From the pool to the putting green. Baltimore’s favorite amphibian, the man with the most Olympic medals ever, is tackling a slower-paced game now—golf—and the world can watch his progress on the Golf Channel show, “The Haney Project,” beginning Feb. 25 at 9 p.m.
Michael Phelps, whose handicap is roughly equal to the record number of medals he's won — 22 — will receive professional help from Hank Haney, known for working with Tiger Woods, among others, on the fifth season of “The Haney Project.” Past Haney pupils have included ex-NBA star Charles Barkley, infamous for his gangly swing, comedian Ray Romano, and radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
“Normally, you think you can just pick anything up and do it,” Phelps said in a video trailer promoting the upcoming show. “And this is like the one thing that I struggled with the most.”
Phelps recently competed alongside Bubba Watson, the defending Master’s Champion, (above left, with Phelps) at the Phoenix Open’s pro-am event — where Phelps reportedly heard some boo's for the first time.
“I have never heard people boo me, but I'm sure it's happened – my face is just under water,” Phelps said later, according to a Golf Channel story. “So it was a little different experience.”
Certainly, Phelps’ swing is much better than Barkley’s and there may be hope for him developing into a solid amateur: last fall the swimmer sank a 153-foot putt on Scotland’s links.