The Haney Project: Michael Phelps tees off on GOLF CHANNEL Monday, Feb. 25, as the Olympic swimmer improves his golf game with swing coach Hank Haney.
Olympic swimming idol Michael Phelps is the latest celebrity to go under the tutelage of renowned swing coach Hank Haney for the fifth season of The Haney Project golf reality series, premiering Monday, Feb. 25, at 9pm ET. “As I enter this next chapter of my life, I think I will be able to shift my competitiveness to anything I put my mind to and golf is one of the things I want to focus on,” Phelps says. “I want to play all the world’s great golf courses, but I’d like to play them well.” First lesson: Stay out of the water.
Phelps and Haney joined reporters for a conference call to discuss the show. Here are some highlights:
Phelps on how he became interested in golf:
“I have friends that played in high school and played in college and I was able to go out with them, and at that point I was like, wow, maybe I’ll just quit swimming and start golfing. But then we quickly decided that probably wasn’t the best idea. So I decided to just do it as a hobby. Took about a year off after the Olympics to really focus on what I had to do there. And then sort of being able to travel the world and play some of the best golf courses and learn from the greatest golf coach, I think it’s just like for me it’s a cool opportunity of being able to learn a game that’s so challenging.”
Haney on Phelps’ golf physique:
“Obviously Michael is an incredible athlete, and as most unbelievable athletes see, translating it into golf is a little bit harder than it looks. But obviously he’s got a tremendous amount of potential. Just his size and the length of his arms and his height, those give him such an advantage in the game, because so much of golf is distance, it’s power and how far you can hit the golf ball. … The size is an asset and it’s also detriment, too, because the taller you are, the longer your arms are, and the more speed you’re going to have and the more power you have. But also, that brings you wildness.”
Phelps on why we should tune in:
“It’s probably going to be one of the funniest shows you’ve ever seen of The Haney Project. With the experiences that we have with the friends that I have on the show, I don’t want to give too much away, but I guarantee you, we will have you laughing each part of the show, every single episode you ever watch, you may be crying because you’re laughing so hard. We have been laughing every step of the way and we’ve had a great experience, and I have learned a lot. You can see from the very first shot that I took to the very last.”
Phelps comparing Haney to his swimming coach, Bob Bowman:
“I told Hank not too long ago, I think there’s only like maybe two or three times where I ever got a ‘good job’ from Bob. And I think it was when I won my 22nd medal and when I went eight straight in 2008. Those were two of the times where he actually said he was very proud of me. I know deep down inside he was, but that was his style of coaching.
You know, it’s funny, throughout the whole season, if I do have a good shot, Hank has that you know, ‘nice shot,’ or ‘that’s a good golf swing.’ For the longest time, I would just not even like I would never respond to it, and I think it was because I was kind of shocked to hear it. And now I’m starting to hear it more and more, so it’s just something new and I think that’s one thing that he does different than Bob does.
I will say, it does feel good. It feels good to get a ‘good job’ or a ‘nice shot’ every once in a while. I’ve been able to, I guess, understand it and take it and say thank you every now and then.”