Michael Phelps - From the Pool to the Green

by Pool Builders on 08-17-2013 in Articles

Mention Michael Phelps and most people around the world think of swimming. The American Olympic superstar dominated multiple swimming events at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics and currently holds the record for most decorated Olympian with an impressive 22 medals total, eighteen of them being gold medals. However, Phelps, it seems, is not just a one-trick star athlete - nowadays, you're just as likely to find him on the golf course perfecting his swing as you are to find him at the pool. Is golf Phelps' new calling in life? It's probably too soon to tell, but there's no doubt that this world-class swimmer has been bitten badly by the golf bug.

Starting from Scratch

Phelps may glide with ease through the waters of a swimming pool, but managing to hit a golf ball off of a tee is another story. Phelps often refers to the game as "humbling" and has made no qualms about the sometimes-infuriating difficult nature of golfing, but it's that challenge that keeps him coming back for more. He's also quick to confess that golf can bring out the worst in him - admitting that he frequently curses and throws clubs when he doesn't perform like wants to. However, Phelps is among good company when it comes to these outbursts, since most golfer have succumbed to them at one point or another in their careers.

Despite his seemingly rocky start, Phelps is showing lots of encouraging signs of improvement. For example, at the 2012 Dunhill Links pro-am he managed an impressive 150 foot putt, something that many golfers can't brag about. There's no word from Phelps yet about the possibility of going pro, but with the giant strides he's making on the field, it seems too early to discount the idea entirely.

Golfing On the Air

In true Michael Phelps style, the new golfer is letting the whole world in on his new sports journey by studying under world-famous golf coach and television host, Hank Haney. Haney's hit show, The Haney Project, which airs on the Golf Channel follows Hank as he instructs some of today's hottest celebrities through the ins and outs of the game. Season 5 of the show was all about his work with Phelps.

This seasoned instructor who is most famous for coaching golf superstar Tiger Woods, says that Phelps' biggest goal is reining in his swings to give them more control and direction. With a massive arm span of six feet and eight inches, he says that the swimmer's swing is generating a lot of power but is too long and loose.

Phelps' time in front of the cameras seems to be helping him off the course as well. Thanks to his newfound interest in the sport, he landed an impressive club deal with golf club manufacturing giant, Ping. This seems to be a match made in heaven for these two parties, there's no doubt that Phelps can help boost the exposure of Ping to a wider audience, but now he's also got access to great clubs sure to help improve his game.

Giving Back to the Community

If there's one thing that Michael Phelps is known for besides swimming, it's his dedication to charity and philanthropic giving. His adventures into golf have not seemed to change his generous spirit, and he's already done lots within the sport to help give back to the community.

Since 2011, the Michael Phelps Foundation, his nonprofit organization focused on helping kids lead healthy, active lives, has hosted an annual Golf Classic. This fantastic event (which even includes its own celebrity poker tournament!) is the organization's largest fundraising effort of the year and frequently draws world-class professional golfers who are looking to give back as well.

With the inaugural Golf Classic, Phelps was able to raise an astounding $300,000 dollars, and donations have continued to flow in ever since. While golf is most definitely an enjoyable sport, Phelps is able to not only enjoy it himself but also use it as an effective means for social progress.

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