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Human-fish out of water? Phelps to take up golf

When Michael Phelps announced his retirement after winning a scarcely conceivable 22nd Olympic medal in swimming at the London 2012 summer games, his next steps would have been difficult to guess - but no one would have expected his foray into another sport, least of all golf!

Phelps announced that he will be trained by controversial celebrity golf coach Hank Haney on the TV show "The Haney Project" which is shown on the Golf Channel.

''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,'' Phelps said in an announcement Saturday.

Among the other eclectic mix of celebrities Haney has had on his show, he has coached actor Ray Romano, Charles Barkley and radio host Rush Limbaugh.

Phelps hasn't set his sights on taking his game to Rio de Janeiro 2016, where golf will be entered as a sport for the first time.

''He wants to win his club championship,'' Haney said. ''He wants to play golf so bad. He'll be all right. It will take him a little while, but he should improve really fast. Michael has got such long arms. But it's funny, because whenever anyone makes a comment that a guy has got a lot of potential, they're always talking about one thing - he hits it a long way. The translation is he hits it everywhere.

Phelps will have the pick of the world's golf courses to practice on, 22 Olympic medals opens up a lot of doors.

''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.''

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