 to Woods' 75, to erase a six-shot deficit and win going away. Mickelson's other wins came in 1998, 2005 and 2007 when Spyglass Hill, another top 25 resort course, and Poppy Hills, recently renovated, were part of the Pro-Am rotation.
How to play Pebble Beach Golf Links: The only way to guarantee a tee time at Pebble Beach is to plunk down $495 and stay at the Lodge at Pebble Beach or the Inn at Spanish Bay. Individual tee times can be booked 24 hours in advance without a hotel stay based on availability. Spyglass isn't much cheaper at $385, including cart. Poppy Hills (normally $210 for a tee time) is a steal for anybody who joins the Northern California Golf Association.
Omni La Costa Golf Resort
Mickelson won the first and last Mercedes Championship during its five-year run on a composite course at La Costa from 1994-98. Much has changed at La Costa since then, including major renovations by Steve Pate and Damian Pascuzzo to the old North and South courses, leading to the renaming of both. The Champions (the former North Course) offers four new holes, including a finishing stretch that promotes more risk-reward for tournament play. Now that the course has been upgraded for the modern game, maybe Mickelson will get one last crack at La Costa should the PGA Tour ever return.
How to play Omni La Costa Golf Resort: Golfers can get stay-and-play packages at La Costa or book a tee time a la carte. Rates range between $125-$210.
Tucson National Golf Club & Starr Pass Golf Club
When Tucson lost its annual PGA Tour event in 2006, Mickelson probably lost a pile of guaranteed money. Mickelson won the event three times in the 1990s, the 1991 and 1995 Northern Telecom Open and the 1996 Nortel Open. All three were held at Starr Pass (which changed its name from the TPC at Starr Pass to the Starr Pass Golf Club in 1993) and the Tucson National Golf Club (now called the Catalina Course). Mickelson's 1991 victory as an amateur proved to be a bit of foreshadowing, didn't it?
How to play Tucson National Golf Club and Starr Pass Golf Club: Both courses are easily accessible through stay-and-play packages or daily tee times at highly regarded resorts. The Catalina Course ($45-$190) is the headliner at the Omni Tucson National Resort. Starr Pass, part of the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa, features 27 holes by Bob Cupp with an assist from Craig Stadler.