A week after the 2010 PGA US Open, golfer and 3-time Masters Champion Phil Mickelson learned that he had psoriatic arthritis, an incurable disease that causes pain through stiffness and swelling of the joints. “At first, I thought these aches could be caused by years of practicing and playing golf and that they would eventually pass,” said Mickelson, “then, after two days of preparing for the U.S. Open, I awoke and the pain in my joints was so intense I could hardly get out of bed. Unfortunately, Phil’s not alone. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, over 600,000 Americans are affected with this painful disease.
As with every disease or sickness, early detection is important. That’s why Mickelson has partnered up with Amgen and Phizer, launching On Course With Phil, a website aimed at educating others about the disease and other related conditions. “I’m in a good place now,” Mickelson stated, “I’m able to practice and work out hard. I also want to help other people who have situations similar to mine, because it’s very manageable.”
Kudos to Phil for teeing up and using his cachet and newfound experiences to try and help others who may be strugging with psoriatic arthritis. It’s especially powerful because he’s not some stiff in a golf shirt (pun intended), he can relate to those who have the disease. For that, we give Mr. Green Jacket a Gold Star and we wish him the best during his treatment and a prosperous 2011 on the links.
As an aside, for those trying to “follow the money,” according to AP golf writer Doug Ferguson, Mickelson, at this time, has not signed an endorsement deal, nor will he carry any visible advertisements on his gear.