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Johnny Golfball

Get ready for "Johnny Golf," because Johnny Manziel says he's making a run at a professional golf career

March 02, 2021

Johnny Manziel, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2012 and spent one forgettable year in the NFL before his career plummeted into the abyss, now has his sights on trying to become a professional golfer. Appearing on the Green Light with Chris Long podcast, he spoke about his latest dream.

“I’ve been thinking about this the last couple weeks,” Manziel said. “I’m gonna give myself 12 years to try and play professional golf. I’m gonna grind this out and see how good I can get and see if I can’t enter some tournaments, and see if I can’t go play professional golf eventually.”

Hey, if it was OK for fellow Heisman winner—and only slightly more adept NFL quarterback—Tim Tebow to try his hand at pro baseball, who are we to stand in the way of Manziel’s goal to one day sling it on tour? Besides, after the Alliance of American Football went belly up and he joined 7-on-7 league Fan Controlled Football in February, it’s understandable that he might be, well, a little bored these days.

Manziel is also hardly new to the game. Long before he became Johnny Football he spent his childhood summers playing golf at Hollytree Country Club in Tyler, Texas. He eventually turned his attention to football and baseball but has remained a pretty good stick, playing to what he says is a 0 to 1 handicap.

“My dad taught me, but really it was one of those things where I was able to learn on my own,” he told Golf Digest in a 2014 interview. “Until I turned 14 or 15, I gripped it like a baseball bat. My dad always tried to get me to use the normal overlap or interlock grip, but I just never liked them. I had TaylorMade oversize irons with graphite shafts that were extremely flexible. When it got to where I was hitting my 7-iron 10 to 15 yards farther than my dad, he decided it was time for me to get steel shafts. That's when I began to learn how to draw the ball, how to hit a fade, learned how to play golf.”

At least he realizes the difficult road ahead, and that it will probably take more than 10,000 hours of practice.

“I think it is a very uphill battle,” Manziel said. “But that’s what I’m setting for my goals. I have 12 years to try and make a PGA Tour event.”

Added Long: “That’s amazing. I’m putting that on my calendar.”

Manziel said he’d set a calendar, too, for 2033 and if that things don’t pan out he’ll come back on the show and talk about what went wrong.

Johnny Manziel? What could go wrong?