When 50-year-old Phil Mickelson claimed the PGA Championship in 2021, he became the game’s oldest Major Championship winner. In the days that followed his Kiawah Island heroics, we all wanted to know his secrets. How was he driving the ball so far? How did he keep his focus? How was he able to roll back the years and give the game’s young guns such a schooling… at 50? There was no one answer, although Mickelson’s diet and lifestyle attracted a lot of attention. He seemed to be drinking a lot from a flask, too. Naturally, we all wanted to know what was in it.
We now know that it was coffee. Mickelson is something of a connoisseur when it comes to joe. So too is his world-renowned performance coach, Dave Phillips. When Mickelson suffered a health scare 12 years ago – which turned out to be psoriatic arthritis, a condition that causes joints to become swollen, stiff and painful – Phillips started experimenting with recipes to help his friend rediscover his fitness. Together, they created ‘The Good Stuff’, and from there For Wellness (opens in new tab) was born.
Demand for Mickelson’s coffee, as you might expect when its co-creator credits it for changing his life, has skyrocketed in recent times. Whilst there is no such thing as a magic potion – one that’ll cure you of the yips or prevent you from slicing the golf ball – naturally, we were quite keen to test Phil Mickelson’s coffee – so we ordered some.
A few days after putting our order in, and here’s what arrived in the post: one box of coffee pods, one bag of ground coffee, one bag of whole bean coffee, one bag of superfood energy bites, and one bag of The Good Stuff (opens in new tab). This is currently the full range of For Wellness products – and we got stuck straight in.
Let’s start with the coffee. I can’t claim to have tried coffee in 27 different countries around the world like Phillips; however, I know a good-tasting coffee when one passes my lips – and I must say that I found this really tasty. This 100% Arabica coffee is packed with disease-busting antioxidants, and offers a rich and well-balanced flavor. I’d have no problem changing my usual brand and stocking up my cupboard with For Wellness – that I will say.
Like a lot of people, I like to start my day with a cup of coffee. I must admit, on occasions, I probably drink a little too much of it, which I would regard as more than three cups. I’ve started to use my For Wellness SIC coffee tumbler. I’m an intermittent faster, and I find that one helping from this tumbler is perfect ahead of my morning workout .
I’ve yet to test the pods (I'm hoping Santa brings me a pod machine for Christmas), but in the whole bean coffee I have a new favorite product. It’s the smell that makes grinding your own beans so satisfying, which is very much part of my morning routine. The scent that fills the kitchen is off the charts – you almost want to eat them! The packaging, which of course makes use of Mickelson’s iconic Masters celebration, is very cool, too. If I’m in a hurry, I’ll use the ground coffee, but nothing beats grinding the beans in the machine at the weekend.
Now let’s talk about the coffee supplement, The Good Stuff, which is a performance coffee powder that Mickelson and Phillips claim will supercharge the natural benefits of your normal brew, promote focus, and reduce caffeine jitters. It has five key ingredients: L-Theanine, cinnamon, collagen, Himalayan Salt, and MCT Oil. I wouldn’t say that I’m usually a big fan of cinnamon, and although this flavor comes through, I really like it.
The beauty of this powder is that you can add it to your coffee and give it a good mix, or combine it with a smoothie. I’ll often mix it through yogurt as a dessert, and it tastes really good. I also add it to my black coffee and, again, the flavour is very pleasant. Those ingredients mentioned above offer a number of offer health benefits, which is a nice insurance policy. It doesn’t mean you should stop eating a balanced diet, but add a scoop of this to your coffee/smoothie each day and you’re taking a lot of good nutrients on board.
Then you have the superfood energy bites (opens in new tab). If you’ve ever wondered what to eat when playing golf then give these a go – they’re seriously tasty and full of healthy, performance-driven ingredients. I was pretty skeptical with the claim that this 90-calorie bite tastes like a moist chocolate brownie, but it really does – and without containing any of the bad stuff. It tastes just like a confectionary treat and if, like me, you like your coffee and dark chocolate, you’ll love these. Quite a few of the various protein bars that I’ve tried in the past have a synthetic flavor, but not this snack. My only complaint would be that they’re too small! The onus is on you to be disciplined as to when you decide to eat one. I suggest eating one after nine holes as opposed to taking on a bar of chocolate or sugary drink.
Having watched the passionate Phillips talk about the For Wellness coffee, I must mention a new trick that I’ve learned. Using the electric mix/frother is a must when you add the supplement. The more air you get into your coffee, the better it tastes. I’ve also learnt to use a bigger bowl for the mixing before transferring it to my cup, as you get lots of extra froth.
The benefits of drinking coffee are well documented. As for the health benefits of the supplement, it is of course very hard to measure what’s going on in your body and mind. An increase in energy, reduced inflammation, greater focus, better skin health, and a hydration boost are all listed as benefits. Having been on a health kick the past five years I’ve been feeling as good as ever since turning 50, so it’s difficult to say what, if any, difference the coffee or supplement has had. However, I don’t doubt the claims for a moment.
What I’m keen to stress is that no matter what you think of Mickelson – and he had divided opinion of late – you know that he’s serious about his coffee. In his own words, “coffee has changed my life”. This is one of his passions – he’s not somebody endorsing something because he’s being paid mega dollars. Long before this became a business, he bought into the benefits of drinking coffee, and he's created this brand in collaboration with one of the best performance coaches on the planet. If it’s good enough for ‘Lefty’, a six-time Major winner, then it’s good enough for the author (also aged 52).
Mike has been a journalist all his working life, starting out as a football writer with Goal magazine in the 1990s before moving into men’s and women’s lifestyle magazines including Men's Health, In 2003 he joined Golf Monthly and in 2006 he became only the eighth editor in Golf Monthly’s 100-plus year history. His two main passions in golf are courses, having played over 400 courses worldwide, and shoes; he owns over 40 pairs.
Mike’s handicap index hovers at around 10 and he is a member of four clubs: Hartley Wintney, Royal Liverpool, Royal North Devon and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.
- Michael WestonContributor
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