SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – When Michael Phelps plays in today’s pro-am at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the Olympian will do it with a new set of custom-fit Ping clubs.
In announcing the signing, the Phoenix-based clubmaker said Phelps, 27, is making the transition from gold-medalist swimmer to golfer and hopes the combination of instruction and new equipment will help him excel.
“I know how difficult the game of golf is, but I’m really serious about getting better, and the experts at Ping have already helped me a lot,” said Phelps, who signed a 14-club deal. “They looked at my swing on the range and dialed me into clubs that perfectly fit my stance and swing.”
The “Haney Project” also feature Phelps in an eight-episode series that will premiere in late February on Golf Channel. Phelps, who is 6 feet, 4 inches and first played golf five years ago, will receive instruction from Hank Haney, Tiger Woods’ former instructor.
Each of Phelps’ 10 irons has a number painted in red, white or blue and engraved with “Phelps 22” to celebrate his record 22 Olympic swimming medals, 18 of which were golds.
“Michael is a legendary sports icon, and we all watched with great pride as he represented the United States while dominating his sport in international competition over the last decade,” said John Solheim, Ping’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We’ve custom-built his clubs to ensure he has every chance to improve, and we believe he’ll dedicate himself to golf with the same intensity he gave to swimming. His global presence as a golfer will bring Ping tremendous exposure and just as importantly, shed additional light on the game in general.”