Phil Mickelson reveals the surprising reason why he wears sunglasses

Phil Mickelson sunglasses

Phil Mickelson revealed that his sunglasses are more than just a fashion statement.

Getty Images

Though he started with an awkward joke, Phil Mickelson earned rave reviews for his surprise guest-stint in the CBS booth on Saturday afternoon. Lefty’s spot-on insights and cheeky banter with Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo had golf fans yearning for more.

But in between his exchange of jabs with Faldo, Mickelson also answered a question from CBS analyst Frank Nobilo about the head-turning new look he’s been rocking of late: mirrored-lens aviator sunglasses — and Mickelson offered a surprising explanation.

“Quick question, Phil,” Nobilo said. “Notice the shades. New look for you this year.”

“There’s actually a story to that,” Mickelson said with a laugh, and then waited for Tommy Fleetwood to putt before continuing.

Phil in booth
Here’s how Phil Mickelson’s electric commentating debut came to be
By: Alan Bastable

“Back during Covid break, I did this Carac cream, which is like a skin cancer chemotherapy treatment on your face for like two weeks,” Mickelson said. “Your skin blotches up and you kill these cancer cells that you can’t see, and when I went outside, I had to wear some protection, so I wore these glasses to kind of protect the area around my eyes.”

It wasn’t clear from Mickelson’s remarks whether he was using the cream as a preemptive measure, or to combat an existing condition.

“I liked it,” Mickelson said. “They didn’t move around on my face when I was swinging, I went out and played with them, and I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll give it a try.’ So that’s kind of where it started. And then my eyes were much more relaxed at the end of the day, they weren’t squinting the whole time.”

“Well that’s good to know,” said Ian Baker-Finch, another CBS announcer. “I know as we get older we should be wearing sunglasses to protect our eyes anyway.”

“But not everybody can pull that look off, Ian,” Mickelson quipped. “I feel like I’m doing it, but not everybody can.”

Baker-Finch laughed, and Faldo interjected, “I concur, you definitely can’t.”

Mickelson was first spotted wearing the sunglasses at the Charles Schwab Challenge, the Tour’s first tournament back after suspending the season for three months due to coronavirus concerns.


As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on