World Golf Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson won the PGA Championship in May 2021, and set a record as the oldest major winner in golf history at 50. It was his sixth major title win. We’re taking the opportunity to check out five of the best Phil Mickelson cards on the market.
Phil Mickelson is a legend within the sport, giving the controversial new LIV Golf competition a level of legitimacy, despite the Saudi-funded tour lacking a major broadcast partner or sponsor at this moment in time. Rather than focusing on LIV vs PGA, we think that the time would be better served by discussing the best Phil Mickelson cards that money can buy.
The Best Phil Mickelson Cards
2002 is the only year in which there were licensed PGA Phil Mickelson cards released at retail. However, there are lots of options to choose from, suiting a range of different budgets.
(Mickelson joined the PGA Tour back in 1992, but it took a decade for licensed cards to be released.)
5. 2002 Upper Deck Phil Mickelson RC #41 (eBay)
We’ll start with one of the more affordable options to make the list. This Phil Mickelson rookie card can be found in 2002 Upper Deck Golf. Featuring a landscape design and a full bleed image, you’ll also be able to find unnumbered silver parallels, with an example seen above. It’s a great pick if you’re looking for a cheaper RC to begin your collection. There are also a number of hand-signed copies, but we’d stick with one of the bonafide signatures found below.
Check prices of 2002 Upper Deck Phil Mickelson RC on eBay
4. 2002 SP Game Used Signature Swings Phil Mickelson #SS-PM (eBay)
On the subject of signed Phil Mickelson RCs, it’s going to be tough to beat this Signature Swings card from 2002 SP Game Used. The stickered auto is a downside, but it’s tempered by a miniscule print run that is thought to amount to only 58 copies in total. The auto takes up most of the card, and it can be tough to locate due to the limited amount produced.
Check prices of 2002 SP Game Used Signature Swings Phil Mickelson on eBay
3. 2002 SP Game Used Phil Mickelson RC #80 Autograph Shirt #/250 (eBay)
Another premium rookie card found in 2002 SP Game Used Golf, this RPA contains an authentic piece of a shirt worn by Mickelson in an official tournament. The autograph is on-card, and it’s limited to 250 copies, with a serial number on the lower left corner.
If you’re looking for something rarer, the set also contains a Front 9 Fabric Autograph RPA insert featuring the famous leftie, with a print run of 100.
Check prices of 2002 SP Game Used Phil Mickelson RC on eBay
2. 2002 SP Authentic Sign of the Times Phil Mickelson #ST-PM Autograph (eBay)
2002 SP Authentic is where you’ll find the highly prized Sign of the Times Phil Mickelson autograph. Another card with a low print run, there’s thought to be only 50 copies, despite the lack of a serial number. Understated due to the desaturation, it’s filled in a deep blue ink.
As with the Signature Swings auto, it can be tough to find on the market.
Check prices of 2002 SP Authentic Sign of the Times Phil Mickelson on eBay
1. 2002 SP Authentic Phil Mickelson RC #110 Autograph #/799 (eBay)
This signed 2002 SP Authentic Phil Mickelson RC has a larger print run (799) in comparison to the others on this list. Why is it one of the more popular options overall? Branding plays a major role, while it has a clean design, and an on-card auto. If you’re on the hunt for rarer versions, there are also Limited parallels (#/100) and an Extra Limited parallel (#/25). It’s rapidly increased in value in recent years, with PSA 10 copies selling for less than $400 in 2018. That’s increased to over $2,000 as of 2023.
Check prices of 2002 SP Authentic Phil Mickelson RC #110 Autograph on eBay
Why are Phil Mickelson cards so valuable?
One of the main reasons is a lack of options, aside from the collection of cards from 2002. Then there’s the fact that he’s a legend in the sport, spending 25 years in golf’s top 50. He might have never been world number one, but he was inducted into Golf’s Hall of Fame in 2012. He’s still going strong more than a decade later.
The Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series might have damaged his reputation to some extent, but it has also served to keep him in the public eye, as one of the more high-profile golfers known around the world. There’s a large market for his best cards, and the majority come with a serial number, and a high price tag.
Phil Mickelson Cards: Final Thoughts
Phil Mickelson cards have appreciated well over the past decade. It makes sense, considering his continued success in recent years. For now, Mickelson hopes to break his own record as the oldest major winner:
“I’m in all majors the next three years, and nobody has really had the opportunity to do some special things with the game at this age because they haven’t been injury-free,” he said. “Like, they would get hurt and they had some struggles when they got older, and I’ve been able to play injury-free throughout my career and be in good shape at 52, and I know how to play at a high level. Now I just have to get that up.”
Given his last improbable win where odds were 300/1, we wouldn’t count him out just yet.