No joke: Olympic champ Phelps is serious about his golf game

Michael Phelps
Ping Golf via Twitter
In a photo tweeted out by Ping Golf, Michael Phelps poses with his new golf clubs.

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 | 10:24 a.m.

File this under: Well, that didn't take long.

U.S. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, a 22-time medalist (including the all-time record for Olympic gold medals with 18 -- double the second highest record holders), is a certifiable golf nut.

Phelps, who said the 2012 Olympics in London would be his last, has been spending a lot of his time on the golf course these days. He's renowned coach Hank Haney's latest "Haney Project," on the Golf Channel and it was just announced today that Phelps is the newest endorser of PING clubs.

Steve DiMeglio from USA TODAY reports:

The most decorated Olympian in history has plans for the next stage of his career — on dry land this time.

Michael Phelps, the winner of more gold medals than any athlete in Olympic history, has traded in the pool for the golf course and has wasted little time making an impact.

He's been on the cover of Golf Digest. He's jokingly said the only way he'll get back to the Olympics is by playing golf. He holed a 153-foot putt at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last year, which reportedly is the record for the longest televised putt in golf history. He's noted golf instructor Hank Haney's project this year.

And today, Ping will announce an agreement with Phelps to play a full set of the company's custom-fit clubs, which he'll debut in the pro-am of the Waste Management Phoenix Open when he plays with reigning Masters champion Bubba Watson. Phelps was fitted Tuesday at Ping for his new G25 driver, fairway woods, hybrids and irons. He'll also play the Tour Gorge Groove wedges and Scottsdale TR (True Roll) putter.

To read the complete story, click here.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.