Michael Phelps to improve his (golf) stroke on “The Haney Project”

Apparently, Olympics legend Michael Phelps doesn’t have as smooth a stroke on the golf course as he does in the swimming pool.

Recently crowned the most decorated Olympian in history with 22 career Olympic medals after winning four golds and two silvers in London, the U.S. swimmer today announced plans for the next stage of his career: to play the world’s greatest golf courses and improve his golf game under the watchful eye of Golf Channel’s Hank Haney. Season 5 of The Haney Project — which begins production in September and will start airing on Golf Channel in February 2013 — will chronicle Phelps’ attempts to make those improvements from tee-to-green.

“I have traveled the world through swimming, but really haven’t had an opportunity to experience the world through my travels,” said Phelps. “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. If I have a goal of dropping a certain amount of shots, or working on my short game or putting, those things are going to keep me motivated and fire me up and keep me excited. I want to play all the world’s great golf courses, but I’d like to play them well. I’m excited about this project with Golf Channel and I’m looking forward to working with Hank and see what we can do together on the golf course.”

According to Mike McCarley, president of Golf Channel, “Golfers everywhere will be able to relate to his quest to improve his game.”

Phelps received a pegboard featuring the world’s greatest golf courses as a Christmas gift last year, and whether that’s what set him on this latest quest to become a better golfer is not clear. What we do know is that each episode of Phelps’ season of The Haney Project will follow the Olympian on his journey to play better golf, whether it’s one-on-one instruction on the golf course with Haney or developing lessons he will be able to practice on his own. The series also will showcase Phelps in his own environment, with cameos by famous friends and other experts who check in on him during his journey, including his almost equally well-known mother, Debbie Phelps.

One thing’s for sure — it’s unlikely the world’s greatest swimmer will leave too many balls sitting in the water hazards.

Season 5 of The Haney Project, featuring Michael Phelps, premieres on Golf Channel in February 2013.