Tilting at flagsticks is a Cool Golf Thing

Johnny Football becomes Johnny Golf?
Johnny Manziel, most recently playing in the Fan Controlled Football League, intends to retire from football to pursue a professional golf career.

The line between self-confidence and self-delusion is one that every golfer walks sometimes.

As soon as you've finished an unusually good round, your thoughts inevitably start to wander in fanciful directions. Man, the game felt so easy today. Do I have real talent in golf after all?

Things get out of hand quickly. Could I get good enough to play in the Masters in five years? What the heck am I going to serve at the Champions Dinner?

Most of us snap back to Earth in a matter of seconds. Johnny Manziel is allowing himself a little more leeway.

The former Texas A&M and Cleveland Browns football quarterback, whose sensational freshman college season won him the 2012 Heisman Trophy, is trading the rectangular field for a more irregular one, and trading pads for pants. Manziel, who played on his high school golf team and is currently a scratch golfer, wants to play on the PGA Tour someday, and he's giving himself 12 years to make it happen.

"Johnny Football" is not the first pro athlete to try his hand at golf, and he won't be the last. Several significant events in recent years have featured appearances by the likes of Jerry Rice, Tony Romo, Stephen Curry and John Smoltz. None of them have factored into the events in which they've played beyond generating extra pre-tournament hype.

Maybe Manziel will be different. Maybe he'll become a PGA Tour fixture this decade, capping one of sport's all-time weirdest careers with a victory in the 2034 PGA Championship at PGA Frisco, just 125 miles northeast of his hometown of Tyler, Texas.

Probably not. But dreaming big is what golfers do. Why root against Johnny Golf? Whether he fails spectacularly or succeeds improbably, it could be an entertaining ride.

March 22, 2019
300 words or less, every other Friday.

Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for GolfPass. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.
Commented on

I think Johnny Football er Johnny Golf should concentrate on becoming a tour caddie instead of a PGA Tour player. His past immaturity speaks volumes about his inability to maintain focus and patience necessary in order to play and win at golf’s highest levels. How would he handle his first missed cut, crucial missed putt, or playoff loss? Would he exhibit dignity and grace or have a temper tantrum? You be the judge.

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Tilting at flagsticks is a Cool Golf Thing