Phil Mickelson has won 45 PGA Tour events and 6 majors, including the 2021 PGA Championship. To maintain that level of consistency at the highest level of competitive golf play takes mental fortitude and the ability to block out the unnecessary distractions that can get in the way of that perfect shot.
"There's chaos going on all around us," Mickelson explained in a recent Q&A. "Kids are crying, birds are chirping; we've got noises from the trailers and from carts driving around us. So you have to try to create a bubble of calm around yourself."
Creating that sense of calm is a feeling Phil does his best to maintain throughout the round, rather than something to create right before the shot. In fact, he typically hits the ball fairly quickly after walking up to the ball to ensure he hangs onto the feeling of the perfect shot Phil wants to hit.
"Before the shot, I'm trying to see the shot, visualize it, feel what it feels like to hit that shot and then get over the ball and hit it while I still have that feeling," said Mickelson. "If you see me back away from a shot, it's because I'm over it, and I lost that feeling or sensation of creating the draw that I wanted to create. Usually, when I walk in there, I hit it fairly quickly because I'm locked into that target, and I don't want to lose that feeling. Because once I lose it, then I have to get back and start over again."
When thinking about how best to maintain that sense of calm during his round on the golf course, coffee seems almost counterintuitive. After all, even though studies have shown caffeine can have a positive effect on golf performance, wouldn't players like Phil need to avoid the jitters that can come from too much caffeine?
Luckily, when formulating The Good Stuff, Dave Philips thought ahead and found the perfect ingredient to counteract that side effect: L-Theanine.
"A lot of people do have that caffeine sensitivity where they feel that jolt of coffee in the morning," said Philips.
"I don't want my golfers over the first putt going with their hands shaking. But L-Theanine reacts beautifully with caffeine to take away those jitters. So for a golfer, that's why we did it."
Thanks to L-Theanine, Phil describes a heightened focus whenever he's on the golf course. But that focus has to be maintained with proper hydration.
"Water and hydration will not go to your brain if it has anything in it other than just plain water or citrus," Phil explained. "So I try to start every morning with a bottle of water, because then that will hydrate my brain. If I don't hydrate my brain, the coffee will help my body, but it won't go up there. When I get headaches, I know I'm not drinking enough water."
To ensure he remains properly hydrated throughout the day, Phil starts every day with a bottle of water that he keeps at room temperature. While cold water can feel refreshing on a hot day, warmer water is actually better for your body.
"The cold is kind of a shock to your organs," Phil added. "If you look back in a lot of Asian cultures where they drink hot tea with every meal, what they're doing is they're keeping their intestines at a similar temperature. So I try to drink my water at room temperature as well, especially when I'm eating.
I certainly don't want to drink something cold with a steak, right? Because you have grease, and I don't want that to harden, which will harden if it gets cold. So if you keep warm drinks while you're eating that stuff, it will keep it in a more liquid state and allow it to flow through your body a little bit better."
Some people worry that coffee will dry them out over the course of the day, making it something they might avoid when heading out to the course. As Dave Philips explains, that's not something to be concerned about in most cases:
"A lot of people think coffee dries you out, or it's a diuretic that makes you go to the bathroom. Well, you'd have to drink a lot of coffee. Coffee is 98.5% water, right? So drinking coffee is still good for you. If you're going to drink six, seven cups in the morning, then yes, it's going to dry you out eventually, but one or two cups won't."
That's especially true for those who use The Good Stuff, as it includes Himalayan Pink salt that helps cells retain that water and helps keep your electrolytes balanced.
By maintaining high levels of hydration and balancing caffeine's potential for jitteriness with calming L-Theanine, Phil is able to put his body in the best position to succeed on every shot. From there, he just has to trust the work he's put in, visualize the shot in front of him, and swing away.