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Phil Mickelson offers to redesign Torrey Pines North Course for free

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Phil Mickelson teeing off on Torrey Pines' North Course / Getty Images

Like most professional golfers, there's very little Phil Mickelson will do for free on the golf course. When you're one of the best on the planet, you expect to get paid handsomely for your time.

However, when it comes to Torrey Pines -- a course Mickelson grew up playing  -- he's apparently willing to make an exception. As first reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune, Mickelson is currently in talks with Torrey Pines and the city of San Diego to renovate the North Course for free.

While doing the design work pro-bono might come as a surprise to some, other architects have done similar projects in the past, including legendary course designer Pete Dye, who designed Wintonbury Hill GC in Connecticut for $1.

Mickelson has not publicly discussed his ideas for the North, but those familiar with his thoughts on the course say his top priority would be to keep it enjoyable for the average golfer. He is said to be sensitive to the concerns by locals who don't want the demanding South Course to have a twin brother.

Just to bring you up to speed on the North Course, it has always been the South's little brother, and when Torrey hosted the 2008 U.S. Open on the South, the quality gap between the two courses widened.

After hearing complaints about the ease of the layout, tournament officials decided to tighten the fairways and grow the rough, turning it into one of the toughest driving courses on tour in 2011. Of course, players then started to complain that the course was too difficult.

Mickelson, who was born and raised in San Diego, would most likely be entrusted with updating the bunkering and working on some of the green complexes on the course. Whether he goes beyond some minor touch-ups and does a complete overhaul remains to be seen.

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