ashton eaton, ted bishop

Olympic gold medalist Ashton Eaton talked golf with PGA of America Preisdent Ted Bishop on Tuesday.

Decathlon champ Eaton finds new love in golf

By John Kim, PGA.com Coordinating Producer

SUNRIVER, Ore. – What makes golf so attractive to so many? It's the simplicity and the challenge – t's a sport that anyone can enjoy but even the finest athletes in the world can never conquer.  

So how about the world's finest athlete?

Ashton Eaton, the Olympic gold medalist and world-record holder in both the decathlon and the heptathlon, paid a visit to the 46th PGA Professional National Championship on Tuesday to watch some of the country's top players compete and to discuss his newfound love of golf.  

Eaton, who grew up in nearby Bend, Ore., discovered golf recently through a local Get Golf Ready program. From his first swings, he was hooked. And though having very limited time to devote to anything other than the vast array of track & field events he competes in, Eaton is making time to work on his new passion.

"I was never interested in golf until someone brought up the Get Golf Ready program to me," Eaton said. "They suggested that I just try it – and so I did. And now, yes, I'm very interested."

Eaton has quickly become an ambassador for golf in many ways. During his visit to Sunriver and the PGA PNC, he has spent time live with many media outlets, including a live interview on the Golf Channel, to discuss his affinity for the game.

"Track and field is tougher physically," Eaton says, "but golf is tougher mentally." 

Traditionally, the winner of the Olmpic decathlon is referred to as the "World's Greatest Athlete," but Eaton understands that golf is a game that can never be fully mastered.

"The thing that attracted me to it was the challenge – and it's still a great distraction from me from the very serious business of my training," he said. "I haven't played a full round of golf yet, but I did make two pars my first time out on a golf course. So now that bar has been set and next time, I want to make four pars."

There is perhaps no better arbiter of a great challenge and fun time than a world-class athlete like Ashton Eaton. Get Golf Ready inspired him to take up golf, and he has. What can it do for you? Find out at GetGolfReady.com.