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|The Swim Brief's newest Guest Blogger, Eddie .|
Could Michael Phelps make it as a pro golfer?
Is anyone sensing a little déjà vu? We're used to seeing Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps together in the swimming pool. Now it looks like they have both started down the road to reality TV stardom. We already talked about Ryan Lochte's new show. Michael Phelps is gracing the airwaves as well, but his reality television debut couldn't be more different. That's a good thing. Phelps is teaming up with renowned golf coach Hank Haney to improve his golf game on The Hank Haney project, you can see it on The Golf Channel. Could Phelps have a future as an amateur or even professional golfer? Maybe, and after watching the show here's why:
He's got the discipline
Phelps is no stranger to the practice makes perfect mentality. Neither is Hank Haney, he's the former coach of golf greats like Tiger Woods. Haney has Phelps practice his swing in a pattern of repetition that would make a sane person go crazy. You'll see him religiously practicing his golf swing against a board in one episode as a means to keep his club drifting in the same motion each time. Phelps is either practicing or competing in a tournament in each episode of the show – even between appearances. So we know Phelps has the discipline to commit to improving his golf game. But does he have the skill?
His swing is improving
Let's be honest, at the beginning of the season things were looking a little bleak for Phelps. He had an inconsistent swing, and sent a lot of balls flying in directions other than towards the green. The most memorable mess up? Phelps shanks a ball off the tee box and throws his club into the rough during one episode. That's okay though, professional golf is all about explosive reactions (just ask Tiger Woods). He's not as natural on the course as he is in the water. Expertise can be learned, however. Haney's coaching gets Phelps on the right track, he improves his down swing and gets a lot more consistent as the season goes on. He starts to play better in tournaments. At the end of the season, he finally breaks 90 and shoots an 85 – a record for his golf game.
Sponsors are lining up
As with most sports these days, sponsorships are king. Phelps is no stranger to the endorsement game. Over the years he's represented brands like Speedo, Omega, Subway, Visa and Procter & Gamble. When Phelps announced he wanted to start working on his golf game, Ping designed a custom set of clubs to accommodate his ridiculously long wingspan. Should he decide to pursue more golf, there's no doubt that more companies will be begging for a deal.
The Final Verdict?
So, could Michael Phelps make it as a pro golfer? Well as we know from Phelps' Olympic career, anything is possible. But even if he doesn't make it to the Master Champions Dinner anytime in the near future, it will still be fun to watch him try.
Author: Eddie D. Shackleford is a writer who loves to write about sports, entertainment and pretty much anything that is on TV. You can follow Eddie @Eddie20Ford